In today’s reading, Paul writes about spiritual warfare and prayer. He tells the community that God will equip and empower them (and us) to face the battle.
The thought of spiritual warfare has always made me uncomfortable. To be honest, I find the thought downright scary; like scary stories about ghosts and ghouls and other things I can’t control and don’t understand. I find the life that I can see, touch, experience (still don’t always understand) to be enough for me to handle. The thought of fighting against “cosmic powers” and “spiritual forces of evil” is overwhelming. But I don’t have to be overwhelmed or scared. As Paul says in verse 10 “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power”. God provides us with the armor necessary for the fight. He is almighty and powerful beyond my imagination and He isn’t going to leave me to deal with these forces all on my own.
Another thing Paul talks about is praying in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. Paul even asks for prayer for himself to help him make the gospel known. I don’t think Paul is telling us to spend all of our time in long, perfectly worded, formal prayer. I think he’s telling us to make conversation with God an integral part of our daily life. Formal, written prayers like we find in the Prayer Book as well as short, quick requests while we’re driving on the beltway during rush hour. As with the spiritual warfare, God is the key. Even if I don’t provide him with all the details, pretty words and even a solution, the Spirit knows what needs to be said and will use even my most feeble attempts.
What I take away from this reading, is that God will provide what I need to accomplish the tasks He has planned for me. I need take the time to listen to Him and to move aside my fears and doubts and let Him work through me. God isn’t going to desert me, or any of us, and through Him we can do anything.