Is Prayer and Supplication in the Spirit a piece, or to better put it, something that should be included with our thoughts of the Whole Armor of God? I believe so, as I believe that every word is placed in the scriptures by the Holy Ghost for several different purposes, and this is no exception. So I don’t think that the placement of the following verse is there by chance, coincidence. or a topic change.
Many may believe that verse 17 is the end to our study into the Whole Armor; well not here it isn’t. From a piece by piece sense perhaps, as there is not an armor piece specified (to be literal) to prayer and supplication as the others have. However, I believe the following to be the final verse concerning the Whole Armor of God in this chapter of Ephesians, and after we look at the scripture, we’ll discuss why that is.
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
An Inclusion to the Whole Armor of God
We have gone through all of the pieces of the Whole Armor of God throughout this study, and here is where we are instructed to use it. I say that because this verse is packed with actions. Actions in which we are ill equipped to deal with without first being equipped with the Whole Armor of God.
Prayer and supplication in the Spirit has a much different effect than God’s Armor has. As we’ve learned, all of the pieces to the Whole Armor of God are primarily defensive, save for one which is the Sword of the Spirit (the Word or Rhema, of God). Even still, when we study what’s going on with the Sword of the Spirit, we find that it is reserved for close combat situations; being used both for defense and offense.
Close quarters combat gives us the flavor that it is useful to us in our own protection against spiritual wickedness in high places, right? Keeping ourselves safe from attacks, and the ability to thwart those that come our way. But is that an end all? How can one mount an offensive against the enemy, or spiritually come to the aid of our brothers and sisters in the Lord with things that are meant to keep us safe personally, and are given to defend ourselves?
The answer to that last question rests in verse 18. We are going to take this verse apart and chew on the Word slowly to get the intended nutrients out of it! But first, if you’re not too clear on the difference between prayer and supplication, I’d like to invite you to go read about the difference on a post I created back in October of 2015. It is simply titled Difference Between Prayer and Supplication, and Ephesians 6:18 is one of the focuses of that post.
Ephesians 6:18 Breakdown
Do we pray always? On it’s face, it seems like it may be impossible to do that in any realistic way. There’s a reason for us to think that, and it comes directly from the world at large. We are meant to be too busy to pray, not just in a physical sense, but even mentally. We’ve got something going on all around us at all times; removing and replacing our attention non stop. That’s how this world is set up, and it’s not set up by God lovers, but instead is set up by the enemies of God. That’s why the Word tells us:
2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Reading this you could extract without a problem, that if you are conformed to the world, then you can’t prove what is the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God. How can you if your mind leads you down the way of the world? To be friends with the world is to be God’s enemy. Reason being is that although this earth belongs to the Lord, this world is at this time in the hands of Satan. Please see: Why was Jesus Tempted in the Wilderness? for a page discussing Satan’s hold on this world. It’s his to manipulate to a degree, and Jesus is going to completely reclaim it on the day of the Lord. But until then it’s the enemy’s.
4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
So it’s clear through these verses that we are not to conform to the world, and one good reason is because it smothers out the opportunity to have an active relationship with the Father. The Bible says over and over again to have constant communication with the Lord. But in order to be able to do that, we’ve got to recognize the amount of time that is being taken from us on a daily basis. Also, we need to recognize that being in constant communication with the Father is indeed possible, if we, through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, learn how to pray inside ourselves, as well as verbally.
Through the years, the Lord has taught me to pray in four different ways.
- Verbally – Speaking out loud.
- Internally – Praying in the Spirit, or you could say using your inner voice.
- Tongues – This is a different way the Word says we pray in the Spirit, or perhaps by the Spirit, which is a gift from the Father.
- Under the Breath – When compelled to either use tongues or feel the need to pray verbally, but privately at the same time when you’re not alone.
Any combination of the above cover almost all daily situations when you think about it. Verbally among other believers at church or something to that effect, or maybe when you are in the car by yourself, etc.. Internally when maybe you are in an office surrounded by quiet people, or otherwise find it not the place for audible prayer. Using tongues is something that you can do loudly, quietly, and even internally (I’ve found that internally isn’t all that easy to do compared to the others when we’re talking tongues). And under the breath is maybe whisper mode, sneaking in a prayer when the need arises in a moderately noisy but populated environment.
The point in all of that is, we’re able to pray always if we have our minds set on the Father, and on the things that are above. Despite the situations that you come across on a daily basis, remember one thing concerning this; Jesus was in constant communication with the Father while he was strolling the earth in Israel 2000 years ago.
28 Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.
10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.
As you know, Jesus is the measuring stick. He is the one we are to look upon and to strive to be more like. So for many of us, it will take the help of the Holy Spirit to aid us in this endeavour, as he is able to cause for you to stay mindful of him throughout your day if you ask him to.
1 Corinthians 11:
1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
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Why Praying Always?
Constant communication with the Father is how we get our marching orders when we are talking the realm of spiritual warfare. Some things simply can’t happen without prayer. We are given one clear example of this in the Book of Mark:
24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief. 25 When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him.
26 And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead. 27 But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose.
28 And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out? 29 And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.
God the Father is not a part timer. Nor is it fitting for us to be part time believers. Constant communication as best we can through the aid of the Holy Ghost is a big deal to the Lord. He cares about all of your coming and goings, and wants to hear from you concerning the largest issues you face, the smallest and most minute details, and everything in between. If you look at the intricacies of creation, you’ll quickly understand that the Lord pays close attention to detail. As a part of his creation, he wants to be involved in all of your details as well.
With all Prayer and Supplication in the Spirit
This answers the question, “Praying always with what?” This is instructing us to stay in prayer, which would include ourselves and family, etc.. But now, supplication is introduced into the verse and that changes things a bit. Here is where the inclusion of this verse begins to take shape as a weapon of our warfare, making sense out of, and giving reason to, include it into our thoughts about the Whole Armor of God.
If you checked out the post concerning the differences between prayer and supplication, you may have picked up that supplication is used more in behalf of others instead of yourself. Or as a prayer for someone that you don’t know, or a people that you’ve never met. If you are praying supplications for others that need it, could it be that they need it because of the spiritual resistance that is set up? Or perhaps a stronghold of the enemy is established? The answer is yes and yes, among many other reasons.
Doing these things in the Spirit can be taken two different ways and both would be right. First would be praying in the Spirit (the Holy Spirit) in tongues. This spiritual gift may be doing things that you wouldn’t be privy to; making a difference either around you or around someone across the face of the planet. Second would be simply praying and supplicating as the Holy Spirit moves you to do so. Either would be correct, and both are important.
And Watching Thereunto with All Perseverance and Supplication for All Saints;
Praying is the first action in this verse, and we are given another action here which would be watching. Watching is something that is important enough to be brought up several times throughout the entire Bible. Here are a few from the New Testament, and I believe that it’s safe to say, nobody found more importance in watching than the Lord, as he tends to be the one who mentions it the most through scripture.
42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
43 But know this, that if the good man of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.
13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.
41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
33 Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.
35 Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cock crowing, or in the morning:
37 And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.
38 Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.
36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.
1 Corinthians 16:
13 Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.
2 Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;
1 Thessalonians 5:
6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.
2 Timothy 4:
5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.
1 Peter 4:
7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.
3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.
If the Lord leads, I’ll be doing up a page concerning the usage of the word “Watch” in the Bible, because it is very important. But here on this page, I don’t want to stray too far from the point that the Holy Spirit is making in Ephesians 6:18. So to say it quickly, the word “watch” is being used for three things in all of the verses above. Watch for the coming of the Lord, watch out for deception or temptation, and to keep watch as a guard would be keeping watch over something or someone.
As far as it’s use in verse 18, watch could be understood as standing ready and aware, or we could even say to stay informed and to not be ignorant of the schemes of the wicked one that are coming against the Body of Christ, and those who are being prayed for concerning their salvation and entrance into the Body of Christ. Come to think about it, that was one of the original reasons that the Lord moved me to write Kingdom of Darkness in a Fallen World in the first place.
In my correspondence with too many brethren, it seemed that people weren’t keeping watch to some of the most obvious things that the enemy has placed in our path. And too many also believe that they are either not called to take part in spiritual warfare, or they are somehow immune to demonic attack. The truth is that we are all called into the battle in one way or another, and nobody that is Born Again is immune to spiritual attack. In reality, it’s quite the contrary.
There is no hint of automatic immunity in any study into the Whole Armor of God, and when the Holy Ghost finds it good to preserve this piece of scripture which specifically tells us to “Watch Thereunto with All Perseverance and Supplication for All Saints”, I’d say that this is not just a good idea, but should be as good as a commandment.
We know (typically) what we need to be praying for concerning ourselves, but it takes going an extra distance to know what to be praying in supplication for the saints. It takes doing some watching and paying attention to what you need to be praying for in your supplications in behalf of the brethren.
Conclusion – The Heavy Artillery
Prayer and supplication, particularly when being lead by the Holy Ghost is akin to calling in the heavy artillery from above. Or as another way to put it (which I’m partial to), calling in the airstrike against the Kingdom of Darkness, peppering spiritual wickedness as an airstrike would do to an enemy force, and tearing down strongholds over a person, people, area, etc..
I use these terms because by keeping that kind of militaristic mindset, perhaps the reality of the spiritual WAR might sink in. It seems far away and cloudy because we can’t see what’s happening around us in the spirit. But there is a war raging in the spirit contending over the souls of man. Being watchful as well as diligent concerning our prayers and supplications for the saints, also done as the Holy Spirit leads, is the most powerful weapon that exists on this planet period.
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Thank you for reading this and if you haven’t been keeping up with this study and you’d like to read the entire study into the Whole Armor of God, click whatever page you may have missed via the links given in the navigation section below.
Whole Armor of God Study Navigation
The list of links below are in the same order given for each piece of God’s Armor found in Ephesians chapter 6. Trying to stay somewhat consistent with the pages of this study, the order that these were completed reflect the same pattern in the Word.
- Whole Armor of God Introduction
God bless all of you and continue on with your Prayer and Supplication in the Spirit!