Word@Work, Let God's Word energise your working day!

In Mind and within Sight

Ephesians 6:18b
With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all (NIVUK)

When you see, ..."with this in mind" we should ask, "what is the 'this'"?  Paul has just explained that the opposition faced by Christians is nothing personal to them.  But it is personal between the devil and the Lord. Because we belong to Jesus, Satan insults Jesus by attacking us (John 15:18-21).  Often the devil uses other people - but they are not the problem (Ephesians 6:12); it is the Evil One who is getting to us through what they may say or do.  We cannot resolve the matter by attacking people, but we can be completely protected by the armour that God provides.  In the end, it is God who fights for us (Exodus 14:14); we just have to stand firm, trusting in all that Jesus has done for us, and using His Word of truth to counter the lies of Satan (John 17:15-17).

As the evil onslaughts are not going to go away (until Jesus returns), we need to be always vigilant, and keep our armour on.  Alertness is essential for every Christian. We may not know from which direction the next attack may come ... but it will come, so we need to be ready (1 Thessalonians 5:6).  We need to be spiritually awake, not hypnotised into a spiritual sleep by focussing on worldly ambitions or fleshly desires (Ephesians 5:8-18).  Believers who think they are immune to temptation and strong enough to handle every circumstance are sleepwalking into a spiritual trap.  The wise Christian admits weakness and puts on God's whole armour each day (Ephesians 6:13-17).

However, that is not all.  We are not alone in this.  We have many Christian brothers and sisters who are also being attacked by Satan's schemes.  Many of them we do not know personally, but when we hear of persecution and hardship, even in countries that we have never visited - we have a responsibility to pray for them.  Pray too for church leaders who are often under attack (Ephesians 6:19).  As we pray, God responds in grace and power.

Some Christians we do know well.  We work with them every day.  We have a special responsibility to pray for them, and to let them pray for us.  The workplace Christian Fellowship has a major role in encouraging us to do this.  We also need to pray for the business or organisation we work for too.  Every manager, from foremen to director, needs God's help lest they unwittingly get caught up in evil schemes which will hurt them and many others.  Jeremiah 29:7 says, "Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile.  Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper."  Such prayer may well be of more help to the company than working late every night!  And if there are other believers in your workplace, ought you not to pray for them and with them?

Father God. Thank You for this reminder of the spiritual battle which constantly rages around me; and of the need to pray so that You will have the victory. Forgive me for being slow to pray for my colleagues and for the workplace where You have put me. Help me to learn a discipline that will encourage me to pray regularly for those at work, so that You will act in mercy and grace towards us and that Your Name will be glorified. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Bible Book: 

© Dr Paul Adams