“Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—and for me” (Ephesians 6:14-19).
By the time the apostle Paul wrote the epistle to the Ephesians, he had spent up to five years in the presence of Roman soldiers. From Jerusalem to Caesarea to Rome, Paul—a prisoner of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 3:1; Philemon 1)—was near a Roman soldier daily.
Such familiarity was transformed into a powerful spiritual illustration in Ephesians 6 where the inspired apostle commands every Christian to take up the whole armor of God (v. 13) and then inventories the standard equipment issued to every member of Christ’s army (vv. 14-20). If attired as prescribed, the panoply of God ensures spiritual victory over the wicked one and his spiritual hosts.
Peter’s failure to watch and pray in the Garden of Gethsemane led to night of miserable spiritual weakness and humiliating defeat (Matthew 26:41, 69-75). Jesus’ most complete victory over Satan began with prayer and intense supplication (Matthew 26:36-46).
Addressing God in prayer, focusing on specific needs (i.e., supplication), and being watchful for the spiritual needs of self and others are always appropriate and necessary in the life of a Christian soldier. Every single spiritual warrior—even the apostle Paul while he lived and fought the good fight of faith—needs his comrades in arms persevering in supplication on his behalf.
Jesus prayed for Peter’s faith and restoration prior to his spiritual battle with Satan (Luke 22:31-32). Paul and Silas were praying while on the frontlines and under heavy attack at Philippi (Acts 16:25). Resisting the devil by drawing near to God (James 4:7-8) in prayer and supplication is essential to spiritual victory.
To be dressed for spiritual success you must persevere in prayer and supplication for yourself and all the saints.