Words by our Priest-in-Charge:
“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil….praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints” Ephesians 6:11,18
The strength of a Roman garrison in ancient time was not in the strength of the individual soldier, but in the collective strength of the troop. The Romans mastered the art of combat by devising various formations to draw out the collective strength of their troops.
Paul, when he wrote in Ephesians Chapter 6 has very much this in mind. The use of the imagery of a Roman soldier immediately spoke volume to his readers at his times. The formidable strength of the Romans garrison, the strategies, the lethal attacks, etc were not unfamiliar to the Ephesians Christians. One of the features in Paul’s description of the armor is that the soldier is practically unprotected at his back. It is interesting to note that the shields that the Roman soldiers used are rectangle in shape and could be easily locked with another shield side by side. Once their shields are locked with one another, they protected each other and stand with each other.
This is such a beautiful picture to describe Christian prayers and intercessions. We are not meant to stand alone in the various challenges in life and our walk with the Lord. Standing alone, we are more vulnerable to the “schemes of the devil”. Standing together in prayers, i.e. praying for each other and covering each other in prayers and intercession, praying with each other, would render us a formidable strength to contend with the devil and all his kingdoms.
The second significant bit is about the only piece of weapon mentioned by Paul, the Sword of the Spirit. Though the Roman soldiers used other weapons such as spears, bow and arrows, only a piece of weapon for close-up combat is mentioned. It is therefore significant for us to understand that spiritual warfare and praying for each other requires us to get involved with direct combat with the enemy and for each other.
I therefore, encourage us to diligently pray for each other in the cells and at the Power Station. Unless we stand together, the enemy would have the advantage of waging war against us and our family separately. When we lock shields with each other, the strength of the Lord is multiplied among us.