The Priestly Armor of God

What did Paul have in mind when he described the armor of God, a Roman soldier or a Levitical priest? This article seeks to shed light on a widely held misconception concerning the armor God provides for us.

by William L. Nowell

The Armor of God:

Finally, my brothers, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 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. (Ephesians 6:10-18 MEV)

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Weapons of Warfare

Bible commentators routinely compare the armor of God to that of a Roman soldier. But, the Apostle Paul made it abundantly clear that “the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood]. Our weapons are divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses”. (2 Corinthians 10:4 AMP) So why would he stress that our weapons are not physical, and then assign us physical weapons for spiritual warfare? So, what could he have had in mind if not Roman military armament? I contend that he had something far more spiritual in mind.

First, we ought to remember that the Apostle Paul was “a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee.” (Acts 23:6) Being a Pharisee meant he was a Bible scholar whose job it was to know, teach, and interpret all of God's laws. Thus, we know Paul had an in-depth knowledge of the Hebrew Scriptures and the sacred garments of the Levitical priesthood. (Exodus 39:1-31) What's more, we know that Peter viewed Believers as both a holy priesthood and a royal priesthood. (1 Peter 2:5, 9, c.f. Exodus 19:6) Therefore, it's perfectly reasonable to assume that Paul also thought of Christians as a holy and royal priesthood, serving our God and King. No doubt, Paul was painfully aware of the fact that Roman soldiers were thoroughly unholy. So, how could he even imagine a holy priesthood wearing Roman military armor? Priestly garments are far more appropriate for a holy priesthood.

In this article, first, I will discuss what we must do to prepare for spiritual battles. (Ephesians 6:10) Next, I examine each part of the priestly armor of God by comparing scripture with scripture; after all, popular opinion does not determine the truth of God's Word. (Ephesians 6:11-17) Lastly, I look at the often-overlooked essential power source needed to energize the weapons of our warfare. (Ephesians 6:18)

Picture of  a High Priest
Armed and ready for spiritual warfare.

Be Strong in the Lord

“Finally, my brothers, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.” (Ephesians 6:10 MEV)

Paul commands us to be strong, but not strong in ourselves. Instead, we draw strength for spiritual battle from our union with the Lord. In other words, being strong (i.e., continually empowered) in the Lord begins with us abiding in the Lord. John 15:4-6 says, "Remain in (abide, stay joined to) Me... For without Me, you can do nothing." Satan is a formidable foe, and we, on our own, are no match for him. However, in the power of His might, we have victory.

We cannot abide in the Lord unless we remain in fellowship with Him. And true fellowship cannot exist unless there is two-way communication. God communicates with us through His Word, and we communicate with Him through prayer. Prayer is the mechanism God has given us to tap into His power. Therefore, it is imperative that we utilize the power of prayer as we wage war against unseen forces. I will address prayer in the final section of this verse-by-verse exposition of the armor of God.

Our Spiritual Arsenal

“Put on the full armor of God that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.”... “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.” (Ephesians 6:11, 13 CSB, MEV)

Notice that Paul tells us to put on the full armor of God. Then only two verses later, he reiterates his command by telling us to take up the full armor of God. Clearly, it is our responsibility to put on / take up the armor. God does not clothe us in His armor as though we are helpless little children. Instead, it is up to us to clothe ourselves in His armor. As we examine each part of the armor, you will learn how to put on that part of the armor.

Also, notice that Paul didn't tell us to put on some or even most of the armor; he told us to put on all the armor that God gives. Simply wearing some of the armor, or even most is not an option; we must put on each and every piece of the armor. For instance, if the enemy takes a fatal headshot when we are not wearing the helmet of salvation, the rest of our armor won't matter.

What is the reason for putting on the full armor of God? It is so that we are able to stand against the schemes of the devil. Remember it's important that we “Be clearheaded and alert at all times. This is because your enemy, the devil, is on the prowl like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour”. (See 1 Peter 5:8) Also, keep in mind that Satan is both a powerful and experienced foe. He began deceiving mankind with subtle trickery in the Garden of Eden. Since then, his destructive tactics have only escalated. He knows what works and will use any means necessary to achieve his goals. Thus, we have no chance of defeating Satan, an exceedingly formidable foe, unless we use the weapons of warfare that God supplies. His weapons of warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but are powerful through God for the demolition of strongholds.

Now we are ready to take a deep dive into each part of the armor that God provides.

Belt of Truth

“Stand therefore, having your waist girded with truth...” (Ephesians 6:14 MEV)

Paul's inspiration for our first piece of armor is most likely the Messianic prophecy found in Isaiah 11:1-5. (C.f. Isaiah 11:10; Matthew 1:6; Rev 5:5, and Rev 22:16, then connect the dots.) Isaiah 11:5 says, “Righteousness shall be the belt of His loins, and faithfulness the belt of His waist.” In other words, the Messianic prophecy describes our Messiah Yeshua (Jesus) as girded in righteousness and faithfulness.

Also, you probably noticed that the Isaiah passage does not contain the word truth. So how could this be Paul's inspiration for Ephesians 6:14? Not to worry. The Hebrew word “emunah” translated as faithfulness in the Isaiah passage also translates as truth multiple times in the Old Testament. According to Strong's Hebrew Lexicon, the NKJV translates “emunah” into English as faithfulness 21 times. However, the NKJV also translates “emunah” into English as truth 15 times. So Isaiah 11:5 actually does contain the word for truth. And so Yeshua, our Great High Priest, girds Himself with righteousness and faithfulness/truth. Similarly, the Levitical priests' holy garments included a sash worn around the waist, a “belt of truth” if you will. (See Exodus 28:4)

The question remains, what is truth? We can define truth as the whole body of doctrine contained in the Scriptures. And we know this because Yeshua (Jesus) said, “Your word is truth”. (John 17:17) Furthermore, Yeshua (Jesus), the personification of the word of God, clearly said, “I am the way and the truth and the life.” (John 14:6) Therefore, Yeshua (Jesus) is the source of all truth. And so, when we learn, understand, and apply the teachings of Yeshua (Jesus), we gird ourselves with the belt of truth.

Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (James 1:22)

The truth is vital not only for spiritual warfare but also for our daily Christian walk. Without the truth, we are vulnerable and easily “carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes”. (Ephesians 4:14)

Lastly, I think it's worth mentioning that the original Greek text of Ephesians 6:14 does not contain the Greek word for “belt,” which is zōnē. Nevertheless, the “belt of truth” is a common phrasing used when discussing the armor of God. That brings us to the next piece of the armor of God, which is the breastplate of righteousness.

Breastplate of Righteousness

...having put on the breastplate of righteousness... (Ephesians 6:14 MEV)

Once again, Paul is likely referencing a passage in Isaiah. The prophet says, in Isaiah 59:17, “For He put on righteousness as a breastplate and a helmet of salvation on His head...” The “He” in this verse is the Lord (Yahweh), seen as a warrior clothed in armor. If Yahweh put on righteousness as a breastplate before waging war, then shouldn't we do the same? Likewise, we too must wear His breastplate of righteousness like a bulletproof vest before going into spiritual battle.

When we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior, God declares us righteous in His sight. This is imputed righteousness; we can't do anything to earn it. (See Romans 3:22; c.f. Romans 4:22-25, 2 Corinthians 5:21) His righteousness is a gift we receive by grace. However, there is another righteousness that comes through faith put into action. For example, “By faith Noah, being divinely warned about things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark to save his family, by which he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.” (Hebrews 11:7 MEV) Similarly, Abraham's faith in action was credited to him as righteousness. (See James 2:21-23)

Likewise, it is through faith in action that we put on the breastplate of righteousness. Next-level faith in action is a byproduct of seeking God and His righteousness above everything else. (See Matthew 6:33) This means we must conscientiously study God's Word with the intent of applying it in our daily lives. As the Scriptures say, "For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous." (Romans 2:13 NIV)

Moreover, seeking His righteousness requires that we put off the old sinful nature. And in its place, we must put on the new nature, which is “created according to God in righteousness and true holiness.” (Ephesians 4:24) When we put off the deeds of our sinful nature, we put away greed, lying, stealing, bitterness, rage, malice, blasphemy, filthy language, and every sin that so easily entangles us. Then “clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” See Ephesians 4:17-32; c.f. Colossians 3:8-14).

Gospel of Peace

Having your feet fitted with the readiness of the gospel of peace... (Ephesians 6:15 MEV)

There's much to unpack in Ephesians 6:15, so let's begin by looking at the first keyword in this short phrase. The word “feet” implies activity or travel from place to place, e.g., “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” (Mark 16:15). Paul most likely drew his inspiration from the Isaiah passage “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who proclaims peace...” (Isaiah 52:7) In fact, Paul quotes the Isaiah passage when describing those who preach the gospel message to those who do not yet believe. (See Romans 10:14-15)

feet taking good news

Next, the word translated as “fitted” comes from the Greek word “hypodeō” which simply means to put on. Therefore, the CJB translates Ephesians 6:15 as “wear on your feet the readiness that comes from the Good News of shalom.” It's important that we know that Temple priests served with bare feet, not in sandals or any other footwear. This is reasonable in light of Moses' experience at the burning bush. In Exodus 3:5 God said to Moses “Do not approach here. Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” Likewise, when priests served in the Temple, they too stood on holy ground.

The next word we need to examine is “readiness.” The word “readiness” implies constant preparedness, as in “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have”. (1 Peter 3:15) Moreover, Colossians 4:5-6 tells us to “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” So we ought to be at all times prepared and in all places ready to live out the gospel of peace.

So next, we need to answer the question, what is the “gospel of peace”? Ephesians 2:13-18 describes the gospel of peace. First, the gospel of peace is the bond that unites believers in Christ. As a byproduct, it allows us to cast off all social constructs the world uses to separate us. For instance, race/ethnicity, socio-economic level, political affiliation, etc. are inconsequential to the mature follower of Christ (see Colossians 3:11). Instead, we are one in the Lord, and thus we are at peace with one another. In addition, Romans 12:18 says, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” In other words, our lives ought to reflect the gospel of peace to both Believers and non-believers alike.

Second, the gospel of peace is the good news that God sent His Son to serve as the mediator between God and mankind. (See 1 Timothy 2:5) Sin alienates unrepentant sinners from God. But, the shed blood of Messiah Yeshua (Jesus) paid the price for our sins, thus reconciling God and repentant sinners. It is indeed good news that, through the sacrifice of Christ, we now have peace with God.

Finally, the Bible describes a third aspect of the gospel of peace: inner peace. Consider that we have a plethora of promises on which to rest our cares in exchange for peace of mind. For instance, we don't fear death because we know that we have eternal life on the other side of death. (John 3:16, c.f. 2 Corinthians 5:8) However, challenging circumstances can cause stress and anxiety. It's in these times of trouble that we ought to rely on the promise of Philippians 4:6-7. These verses promise that if we pray rather than worry, God will give us a kind of peace that surpasses all understanding.

In summary, the gospel of peace is three-fold in that it creates peace between Believers, peace with God, and peace that transcends all understanding. Simply put, the gospel of peace is the good news that gives peace. And so, wherever we go, always dressed in the armor of God, we ought to be ready to spread the good news that gives peace.

Shield of Faith

In every situation take up the shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. (Ephesians 6:16 CSB)

At first glance, the shield of faith seems missing from the priest's attire. But is the shield actually missing? No, it is not. To see that the shield is not missing, you must understand that the Old Testament repeatedly describes God as our shield. For instance, Psalm 28:7 says, “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him …” Compare this to Genesis 15:1, 2 Samuel 22:31, Psalm 3:3, Psalm 18:2, Proverbs 30:5, etc., and you will see that it is God who is consistently described as a shield for those who trust in Him. And so it is by faith (i.e., our trust in Him) that we take hold of the power and protection of God, our shield.

Furthermore, we use the shield of faith to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one (i.e., Satan). As we've seen, the portion of scripture describing the armor of God is rife with symbols, including flaming arrows. So what are “flaming arrows”? Arrows, whether flaming or not, are anything the Adversary uses to inflict damage on Believers. An example of an arrow is doubt, as in “Did God really say …?” (see Genesis 3:1). After planting the seed of doubt in Eve's mind, Satan continued to bombard Eve with flaming arrows. Flaming arrows often come as temptations, labeled by the Apostle John as the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and pride of life. (See 1 John 2:16)

1 John 2:16

The lust of the flesh speaks of the desires of our sinful nature. In particular, the lust of the flesh refers to a preoccupation with gratifying sensual desires. Galatians 5:19-21 gives a list of works of the flesh, followed by the dire warning that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

The lust of the eyes is the covetous desire to have what we see. The Ten Commandments deal with the lust of the eyes in its prohibition against coveting. The 10th commandment says, “You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor's.” (Exodus 20:17)

The pride of life is anything that leads to a pompous sense of superiority, such as an arrogant pride in one's possessions or an obsession with one's status. “Keeping up with the Jones” bridges the gap between the lust of the eyes and the pride of life.

In the temptation of Eve, we see examples of the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. "When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasing to the eyes and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she gave to her husband with her, and he ate." (Genesis 3:6 MEV)

Upon examining Genesis 3:6, we find that Eve was tempted in the three areas John warned us of in 1 John 2:16. First, she saw that the tree was good for food. Even though the Garden of Eden provided abundant food, Eve was not satisfied and wanted more. Her attitude exemplified the lust of the flesh. Next, she saw that the tree was pleasing to the eyes. Though instructed to avoid eating from the tree, its' beauty lured her to it. Ensnared by its' beauty, Eve succumbed to the lust of the eyes. Lastly, her desire to become wise is a clear example of the pride of life. Finally, she surrendered to temptation by eating the forbidden fruit.

What's more, one of the realities of sin is that its effects spread like the damage done by a flaming arrow. Though an arrow does damage upon impact, a flaming arrow spreads its damage far and wide. Eve, not content with having sinned, gave Adam the forbidden fruit, and he ate too. Instead of simply taking God at His word, they listened to lies of the devil.

Satan effectively used doubt along with the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life on Adam and Eve. It worked in the Garden of Eden and it continues to work equally well today.

In Summary:

  • God is our shield,
  • We take hold of our shield by faith, and
  • We use our shield to protect ourselves from Satan's fiery temptations.

Helmet of Salvation

…and take the helmet of salvation, (Ephesians 6:17 ESV)

The “helmet of salvation” is an allusion to Isaiah 59:17; “He put on righteousness like a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on His head ...”. Here, Isaiah describes the Lord's armor, which includes a helmet of salvation on His head. I think it is no coincidence that the Hebrew word translated as salvation is “yeshua” — the proper name of our Savior Yeshua (Jesus). Consequently, when we take (i.e. receive) the helmet of salvation, we take upon ourselves the assurance of salvation found only in Yeshua (Jesus). (See Acts 4:12, c.f. John 14:6). But more than our eternal salvation, this helmet provides ongoing daily protection from the schemes of the devil.

Let us once again consider the priestly garments. On his head, the priest wore a turban of brilliantly white fine linen. Oftentimes, the Scriptures use white linen in a figurative sense for righteousness or purity, as in Revelation 19:8 (c.f. Revelation 3:4-5, etc.). In addition, attached to the front of the turban was a plate of pure gold engraved with the words “Holy to Yahweh” (see Exodus 28:36-39). The plate of gold on the priest's forehead served as a reminder that the priest, as an intermediary between God and the nation of Israel, must be holy, set-apart, and dedicated to the Lord. What's more, whenever the people came before the priest, the plaque on his forehead reminded them that they too must be holy as He is holy. (Leviticus 20:26, c.f. Leviticus 11:45) And like the priests of old, we, the redeemed of the Lord, will bear His name on our foreheads in the New Jerusalem (see Revelation 22:4, c.f. Revelation 3:12). His name on our foreheads is an eternal seal of our redemption through the blood of Christ our Savior.

Much like the priests of old, we too “are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession.” (1 Peter 2:9, c.f. Revelation 1:6) Therefore, we too must “be holy and blameless in His sight.” (Ephesians 1:4) As His royal priesthood, it is our obligation to be Holy to Yahweh — in mind, body, and soul.

The helmet of salvation, strategically placed on our heads, transforms us by renewing our minds; i.e., renewing our thoughts, attitudes, and ultimately our worldview. So, this naturally raises the question, what must we do to put on the helmet of salvation? The following excerpt from my article The Arm of Antiochus explains what we must do to receive the helmet of salvation.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. (Romans 12:2)

The apostle Paul advises us to (1) be transformed, and (2) do this by renewing our minds. Let's unpack each part of his statement. First, the Greek word translated as 'transformed' is the same word that forms the root of the English word “metamorphosis.” The radical transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly is descriptive of the type of metamorphosis God wants to create in our way of thinking and viewing the world. Let's look at three aspects of our transformation.

  • First, notice that the phrase 'be transformed' is in the present tense, indicating a continual transformation. So we see that our transformation is not a one-time only occurrence; instead, it is an ongoing process.
  • Second, the phrase 'be transformed' is passive. In other words, we are not the primary source of our transformation. Instead, our metamorphosis comes from outside of us. Simply put, it is God Who performs the metamorphosis.
  • Third, though God does the transforming, we nevertheless have a role to play. So how do we do our part in changing the way we think? How do we renew our minds? We do this primarily by immersing ourselves in the Word of God.

Transformation through renewed minds comes as the result of saturating our minds with the Word of God. There are no shortcuts or magical formulas for renewing our minds. We simply must take time and put forth the effort to fill our minds with God's Word.

Beyond transforming our minds by saturating it with the Word of God, we must also apply its teachings to all the circumstances in our lives. James 1:22-25 reminds us to be active doers of the word rather than forgetful hearers of the word. Furthermore, Yeshua likens those who hear the word and obey it to a wise man who built a house that was able to withstand all the storms of life. (See Matthew 7:24-27) Paul advised us to be strong in the Lord, fully able to stand your ground when the day of evil comes. However, in order to do that, it is imperative that we not only hear, but also apply the word of God in our everyday lives. And that brings us to the next piece of the armor of God, which is the sword of the Spirit.

Sword of the Spirit

...and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Ephesians 6:17 ESV)

The priestly garments described in Exodus 28:4-42 make no mention of a sword. But that's not a problem since the sword is the word of God. With this in mind, we get a better understanding of what Paul is telling us in Ephesians 6:17 by reading it the way he wrote it; i.e. in Greek. First, we need to know that there are two Greek words, logos and rhēma, which both translate into English simply as "word." The Greek word logos is a broad term covering the entire communication process, e.g. reading, writing, speaking, listening, etc. Rhēma, on the other hand, is a much narrower term meaning the spoken word. Hence, Paul is telling us that the sword of the Spirit is the spoken word of God. Moreover, the Scriptures say, “the word is very near to you, in your mouth, and in your heart, so that you may do it.” (Deuteronomy 30:14, c.f. Romans 10:8) And so, whenever the priest spoke the word of God, he wielded the sword of the Spirit.

In addition, teaching the statutes of the Lord was one of the duties of the priest. (See Leviticus 10:11, c.f. 2 Chronicles 15:3) Necessarily, he had to speak the word of God. Though there is no physical sword in the priest's attire, he nevertheless carried a sword in the form of the spoken word (rhēma) of God. But how do we wield the sword of the Spirit in our spiritual battles?

There's no better example than how Yeshua (Jesus) used the sword of the Spirit to defeat Satan than in Matthew 4:1-11 (c.f. Luke 4:1-13). Each time the devil tempted Yeshua (Jesus) He responded by saying, “it is written” and proceeded to quote a scripture appropriate to counteract the temptation. No doubt, Satan is a crafty adversary. Therefore, we would be wise to follow Yeshua's (Jesus') example if we are to stand firm against the devil's deceptive tactics. And so, Paul advises us to take “the sword of the Spirit, which is the rhēma of God.” Whether we speak it aloud or put it into action, we need the rhēma of God to stand against the devil's schemes.

The word (i.e. logos) of God, is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12). And like Yeshua (Jesus), we can use the spoken word (rhēma) of God to gain victory over temptation. But in order to do that, we must know what the word of God teaches, which we can do only if we immerse ourselves in it. But how many professing Christians take the time and effort to learn Scripture? According to a 2019 Lifeway Research study, only 32% of Protestant churchgoers daily read the Bible. Consequently, we've seen a proliferation of false teachers, heretics, and charlatans of every stripe infiltrating the church today. Wolves in sheep's clothing easily lead astray congregants who don't know what the Bible teaches.

Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Read your Bibles!

The Final Piece of the Armor — Prayer

Pray in the Spirit at all times with every kind of prayer and request. Likewise, be alert with your most diligent efforts and pray for all the saints. (Ephesians 6:18 ISV)

Most teachings on the armor of God end with the sword of the Spirit. However, immediately after telling us to take the sword of the Spirit, Paul tells us to pray. I contend that prayer is the final piece of the armor, and here's why.

high priest pic

First, Paul began his exposition of the armor of God by admonishing us to be strong in the Lord, not strong in ourselves. We cannot expect to outsmart and overpower Satan by relying on our strength. Instead, we must rely on the mighty power of the Lord to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. And the way we access His power is through prayer.

Second, priestly duties included making morning and evening sacrifices. As part of this daily ritual, the priest burnt incense on the altar of incense. It is important to recognize that throughout both the Old and New Testaments, incense is closely associated with prayer. For example, as Zechariah the priest was offering incense in the temple, “all the assembled worshipers were praying outside.” (Luke 1:10) However, the best example of incense as symbolic of prayer is Revelation 5:8. Here, in John's heavenly vision, he sees golden bowls filled with incense, which are the prayers of the saints. (C.f. Revelation 8:3-4) Similarly, Psalm 141:2 shows the connection between incense and prayer. Here David prayed, “Let my prayer be set forth before You as incense, and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.”

Furthermore, Exodus 29:42 describes the morning/evening sacrifices as continual burnt offerings. And since the priests burned incense as part of the morning/evening sacrifices, they in effect offered continual prayers. This sheds light on the scripture that tells us to pray without ceasing. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) Clearly, we cannot pray every second of the day. But we can pray continually, in the sense that the priests of old did; i.e., at the very least, we can pray daily in the morning and in the evening. What's more, when we pray, we ought not to selfishly pray for ourselves only, but for all the saints. The armor of God is a source of strength and protection for you and for all the saints.

Yeshua (Jesus), our High Priest, permanently atoned for our sins by sacrificing Himself for us. So now, we are to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, and acceptable to God. And in light of all He's done for us, it's only reasonable that we dedicate our lives to Him as an act of worship. (See Romans 12:1) As Believers, saved by the Lord of lords and King of kings, we belong to a holy priesthood and to a royal priesthood. (Revelation 17:14, 1 Peter 2:5, 9) So instead of dead animal sacrifices coupled with incense, we offer living sacrifices coupled with our prayers. But how should we pray for fellow Believers?

If you are ever at a loss for words and don't know how you ought to pray, use Colossians 1:3, 9-12 as a prayer template.

  1. Give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah for our family of Believers.
  2. Ask God to:
    • Fill them with knowledge of His will.
    • Give them all the wisdom and spiritual understanding they need.
    • Enable them to live in a manner worthy of the Lord and fully pleasing to Him.
    • Produce fruit in good works of every kind.
    • Give them an ever-growing knowledge of Him.
    • Strengthen them with His power; i.e., pray that they are strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. (Ephesians 6:10)
    • Give them great endurance and patience in times of trouble.
    • Fill them with joy and thankfulness.

That is how Paul prayed for the saints, and we would do well to follow his example. So, when we put on the armor of God, let's not forget to pray for all the saints.

The Big Picture

If we focus too much on the armor's imagery, we can easily lose sight of what's truly important. The belt, shield, helmet, etc. are simply metaphors to help the reader visualize our spiritual weapons. But, as we've seen, the armor of God is truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, faith, salvation, the word of God, and prayer. Each piece of the armor points us to Yeshua (Jesus). He is:

  1. The truth
  2. Clothed in righteousness
  3. The Prince of Peace
  4. Our shield, Who, we secure by faith
  5. Our salvation; His name Yeshua means salvation
  6. The complete Word (logos) of God, and finally, He is:
  7. Our "Commander-In-Chief" in this spiritual war; we, however, are merely foot soldiers who communicate with Him through prayer

Simply put, He, Yeshua (Jesus) is our armor! So now, let's wear the Armor by emulating Him 24/7. Whether or not we are aware of it, spiritual warfare is raging all around us. In this war, neutrality is not an option. Never forget, your enemy, the devil, is on the prowl like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Will you be his victim? Or will you be a victorious overcomer? The choice is yours. Choose victory. Put on the full armor of God.

Three Crosses