“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 6:18
Having covered each component of the armor of God, we understand that we cannot succeed against the Devil if we rely on ourselves. We need the belt of truth to keep the daggers of false doctrine from cutting our legs out from under us. Christ’s imputed righteousness gives us ultimate protection from condemnation and accusation, and the breastplate of a Holy Spirit-developed righteous character guards against the powerful blows of sin that try to destroy our hearts….
The shoes of the gospel of peace give us solid footing and ready us to fight. Faith acts as a shield that drives us to seek shelter in God against the flaming arrows of enticing temptations. Salvation, our helmet, protects our minds, enabling us to remain focused on the kingdom. God’s Word is our mighty sword, the weapon that brings the Lord’s enemies to submissive repentance and keeps us on the narrow way by forcing us to our knees in gratitude for salvation and sorrow for sin (Eph. 6:10–17).
Our ultimate reliance on Christ for success in spiritual warfare is underscored in Ephesians 6:18. The participial phrase used in Ephesians 6:18 (“praying at all times in the Spirit”) covers everything that comes before it. In so doing, it indicates that we don the armor of God — we clothe ourselves in Christ Himself — by consistent, persistent prayer. Praying at all times is nothing less than taking every opportunity to acknowledge our weakness and our need for the Lord’s mighty help against Satan. Prayerful dependence must be the consistent attitude of our hearts, both in difficult times that make us quick to run to God and when prosperous seasons tempt us to forget our need for Him. John Calvin writes, “Paul, therefore, desires us to allow no opportunity to pass — on no occasion to neglect prayer; so that praying always is the same thing as praying both in prosperity and in adversity.”