Ephesians 6:13-17 – Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.
I am a law enforcement officer in northern Georgia, USA. I am preparing to speak to a youth group concerning putting on the full armour of God. I have learned that the Roman soldiers, much like the British knights, had a certain order in which they dressed, a routine. I too have found that this is a part of my daily "officer survival" routine. It is almost ritualistic, but I never forget my equipment. I put on my pants, undershirt and garrison belt. I shine my shoes, and put on my ballistic vest, my uniform shirt, my pistol belt, and my boots. I check my pockets for essentials, do an equipment check on my pepper spray and baton, do a press check to ensure my weapon is loaded, and then off I go.
When I start my tour of duty, I pick up the microphone of my police radio and tell the dispatcher that I am "10-8" or in service. All day, as I do battle, I am attached to my safety line, my lifeline, of communication. I have a radio in my car and another on my belt. If I need assistance, all I have to do is ask and it comes, and if I am needed to perform my duties as an officer, the dispatcher sends me and I faithfully go.
I have used the police analogy before to speak to young people, because they don't see Roman soldiers every day, but they do see police officers. While I was thinking about it, it came to me how important that last part of Ephesians 6 is, the part that talks of prayer. I would be lost without my radio, and I would be useless as an officer if dispatch could not send me where I was needed. It came to me that communication is bi-directional and that this was how my prayer life needs to be, especially if I am to do effective spiritual police work.
Prayer: Lord, as we do spiritual battle in Your name, alert us to the need to listen for Your instructions as we communicate with You in prayer. Amen.