Ephesians 6:18b – Be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all saints.
Throughout the New Testament, the verb “to pray” carries a number of meanings. A few examples are to ask, make request, to desire, beseech, and to call to one’s aid. The word “intercession” is used often in today’s church. It speaks of requests made on behalf of others. The Scriptures do not speak of an office of “intercessor.” The Holy Spirit leads individuals to make petition on behalf of others. Some are led by the Spirit to pray on behalf of nations. Nations include people groups coming to a revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Holy Spirit is the sole interpreter of the needs of the human heart. He makes intercession on behalf of the saints. Prayer is impossible to man apart from the Spirit’s help: “The Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groaning too deep for words” (Romans 8:26). Believers are exhorted to pray at all seasons in the Spirit (Ephesians 6:18; cf. Jude 20). “The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much” (James 5:16).
Paul teaches that prayer is made from two sources. “For I will pray with the spirit and I will pray with the mind also; I will sing with the spirit and I will sing with the mind also” (1 Corinthians 14:15). When Paul speaks of the mind, he is speaking of his understanding. Paul is saying that there are areas of need of which we are aware in our minds. We don’t need a special revelation to pray. Just pray! There are other needs of prayer which come by revelation through the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Paul is speaking of his own “spirit” praying and singing. In the context of the chapter, he is addressing the subject of the private use of tongues.
Just as Paul said in Ephesians 6:18, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all saints. This is one of our assignments, beloved. As we put on the armor of God daily, let us make sure we do not neglect this exhortation. This would be a good time to commit or recommit yourself to a lifestyle of prayer. Prepare for the battle! The war is on with the kingdom of darkness. The saints of God must be engaged in the battle or suffer loss.
Father, I pray for Your help to cause me to be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all saints. Grant boldness to all Your servants throughout the world to be given utterance to make known the mystery of the gospel. Give me that boldness as well to witness Your love revealed in Jesus Christ our Lord.