Ephesians 6:18 begins with the phrase “praying always,” which suggests that praying is connected with the previous verses.
The idea is that the putting on, taking up, and receiving of heaven’s armor all necessitate reliance on God. Hence, “prayer is not another weapon; rather, it is the spirit, the manner, in which the whole armor is to be worn and the battle fought. Paul is here urging it as a perpetual state of mind, a continuous attitude of communion with God.” - The SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 6, p. 1046.
Study carefully Ephesians 6:18. What words and phrases associated with Paul’s admonition to the Christian regarding prayer suggest alertness and discipline?
The Bible frequently calls on people not to cease from prayer (Luke 18:1, Rom. 12:12, Phil. 4:6, Col. 4:2, 1 Thess. 5:17). But in the context of the combat with evil forces that Paul is addressing in Ephesians 6, he stresses the fact that every occasion in life is to be wrapped in prayer. Such an attitude about prayer is no small demand on Christians, especially because our first instinct in moments of difficulty is to consult friends and colleagues, which is fine and has its place. Prayer, though, should always be the first line of defense and is something that we should be “always doing.”
Ephesians 6:18 begins with the phrase “praying always” and continues with another about being “watchful.” About what are we to be watchful, and why?
When Jesus was in Gethsemane, He told Peter and the other disciples whom He found sleeping to watch and pray (Mark 14:38). Before this happened, Jesus had spent some time warning the disciples to watch (Mark 13:33-37). From the perspective of Luke, watching is linked with prayer as a constant affair that brings spiritual strength to the Christian. In Ephesians 6:18 the emphasis is on praying for others. No doubt, as we pray for others, we ourselves are spiritually strengthened, and we ourselves are better armed for the ensuing conflict, no matter what form it takes.
Why is praying for ourselves more important for us spiritually than having others pray for us (however important that is)? What does personal prayer do for you that the prayers of others just can’t?