We commit ourselves to pray for the needs of our support group families.
. . . 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.
The ESV Study Bible states that many scholars believe Paul wrote Ephesians to encourage believers to firmly adhere to the truth of the Gospel, to seek peaceful unity through mutual expressions of grace, love, and mercy, and to rest in the reality that God has all power and authority over all things in heaven and earth from the beginning of time, now, and forevermore.
LOOKING FURTHER: Ephesians 6:10-20 w/footnotes
- Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. (Because Christians cannot stand on their own against superhuman powers, they must rely upon the strength of the Lord’s own might which he chiefly supplies through prayer 6:18.)
- Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. (The Greek word for whole armor (panoplia) refers to the complete equipment of a fully armed soldier, consisting of both shield and weapons. Here the diabolical origin is exposed, regarding the “deceitful schemes” of those teaching false doctrines.)
- For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. (This list of spiritual rulers, authorities, and cosmic powers give a sobering glimpse into the devil’s allies, the spiritual forces of evil who are exceedingly powerful in their exercise of cosmic powers over this present darkness. And yet Scripture makes clear that the enemy host is no match for the Lord, who has “disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him”.)
- Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. (Because the Christian’s enemies are superhuman spiritual forces, he cannot rely upon mere human resources but must take up the whole armor of God. The divine armor and sword of the Spirit – which belong to the Lord himself and to his Messiah –are made available for believers. Paul portrays Christians as soldiers in the battle line holding fast against the enemy’s charge. Paul identifies this whole age as “evil days,” yet the outbreak of the Satanic onslaught against Christ’s people ebbs and flows throughout this era until the final day when the Lord of Hosts will return in power and great glory to rend the heavens and rescue his people forever.)
- Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, (Paul reiterates the charge to stand in the face of dreaded spiritual enemies because the Lord has not left his people defenseless. They have the complete armor of God from head to foot, which consist of the belt, breastplate, shoes, shield, helmet, and sword. These are metaphors for the spiritual resources given to them in Christ, namely, the truth, rightness, gospel, faith, salvation, and the Word of God. These are aspects of God’s and the Messiah’s own character and work (as depicted in Isaiah) with which Christians are now equipped. With a simple, rousing order, stand, Paul urges the Ephesians to withstand the enemy and not give in to fear. Believers must always be ready to proclaim the gospel. )
- and as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.
- In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;
(Burning arrows were designed to destroy wooden shields and other defenses, but the shield of faith is able to extinguish the devils attack The spiritual nature of the church’s resources is nowhere more plain than in its reliance upon God’s Word, which is the only offensive weapon mentioned in this list of spiritual armor. The Word of God is to be wielded like a sharp two-edged sword, in the mighty power of his Holy Spirit.)
- and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,
- 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, (The weapons for warfare are spiritual because they are rooted in prayer, which is the Christian’s most powerful resource. Prayer is to permeate believers’ lives as a universal practice, as seen by the use of “all” four times in this verse: at all times . . . with all prayer . . . with all perseverance . . . for all the saints. Prayer in the Spirit is a form of worship enable by the Spirit of God, who intercedes on behalf of the person who prays.)
- and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel
- for which I am an ambassador in chains that I may declare it boldly as I ought to speak.