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EPHESIANS - Chapter 6 - Verse 18
Verse 18. Praying always. It would be well for the soldier who goes forth to battle to pray—to pray for victory; or to pray that he may be prepared for death, should he fall. But soldiers do not often feel the necessity of this. To the Christian soldier, however, it is indispensable. Prayer crowns all lawful efforts with success, and gives a victory when nothing else would. No matter how complete the armour; no matter how skilled we maybe in the science of war; no matter how courageous we may be, we may be certain that without prayer we shall be defeated. God alone can give the victory; and when the Christian soldier goes forth armed completely for the spiritual conflict, if he looks to God by prayer, he may be sure of a triumph. This prayer is not to be intermitted. It is to be always. In every temptation and spiritual conflict we are to pray. See Barnes "Lu 18:1".
With all prayer and supplication. With all kinds of prayer; prayer in the closet, the family, the social meeting, the great assembly; prayer at the usual hours, prayer when we are specially tempted, and when we feel just like praying, See Barnes "Mt 6:6"; prayer in the form of supplication for ourselves, and in the form of intercession for others. This is, after all, the great weapon of our spiritual armour, and by this we may hope to prevail.
"Restraining prayer, we cease to fight;
Prayer makes the Christian armour bright;
And Satan trembles when he sees
The meanest saint upon his knees."
In the Spirit. By the aid of the Holy Spirit; or perhaps it may mean that it is not to be prayer of form merely, but when the spirit and the heart accompany it. The former idea seems, however, to be the correct one.
And watching thereunto. Watching for opportunities to pray; watching for the spirit of prayer; watching against all those things which would hinder prayer. See Barnes "Mt 26:38, See Barnes "Mt 26:41".
Comp. 1 Pe 4:7.
And supplication for all saints, for all Christians. We should do this
(1.) because they are our brethren—though they may have a different skin, language, or name.
(2.) Because, like us, they have hearts prone to evil, and need, with us, the grace of God.
(3.) Because nothing tends so much to make us love others, and to forget their faults, as to pray for them.
(4.) Because the condition of the church is always such that it greatly needs the grace of God. Many Christians have backslidden; many are cold or lukewarm; many are in error; many are conformed to the world; and we should pray that they may become more holy, and may devote themselves more to God.
(5.) Because each day many a Christian is subjected to some peculiar temptation or trial, and though he may be unknown to us, yet our prayers may benefit him.
(6.) Because each day and each night many Christians die. We may reflect each night as we lie down to rest, that while we sleep some Christians are kept awake by the prospect of death, and are now passing through the dark valley; and each morning we may reflect that today some Christian will die, and we should remember them before God.
(7.) Because we shall soon die, and it will be a comfort to us if we can remember then that we have often prayed for dying saints, and if we may feel that they are praying for us.
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