8. Are You Ready To Become A Prayer Warrior?
And last, but in no means least… PRAYER! Together, let’s become a generation of courageous young women who adopt a lifestyle of prayer, remembering that,
No prayer is too small, or too large. For God knows our every thought" (Psalm 139:2), and with Him - nothing is impossible. (Luke 1:37)
You’ve made it! Welcome to the final week of Armoured. We have so loved the journey and have been genuinely encouraged and inspired by the momentum behind it, remembering that we are all armoured and equipped for battle.
I, for one, have needed the reminder that I can rely on my weapons daily: the shield of faith, the shoes of peace, the helmet of salvation, and tackle the day ahead with far more confidence than I could have done on my own.
And our final week is slightly different: no more ‘weapons’ to hand out. Just the simple instruction to pray.
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. (Ephesians 6:18)
Simple – but monumentally powerful!
As we look through the scriptures, it’s not a surprise that prayer is the final, central command in this passage. From the way Jesus prioritised quiet time talking with His Father - to the battle scenes of Exodus, where Joshua led the troops while Moses prayed. The author Gregory Brown puts it like this: “When Moses became tired of lifting his hands in prayer, Israel began to lose.”
And for us too, prayer is essential if we want to continue the fight with Spirit-given energy, direction and power. So let’s break down what this final challenge looks like for us…
Nothing is beyond prayer
First up: the passage tells us to ‘pray in the Spirit on ALL occasions, with ALL kinds of prayers and requests.’
What this passage doesn’t say is that prayer is only for church meetings or current affairs. I would argue that we are called to be young women who petition in prayer for the large-scale issues facing our world: but the passage doesn’t limit us to only praying for ‘big things’. Prayer isn’t just reserved for panic stations or special occasions.
No – the passage opens us up to a life of prayer: encouraging us to pray through ALL kinds of requests: whatever is on our minds and hearts. We are not called to subscribe to a prayer list, but to adopt a prayer lifestyle.
2. Nothing is beyond God
This means that prayer can infiltrate all the areas of our lives: whether you are nervous about your journey to school, your UCAS application or a job interview; whether you are hurting from grief, illness or broken relationships; whether you need a parking space or a full-on miracle – we are called to put on our armour, get on our knees and PRAY.
No prayer is too small, or too large. For God knows our every thought (Psalm 139:2), and with Him - nothing is impossible. (Luke 1:37)
Our prayers might not always be answered in the way we expect – God doesn't work to our agenda - but we do know they will be heard: ‘For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their prayers.’ (1 Peter 3:12); and we do know that He will work all things for our good (Romans 8:28).
3. ‘Keep On Keeping On’
And with this in mind: the knowledge of a good Father who hears our every prayer and works to fight for us in the battle: we can draw the confidence to keep going. To ‘keep on keeping on’.
The final sentence asks us to ‘be alert’: to stay eyes open, prepared, diligent, proactive and disciplined women of God. This isn’t always the easy path to take: often it’s much easier to stay inside with a blanket and cup of tea rather than make our way in the cold and the rain to the church prayer meeting. Often it’s easier to scroll through Instagram for a bit of light relief as we have our breakfast, rather than armouring up for the day ahead.
But let’s remember that we are in a battle and it’s not a surprise that showing up for prayer sometimes feels difficult. This is all part of the fight: and it’s why the passage encourages us to remain alert and aware of the distractions that might build barriers.
The idea of praying continually can feel daunting – but John Piper describes it like this:
“I tried to pray without ceasing, which simply means as often as I could remember. Over and over again during the day I would roll my burdens onto the Lord, asking for his help before every meeting, before every conversation, before every phone call. The air you breathe is, “Help. Help. I trust you.” Then you call some promise to mind.”
Prayer isn’t about us offering up perfectly-formed prose before a distant and formal God. It’s praying in the Spirit: praying simple prayers like ‘help’ – ‘I need you’ – ‘be with me’ – or even: ‘I want to want to pray – help me begin.’ It’s about using the Word of God (our sword!) and calling promises to mind so that we can stand firm.
Finally: to doing battle…
If you’ve grown up in the church you might know the phrase ‘quiet time’: meaning time alone spent reading your Bible and praying. While we have to hit the balance of not being trapped by rules and requirements (because we are free!) – these quiet, unseen times are often the foundation of answered prayers and powerful transformation.
But to be honest – I sometimes find these times a little bit flat, or sometimes even sleepy! Why is this? Why can’t I see the bigger picture of the importance of prayer?
This really changed for me when I heard one woman talk about this practice not as ‘doing a quiet time’ but as doing BATTLE! She described getting down on her knees as going into the fight, with the discipline of prayer acting as a powerful weapon of protection: covering her soul, her home, her friends, her family in the truths of the gospel from the inside out.
I am so inspired by this image. I so want to be a woman of God who does battle every morning from the quiet of the kitchen table: putting on my armour, remembering the promises of God, and raising up my prayers as a fight each morning.
On average, we have tens of thousands of people who engage with More Precious on a regular basis. Just imagine if we all committed to doing battle every morning in a small, unseen and regular way. It would change hundreds of thousands of souls. It would have enormous kingdom impact.
So as we go out from this series, let’s pray this prayer together: over our lives, over the More Precious community, and over all the young women out there standing firm in the fight: standing strong in the name of Jesus.
Dear God, today we put on the full armour to guard our lives against attack. We put on the belt of truth to protect against lies and deception. We put on the breastplate of righteousness to protect our hearts from the temptations we battle. We put the gospel of peace on our feet, so we’re ready to take your light wherever you send us.
We choose to walk in the peace and freedom of your Spirit and not be overcome with fear and anxious thoughts. We take up your shield of faith that will extinguish all the darts and threats hurled our way by the enemy.
We believe in your power to protect us and choose to trust in you. We put on the helmet of salvation, which covers our minds and thoughts, reminding us we are children of Light, forgiven, set free, saved by the grace of Christ Jesus.
We take up the sword of the Spirit, your very Word, the one offensive weapon given to us for battle, which has the power to demolish strongholds, alive, active, and sharper than any double-edged sword.
We ask for your help in remembering to put on your full armour every day, for you give us all that we need to stand firm in this world.
Forgive us God for the times we’ve been unprepared, too busy to care, or trying to fight and wrestle in our own strength.
Thank you that we never fight alone, for you are constantly at work on our behalf, shielding, protecting, strengthening.
In the powerful name of Jesus,
Final prayer: ‘Prayer to Put on the Armour of God’ by Debbie McDaniel
The website Desiring God has a huge resource page on prayer – including what it is, where to start, how to keep going when it feels hard - and some pointers to help us structure our prayer life: https://www.desiringgod.org/topics/prayer#what-should-we-pray-for.