| Ephesians 6:18
"Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit,
and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all
Verse 18. Praying always] The apostle does not put
praying among the armour; had he done so he would
have referred it, as he has done all the rest, . . . but he
does not do this, therefore we conclude that his
account of the armour is ended, and that now, having
equipped his spiritual soldier, he shows him the nec-
cesity of praying, that he may successfully resist those
principalities, powers, rulers of darkness of this world,
and the spiritual wickedness in heavenly places, with
which he has to contend. The paniply, or whole armour
of God, consists in, 1. the girdle; 2. the breast-plate;
3. the greaves; 4. the shield; 5. the helmet; and 6. the
sword. He who had these was completely armed, before
they engaged, to offer prayers, to the gods fro their
success, the apostle shows that these spiritual warriors
must depend upon the Captain of their salvation, and
pray with all prayer, i.e. incessantly, being always in the
in the spirit of prayer, so hat they should be ever ready
for public, private, mental, or ejaculatory prayer, always
depending on HIM who can alone save, and who alone
When the apostle exhorts Christians to pray with all
prayer, we may see at once that he neither means spirit
ual nor formal prayer, in exclusion of the other. Praying
refers to the state of the spirit as well as the act.
With all prayer] Refers to the different kinds of prayer
that is performed in public, in the family, in the closet, in
business, on the way, in the heart without a voice, and
with the voice from the heart. All these are necessary to
the genuine Christian; and he whose heart is right with
God will be frequent in the whole. "Some there are," says
a very pious and learned writer, "who use only mental
prayer or ejaculations, and think they are in a state of
grace, and use a way of worship far superior to any other;
but such only fancy themselves to be above what is really
above them; it requiring far more grace to be enabled to
pour out a fervent and continued prayer, than to offer up
mental aspirations." Rev. J. Wesley.
And supplication] There is a difference between . . .
prayer, and . . . supplication. Some think the former for
attainment of good; the latter, praying for averting evil.
Supplication however seems to mean prayer continued in,
strong and incessant pleadings, till the evil averted or
good communicated. There are two things that must be
attended to in prayer. 1. That it be . . . in every time,
season, or opportunity; 2. That it should be . . . in or
through the Spirit-that the heart should be engaged in
it, and that its infirmities should be helped by the Holy
Watching thereunto] Being always on your guard
lest your enemies should surprise you. Watch, not only
against evil, but also for opportunities to do good, and
for opportunities to receive good. Without watchfulness,
prayer and all the spiritual armour will be ineffectual.
With all perseverance] Being always intent on your
object, and never losing sight of your danger, or of your
interest. The word implies stretching out your neck, and
looking about, in order to discern an enemy at a distance.
For all saints] For all Christians; for this was the
character by which they were distinguished. (Adam Clarke,
Clarke's Commentary, A Classic Help of Better
Understanding of the Bible, Matthew - Revelations:
Volume VI, Romans to Revelation (Nashville: Abington
/ World Publishing, 1977, 472).
"Praying always with all prayer and
supplication in the Spirit," and
watching thereunto with all
perseverance and supplication for
all saints;" Ephesians 6:18
|". . .Supplication. . ."
|"Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, . . ."
|We need more perseverance in prayer (Ephesians 6:18). We must
ask until seventy times seven. How often we prayed and then said
to our heart. "What's the use of praying? There's no sign of
change in the wayward life so dear to me; no deliverance from my
own failure, or perplexities!" But we must pray on, wrestling like
Jacob, panting like David, hoping like Elijah, persistent like
Bartimaeas and the Syrophenician woman, crying with tears like
our blessed Lord Himself.
We can only prove the energies of prayer as it is of the right sort -
humble, believing, expectant and very persevering. Well might we
plead, "Lord teach us to pray!" Yet we are not to plead as though
success at heaven's court depended in chief upon the petitioner's
persistence and self-willed resolve to urge his own preference.
Answered prayer, like everything else of God, is all of grace. The
consciousness that the persistent prayer we pray is in harmony
with the will of God feeds the importunity Jesus commanded.
Herbert Lockyer, All the Prayers of the Bible, A Devotional and
Expositional Classic (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House,