Vs. 18 “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.”
In the foregoing verses we are admonished to put on the “whole armour of God.” The whole armour is essential, because the enemy in His opposition is most fierce, and determined. Anything less than the complete battle apparel spells defeat, regardless of how valiant the soldier of the cross may be.
Having the whole armour of God, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God is yet not enough, all this must be under¬written with consistent prayer, i.e. Vs. 18. The sword of the Spirit is God’s word to us, His soldiers. It is the infallible training manual. It needs not to be revised, nor updated, for it is eternally applicable to all situations, and if adhered to the enemy will be routed upon every confrontation.
Having the whole armour of God, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God is yet not enough, all this must be underwritten with consistent prayer, i.e. Vs. 18. The sword of the Spirit is God’s word to us, His soldiers. It is the infallible training manual. It needs not to be revised, nor updated, for it is eternally applicable to all situations, and if adhered to the enemy will be routed upon every confrontation.
The bible is God’s word to His children, and every utterance is motivated by His infinite and eternal love for them. The Father - children relationship calls for dialogue, and never more needed than when the enemy presses hard upon us. Not that God needs to converse with us, but that we need to take His word, and, go to Him in prayer. It is not that we need only to pray when we are made conscious of the bitter conflict in which we are engaged, The continual wearing of the armour should serve to keep us mindful of our purpose, the battle tactic calls for, putting on the whole armour of God, and consistent prayer.
The apostle Paul is the human instrument by which this epistle comes to us, and from the day of his call to battle the forces of wickedness unto the day of his demise he kept in view the prize that was set before him, (Phil. 3:14). Paul knew the value of prayer, and spent much time before the throne of grace in prayer. He told the Ephesian church in the first part of This epistle, “…I cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers” (1:15 - 16). Paul, knowing that the flesh is weak, and that prayer is a spiritual labor of love, exhorts the Ephesians to persevere in prayer.
Paul asks the Ephesians pray always, with “all prayer,” that is all kinds of prayer, especially supplication, which is petition. Then he reminds them to remember “all saints” In their prayers. When Paul exhorts the Ephesians to pray with the words “pray always”, he does not mean the saint is to spend all of his time on his knees before God in prayer, but that he is to pray in every season, and about all things which relate To his “stand” or defense of the truth. The battle is ever fierce; the soldier of Christ is to take the full armour of God, and the sword of the Spirit, yet this is not enough within itself, he is then to pray for the presence of Christ to be with him in the conflict. It is through Christ standing with us the battle is won.
“Supplication for all saints,” It is not enough to pray for yourself only. We are to pray for all saints, especially for the immediate household of faith, for when the church wins a battle against the enemy it means all faithful saints are the victors. A soldier going into battle at night certainly hopes that his comrades are fully armed, and so it is with our conflict with spiritual forces of wickedness; let each saint be fully armed, and ever seeking to be led by the Captain of their salvation.
The words “watching” and “perseverance” call for alertness, and consistence. Which is equivalent to saying, “let us not be weary in well doing..,” (Gal. 6:9), thus, we are to pray for one an other, and for all saints, for we all have the same enemy, our enemy is the devil, he is vicious, determined, and avails himself of all resources at his disposal in his battle Against righteousness. For saints to do less is shameful, seeing that our Lord, who was sinless did not retreat from Calvary, but went directly to the stronghold of Satan, and loosed the prisoners.
Isa. 42:7 “To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sat in darkness out of the prison house.” This is a prophetic reference to Christ.
Vs. 19 “And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the Gospel.”
Paul says in Vs. 18, the prayer scope should be
wide enough to include all saints, and while this would include Paul, he
asks for himself a special interest in their prayers. Paul at this time
was a prisoner of Rome; he knew that wails and bars had not made void
his ambassadorial office which was bestowed upon him by the court of
heaven. As an ambassador he must speak in Defense of the government
which he represented.
Rowe had many deities, or supposed deities, and chief among them was the Emperors to incite the Romans against Christ, the Jews Said, “...whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar (John 19:12). Paul was careful to obey all Roman law which did not contravene the laws of God, but he was fully aware that his message was to declare that Christ was the Almighty God, and to him all knees should and would eventually bow. He knew the gospel of Christ would bring the wrath of the Romans down on him, yet he must declare it and that with boldness. Paul asks for prayer so as to be faithful in this crisis, though he knew it meant death to him. The Lord gave him boldness, for we hear him say, “For I am not ready to he offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day, and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing” (2 Tim. 4:6 - 8).
In verses 21 and 22, Tychicus, the bearer of this
epistle is commended by Paul to the Ephesians. The name Tychicus is the
only personal name used by Paul in this epistle, other than his own and
that of the Lord’s. Paul calls him, “a beloved brother and faithful
minister in the Lord.” Paul tells the Ephesians that Tychicus will bring
them up to date regarding his circumstances and affairs. Tychicus was to
use Paul’s state or situation to comfort the hearts of the Ephesians.
Often churches become discouraged when the Pastor is stricken with
illness, or circumstances forces a delayed absence the Pastor. But Paul
was forevermore telling the churches they should take courage of from
his bonds, (Phil. 1:13-14; Col. 4:18, Heb. 13:3).
We now close our study of this epistle with the
same word Paul used to close it with, i.e. “a-men.” We do not mean that
present¬ation of the study has been infallible, but that we believe in
spite of the errors which have crept into our lessons God has been
glorified in this lengthy study, A-men.