In conclusion to my focus on the armor of God, we find the primary battle stance expressed in the next verse. After we’ve put on the armor and taken up the shield and the sword, we must be “…praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.” (Ephesians 6:18). James Boice puts it this way, “…you and I can be clothed in God’s armor—having the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, our feet shod with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit—and yet fail to triumph because we do not call upon God.”

We often feel that prayer is a side line’s effort. It’s what the cheer leaders do while the real warriors are on the field of battle. This is a huge strategic error. Prayer is one of the most offensive strategies of a Christian Warrior. Boice relates an old story: “A great military disaster of the early Middle Ages was the defeat of the knights of Charlemagne in the approach to a narrow defile in the Pyrenees. It is narrated in the Song of Roland. What makes the story so poignant is that the defeat was unnecessary. Roland, the commander of Charlemagne’s rear guard, could have called for help from the main body of the army merely by sounding his great horn Oliphant. But he would not do it. Pride held him back. Because he failed to call upon his secret resource, Roland’s troops were massacred. Likewise, many Christians can trace the secret of a defeated life to prayerlessness.”

There is an intimate connection between the Armor of God and prayer. Many Christians grow up singing the old hymns of the faith and one of them is “Stand up, Stand up for Jesus.” You’ve probably sung it many times. The first Stanza goes like this:

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, ye soldiers of the cross;
Lift high His royal banner, it must not suffer loss.
From victory unto victory His army shall He lead,
Till every foe is vanquished, and Christ is Lord indeed.

A later Stanza and one that addresses this final exhortation about the role of prayer in our daily battles with the powers of darkness says this:

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, stand in His strength alone;
The arm of flesh will fail you, ye dare not trust your own.
Put on the Gospel armor, each piece put on with prayer;
Where duty calls or danger, be never wanting there.