A final word: Be strong with the Lord's mighty power. Put on all of God's armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies and tricks of the Devil. For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6:10-12 NLT)
Spiritual warfare is a topic bandied about more frequently these days. More Christians are accepting the worldview of the New Testament and recognize that spiritual battles occur behind many life events. (Ephesians 6:10-12) There are times when we believe we can recognize the fingerprints of the evil one on the events in our personal worlds. We can't get very far in life without realizing that his fingerprints are all over the fallen universe in which we find ourselves.
We face a spiritual battle against an evil foe over issues with enormously high stakes. But, do we have the ability to fight and win the war against our adversary. In Ephesians 6:13-18, we are told repeatedly to take our stand against Satan. The last point of emphasis in a list of crucial resources in this fight is prayer. In our battle against sin and Satan, we are to pray. This is one of the vital tools we have in spiritual warfare. We are to pray by the power of the Holy Spirit trusting that God will give us boldness, courage, and strength as we pray. (Acts 3:31; cf. Ephesians 3:14-21) We are to pray always. (1 Thessalonians 5:17) We are to pray with persistence. (Luke 18:1-8) We are to pray staying alert and focused on God's will. (Colossians 4:2) But more than just calling us to pray, the Holy Spirit teaches us what to pray in the face of spiritual warfare. I call this our S.O.S. prayer.
S — Self
We are called to pray for ourselves. We are to present our requests to God with thanksgiving. Our prayers can take many forms, but we must know that it is not only okay to pray for ourselves and our spiritual needs, it is commanded. The collection of Psalms in the Old Testament offers us many good examples of praying for ourselves to God. This is not about being selfish with our prayers, but about being serious about the spiritual battle we face.
O — Others
We are to pray for other brothers and sisters in Christ. Intercessory prayer is one of the greatest gifts of friendship we can give to someone. While we know that we personally face spiritual battles all around us, we also know that our brothers and sisters in Christ face these battles as well. We don't want them to face these hardships and struggles alone. We must pray for each other!S — Servants
We must also pray for God's servants who are sharing the Gospel with people all over the world. While our first inclination is to pray for their safety, the Scriptures urge us to pray for their boldness, courage, and effectiveness. We realize that we are in a spiritual war and that we may face some battle casualties. However, physical death in our battle only insures our eternal victory in Jesus. Our greatest concern is that Jesus is effectively shared with those who do not know him so that they can be rescued out of the hand of the evil one.
We also pray that you will be strengthened with his glorious power so that you will have all the patience and endurance you need. May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father, who has enabled you to share the inheritance that belongs to God's holy people, who live in the light. For he has rescued us from the one who rules in the kingdom of darkness, and he has brought us into the Kingdom of his dear Son. God has purchased our freedom with his blood and has forgiven all our sins. (Colossians 1:11-14 NLT)
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