This is a continuation of the series on Fighting the Spiritual Battle in Prayer. The last “all” of Ephesians 6:18 is to pray for all the saints.
The spiritual war is not something we do all on our own—we battle as a body. The English language doesn’t convey this, but the verbs in this passage are the second person plural—Paul is commanding the entire church, not just an individual believer, to stand firm against the enemy.
It makes sense we need to pray for the whole church, pray as the whole church.
Theologian Charles Hodge said, “No soldier entering battle prays for himself alone. In like manner, Christians are united as one army, and each must pray for all.”
One of the most astounding verses in all of Ephesians is chapter 3 verse 10 that says it is through the church that “the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.”
This is saying that the way the spiritual powers in the universe will know the supremacy and wisdom of God is not through individuals—no matter who they are. It’s through the church.
The church testifies to the devil and his demons that God is glorious.
Because of this, we need to pray for others to stand firm against the enemy. We need to pray for others to believe the gospel and fight sin. We need to pray for others to love and serve the church as Christ desires because it is a powerful testimony to the entire universe that God is supreme.
Paul’s request for prayer in Ephesians 6:19 reminds us how vital it is that we pray for our leaders. In 1 Timothy 3, Paul shares qualifications for leaders in the church and he mentions the devil two times—because the devil loves to destroy our leaders in sin and scandal because it hurts the advance of the gospel.
Praying for all the saints doesn’t necessarily mean we can pray for every Christian on planet earth (that’d be a tall order!), but it does mean we should do as much as we can.
I have seen that many Christians desire to pray more for others but are not intentional at doing so, and so don’t. My encouragement for us here today is to get intentional. Get a list of members at your church and pray for a few a day. Make your own system to pray more for others. Maybe on Monday you pray for your family, Tuesday your pastors, Wednesday the children’s ministry, Thursday your small group, and so on. Find a system that works for you and pray for all the saints.
We need to pray at all times, in all prayer, with all perseverance, for all the saints.