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|It Seems to Me . . .
. . . the armor of God is the uniform of prayer.
"In addition to all (these pieces of the Christian armor), take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints" (Ephesians 6:16-18).
As prayer leaders, we often read books and listen to sermons on the armor of God. Intercessors and prayer warriors are high priority targets of the enemy and must be protected when they seek to claim new territory through their prayers and petitions. But most of the teaching I've encountered stops too soon. Granted the pieces of the body armor end at the helmet and the sword of the Spirit probably hung from the belt but we need to examine the apostle's teaching further. Armor is not an end in itself.
The sword should be considered a weapon of warfare (2 Corinthians 6:7; 10:4), the only offensive weapon provided to the advancing soldier. This piece of equipment is vital for every person of serious prayer. Paul explains that the sword is the word of God and, though many assume he is referring to the complete canon of scripture, old and new testaments, it seems otherwise. He identifies the sword of the Spirit as the "rhema" not "logos" of God which indicates he is equating the word-that-God-gives-from-his word (rhema) rather than the full-and-complete word of God (logos). A scripture rather than the scriptures. This timely rhema word, a clear command or exhortation for a specific need or circumstance, like the logos, is equally inspired and authoritative.
This word for the moment or situation is revealed through the Spirit's illumination of a scripture portion or passage received through listening prayer. Visualize a fully dressed soldier receiving battle instructions; a clear assignment and the strategy to carry it out. This received-in-prayer assignment is essential to the advance of the entire battalion. The teaching on the armor continues. The fully dressed and equipped soldier, having received a specific instruction or assignment moves forward (or kneeward) into battle by praying in the Spirit (praying in your union/relationship with the Spirit) (18). The armor is worn in every situation as the warrior wields the swords in a variety of ways (all kinds of prayers) as he/she battles for everyone in his/her battalion . . . so that they will fearlessly declare the mystery of the gospel.
To wear the armor is good. But to wear the armor and know how to use the sword to receive the word of God from the word of God is better--essential for victorious praying.
It seems to me the armor of God is the uniform of prayer.
Originally published on the Church Prayer Leaders Network