We place on the armor not in order to go out toward war, but rather to stand. Stand where, why? To stand against the tactics of the enemy. Have you noticed that Prayer is the last thing on the list after all of the armor. This is because ONLY after we are properly equipped can we pray effectively! We don't do battle with anything physical. We do battle in the Spirit and we do it, primarily, through prayer! (2 Cor 10)
Waist Girded with Truth
I am the way, the truth, and the light... no one comes to the father except by me. Jesus set the standard for truth. Fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. Without it you cannot have wisdom or truth, only facts and reason. Which don't get you very far. Your prayer will be meaningless unless you first know Jesus Christ as Lord and savior, second base your prayer on His Word, and third seek his will in all situation. If you don't know the will of God for a sick person, don't pray for them. Go to prayer by yourself, find the will of God on that, and then go pray the will of God! Truth must be known BEFORE prayer can be effective. Only knowing truth about something gives you the structure and strength in your core/inner spirit to pray with power and conviction. Submit to God, then you will learn from Him, then you will know truth, then you will be free.
Breastplate of Righteousness
The knowledge of your standing with and before God is crucial to your prayer life. You cannot pray if you feel guilty before God. You cannot pray effectively if you are not confident before God. You must know that there is NO condemnation in you and that you have been MADE the righteousness of God. Only then will you heart be protected from attacks of the enemy. It is Jesus breastplate you wear, not your own. It is HIS righteousness that you operate in. When attack comes you can respond "I am the righteousness of God, get your hands off of my life!" So it has a two part function. It allow you to be bold before God and bold before the enemy.
Shoes of the preparation of the Good News of Peace
You should be prepared to share the good news of Peace, the nothing missing, nothing broken, everything whole and complete of God. The GOSPEL of PEACE is the KINGDOM of GOD. Jesus' primary stated reason for coming to earth was to bring in the Kingdom of God. God's kingdom overrides the worlds kingdom. God's kingdom is a kingdom of Peace/Shalom (Nothing Missing! Nothing Broken! Everything Whole and Complete!) This IS the gospel. Is being saved from sin and going to heaven the gospel? Yes! Is being delivered from Sin/Addiction and living holy the gospel? Yes! Is being healed from sickness the gospel? Yes! Is being delivered from poverty and made rich and fully supplied the gospel? Yes! Be prepared to bring the peace, the whole peace and nothing but the peace of God.
Shield of Faith to extinguish the arrows of the enemy
Faith is a shield. So often we think of faith as an active ingredient; as something with is causative, and it is. However, faith here is depicted as the shield not the sword. The sword if the word. But Faith is the shield. Faith helps us stand while the Word does the work. Faith is our shield against doubt and distractions. It helps us to overcome all of the Mark 4 things that prevent the Word from doing it's job.
Helmet of Salvation:
In order to pray effectively we must first have our minds outfitted with all that the salvation of God includes. We must know that we are saved from sin, sickness, disease, demons, and fear. We must realize that our salvation connected us to the blessing of Abraham and Deut. 28 and Psalm 103. You can't pray effectively unless you know what you are saved to and from.
Sword of the Spirit - The Word
The sword of the Word of God. The Word of God is sharp. It divides. It causes things to come and go. It is THE causative power of the universe. Without the word you are without the offensive power in your battle. You can pray all day with no effect. This is because prayer doesn't change things. The God who answers prayer changes things! (Nancy Dufresne) You can't just pray anything you like and expect it to come to pass. You must pray what God already said about it. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you in the Word where God has laid out the principles that govern that type of situation and then ask for his leadership and voice to guide you. Jeremy Pearsons said once that God showed him this in a powerful way. Something happened that was going to cost him some money. He was about to start quoting scriptures "Devil you owe me seven times what you stole...etc" But instead he pulled back and asked, "God... how would you have me believe for this?" He was seeking FIRST the Kingdom of God... Only by seeking God in prayer and getting his Word (General and Specific) on a matter can you pray effectively about it.
Put it together
Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our way of doing things we don't stop to think about what God wants to do. We ask him to bless our plan instead of asking him for His plan. Basically we need to pray in order to find out what we ought to pray about. Only after we are fully equipped with all the tools, armor, gifts, fruit... of God can we then pray effectively and cause lasting change with lasting results.
Prayer must be the primary activity of every believer; not a side note or something you do from time to time. Prayer must be THE activity of believers in Jesus. As prayer becomes effective and results manifest not only will the life of the believer become more solid and operate on a higher level, but people will benefit from it around you as well.
Some other scriptures:
- For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,
- to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to theprincipalities and powers in the heavenly places,
- For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
- For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.
- Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.