NOTE: Links to all the prayer texts from Days 1-8 are here. Remember to continue pacing yourself — prayer is a marathon, not a sprint. Know that I hold you all in prayer daily.
DAY 5 Focus: Armor of God
For the fifth day of our prayer challenge, let us remember the words of St. Paul: …“our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Eph 6:12 NRSV).
Let us put on the whole armor of God, so that we may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil…able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm (Eph 6:13).
- Let us remember at the outset that God is our Refuge and Strength (see Psalm 46).
Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness (Eph 6:14).
- Let us remember the truth that we are children of God, brothers and sisters in Christ who have been made righteous not by any merit of our own, but because we are loved by a God who has known and loved us from the moment we came into this world.
As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make us ready to proclaim the gospel of peace (Eph 6:15).
- Let us call to mind that God is faithful, that the same Spirit who hovered over the waters in the very beginning (see Genesis 1:2), is that same Spirit that hovers over the chaos and mess of our own lives, and offers us peace.
With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which we will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one (Eph 6:16).
- Let us recall the Gospel and all the times that Jesus offered healing to those who had the eyes of faith (see Mark 5:34, Luke 17:19, Luke 18:42).
- Let us guard our hearts from the flaming arrows and Lies of the Enemy, Lies that would have us believe that we know more than God (see Genesis 3:4).
Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Eph 6:17).
- Let us guard our minds with the knowledge that the battle belongs to the Lord (see 2 Chronicles 20:15, 1 Samuel 17:47) and has already been won through Christ Jesus (1 Corinthians 15:57-58).
- Let us recall Jesus’ words to his disciples: remain in God’s word and stand on God’s promise: “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you” (John 15:7).
Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints (Eph 6:18).
- Let us recall the psalmist’s words, “The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth “(Psalm 145:18). As we inhale and exhale, let us remember that the Breath of God is with us, closer to us than our very breath.
- Let us pray for one another and remember that we are not alone.
REFLECTION: Spiritual Warfare
Today’s reflection is from a devotion I shared with a group of moms earlier this month. May it’s message sink deep into you heart, take root and begin to grow as we nourish it with the Word of God.
Paul writes in his letter to the Ephesians, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Eph 4:16).
Before, when I would come across this verse, it was easy for me to write this off as “things that happened in scary movies.” But what’s easy to forget is that the Enemy often works in very subtle ways, so subtle that you don’t notice it’s happening until it’s too late.
When I started setting aside time every morning to light a candle and pray, God began opening my eyes to to ways in which the Enemy is hard at work, in my present, very ordinary circumstances, to steal our joy, to lie to us and our loved ones about ourselves and who we are to one another, to spark division and discord. Lies like:
You’re too busy to pray.
You did so much today already, you don’t need to pray.
It’s too hard to make friends in this area. You don’t need friends anyway.
God has shown me, just in the past few months, that the most important work I’m doing right now is covering my family in prayer. So that my daughters don’t walk around believing Lies about themselves like, “I’m not good enough,” or “My mom cares more about my sister than me” — something that came up just a few weeks ago with my 5 year-old.
Again, Paul says it perfectly in Ephesians,
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil…In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 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 (Eph 6:11, 16-18 ESV).