Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Ephesians 6:10-17 (KJV)

Lord, our God, the battle that rages in and around us is not against our neighbour.  Our unseen adversary delights in relentless schemes of separation, but our fellow wayfarers are not our enemies.  The war You have called us to requires armour and weapons of Your design to match the spiritual forces of wickedness bent on our destruction.  Today, we desire to stand firm!

We tie Your truth like a belt around our waist.  Jesus said He is the Truth.  We pray that He will hold us together today, in the core of our being, that we won’t be cut in half by the lies of hypocrisy, but be delivered from divided hearts and double lives.

We put on Your righteousness like a breastplate.  Jesus became sin for us so we could become righteous in Your sight.  How could we refuse such an exchange?!  Deliver us, Lord, from trying to guard our hearts with our own skimpy self-righteousness.  Give us the courage to receive the gift and protection of a righteousness we didn’t earn and don’t deserve. 

We fasten the good news of peace like sandals on our feet so that we can stand, stable and ready, for whatever this day brings.  Christ Himself is our peace, a peace that is beyond understanding or explaining.  We plant our clumsy, wayward feet in Him.

We lift high our faith like a shield, a faith that is pure gift from start to finish, not built of our own works that would give us any cause to boast. Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith. He alone perfects our minuscule mustard seed faith so that it can move mountains and extinguish the flaming arrows of our enemy!

We put salvation like a helmet on our head.  Jesus and His sinless sacrifice on the cross is our one sure hope of salvation.  Today, we pray that we would have the mind of Christ, to think His thoughts and see every inch of this unfolding day from His perspective.

Lastly, we pick up Your word like a spiritual sword.  We thank You for Your miraculously long-preserved written word that we can hold in our hands and hide in our hearts.  But most of all, we thank You for the Word made flesh — Jesus, who lives and speaks what is in Your Father heart to all humanity, to each of us.  You send Your word forth, God, and You promise that it never comes back empty-handed or unsuccessful.  Thank You that Jesus perfectly accomplished the mission You sent Him to do and that in His nail-pierced hands we are safely carried back to our ancient abode in the heart of God.  We want to live in the strength, peace, joy, and exhilaration of His victory today.  Clothe us from head to toe in Jesus!

(This prayer was inspired by the beautiful, scripture based prayers by Sylvia Gunter in her book For the Family.)

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