In my last post, we saw that we receive the Helmet of Salvation and the Sword of the Spirit as we pray in the spirit. In today’s post, I want to show that this is not just a singular occurrence in Scripture.
We are in a spiritual struggle against unseen forces.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Contrary to how some people act, our fight is not against people. As followers of Christ, we’re not struggling against political parties, social issues, or those we see as “sinners”. The real enemy is the spiritual kingdom that enslaves those in the world system.
We’re in this battle whether we want it or not. So, we’re told that we need to be spiritually prepared for the struggle. We’re given the explanation of the armor and Paul concludes in verse 18 by giving us the means by which we arm ourselves – prayer in the spirit.
However, this isn’t the only section of Scripture that talks about our warfare.
Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.
Jude was one of the early leaders of the church. He was a half-brother of Jesus who became a believer after the resurrection.
In this short letter, he explains that he simply wanted to write a brief word of encouragement. He wanted to bless and uplift those who would receive it.
Instead, once he sat down to write, the Holy Spirit grabbed his attention and caused him to speak of the spiritual battle. Jude felt the urgency to warn them to diligently contend for the faith.
In Ephesians, Paul was contending against demonic forces. Jude is contending against false teachings. But in both cases, they equipped themselves for battle the same way.
Look at Jude’s concluding remarks.
But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.
It’s important to note here that the word, “and”, does not appear in the original Greek text. It should actually be translated, build yourselves up in your most holy faith praying in the Holy Spirit.
We face battles every day. There are many directions that the attack may come from. It could be our flesh, the world system, or the demonic kingdom.
In all cases, we prepare for this struggle in the same way. Both Paul and Jude talked about their battles. They were two different people in two different struggles. Yet they both concluded that it was prayer in the spirit that would prepare them for victory.
I don’t know how anybody could read this and say that the gift of tongues is not for today. We can’t win the victory without it.
They try to justify it by saying that they can pray in the spirit in English – or whatever their native language is.
For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful.
1 Corinthians 14:14
Paul makes it clear that praying in tongues is praying in the spirit. If you’re using your mind to come up with the words, you’re not praying in the spirit.
Prepare for the battles you’re about to face. Spend some quality time praying in the spirit.
Question: How much time are you spending in prayer for 2020?
© 2020 Nick Zaccardi