Have you ever been in a nice deep sleep until someone will to up suddenly? There’s almost nothing like the alertness that comes from the shock of being suddenly woken up. In the same way, we are called as Christians to be alert at all times, especially in prayer as we prepare to protect other Christians through our requests to God.
At the end of the Armor of God, Paul calls Christians to be alert and persevere (Ephesians 6:18). This context of spiritual warfare and prayer is key. The word Paul uses for alertness is tied into prayer. The alertness comes from perseverance and requests.
In fact, this word from being alert only occurs four times in the New Testament. It is almost always surrounded by thinking about prayer. It has the idea of being awake and taking care of others. That fits right in with persevering for the saints in prayer.
Being alert means that we pray for others with the intention of looking out for them. This is where it applies to spiritual warfare. How many times has the Lord laid another saint on our hearts during prayer time? We never know what they are facing.
Paul talks about the perseverance we need when we pray. This word is only used here in Ephesians as a noun. It’s not what you would expect to see in conjunction with prayer. So I looked up the word to discover that it has the idea of persistence.
Jesus talked about persistence in prayer (Luke 10:1-8). Perseverance in the sense of persistence of prayer does not mean that we are demanding when we come before the throne. Paul uses it in the context of the prayers we pray, the request we bring to God, for other saints.
We must continually persist in prayer for one another. Everyone from missionaries around the world endanger to other Christians who fight battles we can’t even imagine needs prayer. This comes into play for spiritual warfare in these times.
I have been woken up in the middle of the night to pray for missionaries around the world, only to find out that in the moment I was praying for them they were in deep need of God’s power. God has a way of preparing other prayer warriors when we need his power and protection in our lives. Don’t ever underestimate persevering through persistence in your requests.
This is one of the great ways that we can serve one another. But I cannot help thinking about spiritual warfare that there is another word for being alert that also applies to every battle. Peter tells us to be alert because our enemy, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion seeking to devour (1 Peter 5:8).
We must be prepared to go to battle in prayer for other believers who are on the front lines with us. We must guard one another through prayer as part of our duties in spiritual warfare. Leave a comment and tell me what you think about the importance of prayer for spiritual warfare.