+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Opening: (A Collect for Sabbath Rest – Saturday)
Almighty God, who after the creation of the world rested from all your works and set aside a day of rest for all your creatures: Grant that we, putting away all earthly anxieties, may be duly prepared to meet you in worship, and that our rest here upon earth may be a preparation for the eternal rest promised to your people in heaven; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Morning Reading: Ephesians 6:10-24 (NLT)
The Whole Armor of God
A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.
And pray for me, too. Ask God to give me the right words so I can boldly explain God’s mysterious plan that the Good News is for Jews and Gentiles alike. I am in chains now, still preaching this message as God’s ambassador. So pray that I will keep on speaking boldly for him, as I should.
To bring you up to date, Tychicus will give you a full report about what I am doing and how I am getting along. He is a beloved brother and faithful helper in the Lord’s work. I have sent him to you for this very purpose—to let you know how we are doing and to encourage you.
Peace be with you, dear brothers and sisters, and may God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you love with faithfulness. May God’s grace be eternally upon all who love our Lord Jesus Christ.
Be strong and prepared.
Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor
so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.
– Ephesians 6:10-11 –
Sooner or later every believer discovers that the Christian life is a battleground. The enemy we face is not only within (the flesh) and without (the world), but the enemy also resides in the heavenlies (the devil) – we are engaged in a cosmic struggle, or confrontation, with evil. Truth be told, we are no match for the devil whose seeks to deceive and destroy us. The Good News is – God IS more powerful, and greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world.
The purpose of accepting the equipment that God provides for waging spiritual warfare is to be strong and prepared for the devil’s attacks. How has God armed us?
- with Truth – against lies and deceit
- with Righteousness – against disrespect and abuse
- with Peace – against hatred and division
- with Faith – against fear and doubt
- with Salvation – against condemnation and death
- with God’s Word – against temptation, to resist the devil
- with Prayer in the Spirit – against isolation from God and other believers
Questions for consideration:
- All believers face spiritual warfare at one time or another. What has been your personal experience? Please explain.
- What equipment has been most helpful to you against spiritual warfare in the past? Please explain.
- What equipment do you need now for God’s protection against spiritual warfare? Please explain.
- How can you prepare yourself today against the strategies and schemes of the devil? Please explain.
Morning Prayer: – Prayer for Protection
Father, I come to You today, bowing in my heart, asking for protection from the evil one. Lord, I am assailed moment by moment with images on television, the internet, books and newspapers that leave me vulnerable to sin of every kind. Surround me with Your divine hedge of protection. Encompass me round about with Your strength and Your might.
Let all who take refuge in You be glad, let them ever sing for joy. And may You shelter us – that those who love Your name may exult in You. For it is You who blesses the righteous man, O LORD, You surround him with favor as with a shield.
Thank you, in advance, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
“Hymn Of St Patrick” – Dwight Beal
May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.
+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen