This article was originally published in Edition (7) of Prayer Magazine,  Jul-Sep 2006.

Teaching on Putting on the armour of God

In his letter to the Ephesians Paul instructs Christians to be strong in their faith, especially to resist opposition from evil. He gives us a visual illustration of a soldier preparing for battle.  Each item of armour represents an element of our faith.  Wearing the ‘armour of God’ is important for every Christian since we live our lives in a world of dangers and temptations.  It is of particular importance for those who take on roles in ministry because the devil is threatened and will try to scupper God’s plans by finding a way through our spiritual armour via any weak spots we may have.  For this prayer idea, it will be helpful to first read Ephesians 6: 11-18.

11 Put on all of God's armour so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies and tricks of the Devil. 12 For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms. 13 Use every piece of God's armour to resist the enemy in the time of evil, so that after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14 Stand your ground, putting on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armour of God's righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that you will be fully prepared. 16 In every battle you will need faith as your shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed at you by Satan. 17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 Pray at all times and on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all Christians everywhere.

Why not try getting up in the morning and preparing yourself for the day by thinking (or saying out loud) each garment as you get dressed, using this as a prayer of protection, equipping you. (Most of us do not put on a helmet or a shield but be creative! Perhaps the shield could be your jacket…)

Before you do this, be prepared to examine your life and ask the Holy Spirit to pinpoint any areas of weakness, in order that you may pray into those areas asking for God’s help to strengthen your armour as you live out your day. 

We need to live lives of 1) truth (belt).  Are we people of integrity?  Do our actions reflect our words and our beliefs?  Will we stand up for truth at any cost?

We need to be 2) righteousness (breast plate / body armour).  Do we try to live blameless lives reflecting Jesus’ sinlessness, asking the Holy Spirit to cleanse us as we repent.  Do we keep ourselves accountable to others in every area of our lives?  Do we avoid situations where we might become tempted?

Be prepared to 3) live for the gospel, proclaiming it when we can, (shoes).  Do we have a passion for those who are not yet Christians, always being alert, listening to the Holy Spirit to point out every opportunity to speak of the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ?  Are we ‘wise’ in the way we act with others?  Are our conversations ‘seasoned with salt’ (Colossians 4:5-6)?

Do we 4) have faith (shield) that God will defeat the attacks when they come?  Do we equip ourselves with reading the Bible to hear of others whom God has protected?  Do we spend time with other Christians, hearing their stories of when God has protected them, so that our faith is built up?  Do we believe that the God we know is the same God who defeated satan by raising Christ to life?

Do we 5) trust in our eternal security of salvation (helmet) which can never be removed? Whatever we might be facing right now, do we believe that this is nothing compared to the eternal future we have in which satan is defeated forever?  We will be with Christ glorified!

Finally do we 6) live by God’s Word and ask for the equipping of the Holy Spirit (sword)?  We need to feed regularly on the Word of God, so that we know the truth and can proclaim it in times of fear or attack.  We need to ask the Holy Spirit to equip us daily, through His mighty power.

Now you can pray into these areas, focusing on any area of weakness, so that your armour is sturdy in every way.  You could write your own prayers for each piece of armour to use daily, though always being aware of ‘gaps’ in the armour. Also, do remember that soldiers are stronger in numbers.  A wall of locked shields together offers greater protection to any enemy than a single soldier, so be with other Christians and be encouraged.  Don’t fight alone!

Ultimately, remember that Jesus has the victory and that we are fighting a temporary battle that has already been won.  Satan has no final power over us.  However, let us be vigilant and careful of any gaps in our ‘armour’.  Let us all be equipped to live lives that reflect this illustration, especially as we put ourselves ‘in the gap’ when we pray for others.  Let’s be prepared to stand for Christ.  Be strong in the Lord!

More creative prayer ideas can be found at

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