Armed With Earnest Prayer for One Another (Ephesians 6:16-17 )
In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, [18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.] —Ephesians 6:16-17
Did you notice how many times the word “all” appears in these three verses? Six times here and 20 additional times in the entire book of Ephesians. It means the same thing every time: the whole amount or quantity, without exception.
It is making a great statement about the sovereignty of God! That sovereignty extends over all times and all circumstances. It includes an invitation to use every defense and weapon he freely provides against the evil one and our own sinful impulses.
So, we are given a joyful command by God—prepare! And he gives us what we need.
Kindly, Paul doesn’t end there with a focus on us, but instructs us to make “supplication for all the saints.”
Making supplication means that we aren’t just praying; we are earnestly praying for God’s help for all the saints. Here, God is reminding us that ours is not an individual endeavor. God has called us into a relationship with him and also with others he has called.
We know that God hears and answers the prayers of the righteous (Proverbs 15:29).
He is also protecting us from one of the great tools the enemy has: division in the church. It is more difficult for the evil one to cause divisions amongst the saints when we are earnestly praying for each other. So, in the very act of providing benefit to our own souls—persevering—we are also going before God with our earnest prayers for others and experiencing yet an additional protection from God.
So, Christian, arm yourself with all the gifts God has granted for your protection and for the benefit of all the saints.