When Jesus faced an attack from the enemy (Satan), He effectively and appropriately used the Scripture.
The Scripture not only defended Him from the attack, but Jesus went on the offensive!
The Scripture instructs us on how to navigate through life.
13 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. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,
However, there is a discipline that is essential for the armor of God to be effective.
18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. 19 And pray for me, too. Ask God to give me the right words so I can boldly explain God’s mysterious plan that the Good News is for Jews and Gentiles alike. 20 I am in chains now, still preaching this message as God’s ambassador. So pray that I will keep on speaking boldly for him, as I should.
18 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,
Prayer cannot quite be described as a "piece” of the armour, but it modifies the armour. In other words, as each part of the armour is “put on”, what Paul is saying here is that “with each piece, put on with prayer.”
In verse 18, the word all is used four times. The Scripture is telling us that prayer is essential in spiritual warfare. Without it, your armour is rendered ineffective.
So when we put on the armour (truth, righteousness, the Gospel, faith, the hope of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit), we are to...
2 Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.
17 pray without ceasing,
Prayer is to permeate our lives as a universal practice.
Prayer needs to be a natural experience (like breathing).
We need to be in constant communication/communion with God.
The power of prayer is gained by systematic discipline.
“Praying at all times in Spirit.”
26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
We need a Spirit-directed, Spirit-empowered prayer life.
We cannot afford to minimize or dismiss the Baptism in the Holy Spirit.
We need the supernatural work of God the flow through our prayer life.
We need to be thorough and deliberate in our prayer life.
There is more than one kind of praying: supplication, intercession, thanksgiving...
The believer who prays only to ask for things is missing out on blessings that come with intercessions and giving of thanks.
In fact, thanksgiving is a great prayer weapon for defeating Satan. “Praise changes things” as much as “prayer changes things.”
“Keep alert with all perseverance...”
The phrase “watch and pray” occurs often in the Bible.
When Nehemiah was repairing the walls of Jerusalem, and the enemy was trying to stop the work, Nehemiah defeated the enemy by watching and praying.
Watch and pray is the secret of victory over the world, the flesh, and the devil.
38 Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
As we maintain alertness, we need to maintain persistence!
We need to stick to it and not quit.
Perseverance in prayer doe not mean we are trying to twist God’s arm, but rather that we are deeply concerned and burdened and cannot rest until we get God’s answer.
The early church prayed without ceasing when Peter was in prison and, at the last moment, God gave them their answer (by releasing Peter supernaturally just before he faced certain execution).
Keep on praying until the Spirit stops you or the Father answers you.
Make “supplication for all the saints.”
Samuel, in his farewell address, made clear God’s call and command for His people to pray for one another.
23 Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you, and I will instruct you in the good and the right way.
We have become, too often, selfish—and not seeing (grasping) the importance of praying for one another.
16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
In life, the battle against the enemy can be overwhelming.
In spiritual warfare, we need to engage in warfare prayer:
Pray all the time and in the Spirit!
Pray with all kinds of prayer (including thanksgiving and praise)!
Pray with alertness and persistence!
Pray for one another.
Prayer teams (why we do what we do).