Warfare is a way of life for me. I am careful to put my armor on, stay alert to the spirit realm, and walk as closely to the Holy Spirit as I possibly can.
Still, there are seasons where the battle rages and I grow weary. There are times when I need reinforcements in the face of surging enemies that are intent on killing me, stealing what is rightfully mine and destroying my family and ministry.
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Although I've long understood the need for intercessors, an email from a general in the faith this week—and an expert in spiritual war—reminded me of just how important prayer partners are. After asking about the warfare against me after my book, Jezebel's Puppets, his email read:
"With the undoing of moral restraint in our nation, and the intimidating nature of Jezebel against those who speak against it, I was wondering how you were doing. ... I know a few folks who have taken a strong public stand against this spirit who subsequently experienced some added battle. Just wanted to make sure you have folks praying for you. ... The biggest factor is to have intercessors who can pray for you regularly and also spontaneously. Part of the Ephesians 6 dress code is where Paul adds, 'And pray for me.' He knew all the mechanics of warfare, but he also knew he personally needed prayer."
A Revelation of Reinforcements
Let's look at these Scriptures first hand. Paul exhorted the church at Ephesus—and really all believers—to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.
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"Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For our fight is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, and against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your waist girded with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, having your feet fitted with the readiness of the gospel of peace, and above all, taking the shield of faith, with which you will be able to extinguish all the fiery arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit always with all kinds of prayer and supplication. To that end be alert with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints" (Eph. 6:11-18).
That's where many spiritual warriors stop. But it's not where Paul the apostle stopped. He had another weapon against the wiles of the wicked one. He had reinforcements that were making intercession for him from Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the Earth. He didn't just hope they might pray when the Holy Spirit brought him to mind—he petitioned for their prayers.
Paul's Persistent Prayer Requests
Once we get past the whole armor of God and personal prayer challenge, we see Paul the apostle reaching out for spiritual warriors to join his intercessory prayer team: "Pray for me, that the power to speak may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may speak boldly as I ought to speak" (Eph. 6:19).
Paul asked for prayer for God to provide an opportunity to speak, be heard and spread the gospel message clearly (Col. 4:3-4); that people would accept his message and believers would accept his God-given wisdom (2 Thess. 3:1-2); for deliverance from the Jews (Rom. 15:30); for deliverance from challenging circumstances and prison (2 Cor. 1:11; Phil. 1:19, Philemon 1:22); that he could see in person those to whom he was writing (Rom. 1:8; 1 Thess. 3:10).