God's Armor, Not Ours - Part 7 (Spear of Prayer and Supplication)
In Ephesians 6:18-20, in just three verses Paul uses some form of the word pray, five times. Paul does not display prayer as a weapon or Roman gear piece like the other pieces mentioned. However, I believe the reader cannot avoid the conclusion that Paul had one last major item that could be metaphorically applied to prayer - The Spear.
This idea comes from Mr. Rick Renner and I will be summarizing thoughts from his chapter - The Lance of Prayer and Supplication within his book, Dressed To Kill.
The Roman spear or lance came in a variety of different sizes, shapes and lengths. Modifications went all the way to adding more iron to the correct part of the weapon in order to either throw it further, create more damage or both.
The different variety of spears or lances in the Roman army represented different strategies to approach their enemy. One of the many known Roman army spears was the Pilum. This was a distance specialist weapon. The pilum was six feet long and all iron - shaft and spear-head. Another one at their disposal was the Vegetius - a 3.5 to 5.5 foot lance used for close-quarters-combat.
Because the last emphasis of Paul's instruction is prayer and the last gear piece/weapon not mentioned is the Roman soldier's spear or lance, marrying the two seemed logical to me also as I studied Mr. Renner's research.
As you can imagine, there were more than just two types of spears in the Roman arsenal. Likewise, there are a variety of different prayers that the Christian can use to thrust or hurl at the enemy in our ongoing spiritual struggle. Ephesians 6:18 is better translated in the New Internation Version as saying - "And pray in the spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests." Mr. Renner provides six types of prayer found in the New Testament that the believer can utilize in his/her daily faith journey.
1. Prayer of Consecreation
2. Prayer of Petition
3. Prayer of Authority
4. Prayer of Thanksgiving
5. Prayer of Supplication
6. Prayer of Intercession
Be advised, "no one kind of prayer is better than the others. Rather, each serves a different purpose and is necessary for the life of faith." (p.442, Renner)
Remember, results will vary, but God always answers and is always on time. If Christians ever really get a grasp on the power they possess in prayer - the respectful communication between humans and God - then look out "powers of this dark word" and "spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms". As Paul instructs, so I strongly encourage "pray always" and "with all different kinds of [spears] prayers and requests."
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