Prayer for Realization of Our Sword and Shield
It is productive to look at the hopes and peace of David and Job in a time of supposed “last days.” The expected “ends” for each of them were not immediately in anticipation of the end of civilization, but the termination of their wealth, family, riches, worldly comfort, or position. Job, in his season of temptation, recalled the comfort of not neglecting the Word of God. In Job 6:10, he stated, “then I would still have this consolation – my joy in unrelenting pain – that I had not denied the words of the Holy One.”
David suffered similar earthly hopelessness when he was pursued by his son Absalom. In Psalm 3:3, he wrote “but thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head” in referring to his protection. In verse five, he noted his comfort when he was able to lie down and sleep “for the Lord sustained me.” He had the full realization of the peace and comfort in the deliverance of God by noting he “will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me” because “salvation belongeth unto the Lord.”
We are to have this same trust in our Savior and cast upon him all of our fears, issues, and worries. This prayer is a recollection and testimony of God’s provision and protection with His grace and mercy throughout our lives. By recalling His past provisions and sustenance, we have confidence and boldness that He is both able and willing to give us the armor, shield, and sword.
Prayer for the Strength of the Local Church
We have peace by surrounding ourselves with our brothers and sisters in Christ. When the church is strong, the surrounding communities are strong and thus are able to strengthen one another. Paul prayed for the church at Ephesians 3:14, “for this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.”
By modeling Paul’s prayer, we should make it our heart’s desire for the unobstructed filling of the Holy Spirit. In turn, this indwelling will naturalize our love for both the church and the lost. This “filling of the fullness of God” gives us full recognition and appreciation for God’s sovereignty, immutability, justness, and holiness. As a consequence, we will have great peace no matter the circumstances of our world. When writing about the “day of the Lord”, Paul wrote to the church at Thessalonica to “comfort one another with these words.” “These words” were assurances that Christ will not forget “his people.” Instead of the church focusing negatively and gloom, we should be strengthening each other with the words from scripture. By centering on these truths, we edify Him both in word and the way we live our lives as a testimony to the mortification of the empowerment of sin and the flesh over our souls.
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