“This, then, is how you should pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts as we forgive have also forgiven us our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” (Matthew 6: 9-15 NIV)
And that about wraps it up. God is strong, and he wants you to be strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no weekend war that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels. (Ephesians 6:10-12 MSG)
Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an ‘indispensable’ weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out. (Ephesians 6:13-18 MSG)
Over many years of studying and pondering The Lord’s Prayer and Ephesians 6:10-18, I’ve realized something that can happen when we become accustomed to a particular way of viewing them: The Lord’s Prayer is so familiar and is said on such a variety of occasions that it is easy to lose sight of how much it covers in our relationship with God, his otherness, and his knowledge and care for us and our needs.
Ephesians 6:10-18 is many times called the “Armor of God”. It is easy to assume that it is something we can put on from the outside in order to stand strong in the Lord. Armor was part of the culture during the time Paul wrote that description, but progressively I have come to see each “piece” as a description of Jesus, himself, and to believe that it is nurtured from within us, where the Holy Spirit of truth, whom the Father sent to live in us (John14:15-17), and The Father and Jesus (John 14:23-27) makes their home with us.
In John 17:14-15, Jesus is praying for his disciples and he says, “I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they aren’t of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world, but that you protect them from the evil one.”
Ephesians 6:10-12 reminds us that we are on a battlefield and that the weapons we need are the ones God gives us in Jesus. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith and salvation (the word “salvation” means “deliverance”). Most especially they are the Word, both the written word and the Living Word, Jesus.
Set aside some time each day this week to think about how God delivers you from the evil one by supplying the “weapons” he has given you to strengthen you in him from the inside (heart, mind, and soul) to the outside in your relationships and actions in the world.