Praying on the full armor of God

By Anthony Hopp  ·  Dec 21, 2023

All Scriptures are from the New International Version translation unless otherwise noted. Prayers are adapted from material by Northwoods Community Church in Peoria, Illinois.

Second of two parts.

In October, we looked at Paul’s exhortation in Ephesians 6:10-13 to put on the armor of God in order to stand against the devil’s schemes. We also looked at Paul’s reminder that spiritual battles are not with other people, and that in order to wear the armor, action is required on our part—we have to put it on!

This month, I’ll offer some suggestions on how to pray through each of the six pieces of armor one at a time. For each piece, I’ll share a brief thought, a few Scriptures related to the piece of armor being discussed, and a sample type of prayer.

The Belt of Truth

Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist …

(Ephesians 6:14a).
belt

The very first piece of armor that we put on is the Belt of Truth. The Belt of Truth is essential because it keeps everything else in place so we can fight effectively. The foundation of our faith in Christ is built upon the truth of God’s Word. Walking in the truth enables us to identify the lies of the evil one. Just like the expert who can identify counterfeit currency because he has studied the real thing, we study, read, memorize, and meditate on His truth so that we recognize any and every thing that is contrary to His Word. Because he is the father of lies, his schemes hinge upon deception and falsehood. But when we know the truth of who God is, what He has done, and who we are in Christ, we will be able to stand firm against the enemy.

Scriptures to meditate on:

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32).
Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long (Psalm 25:5).
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6).

Prayer

In Jesus' name, we put on the Belt of Truth and pray that we may be centered in and encircled by Your truth today. By Your power, enable us to walk in Your truth and to give no place to deception or the lies of the enemy. Protect us by the truth of Your Word.

The Breastplate of Righteousness

… with the breastplate of righteousness in place …

(Ephesians 6:14b).
breastplate

This righteousness is both positional and practical, justifying and sanctifying. The Puritan writers called it imputed and imparted righteousness: Positionally, Jesus’ righteousness is necessary for us to even enter the fight. His righteousness is pure, holy, and perfect. And, according to 2 Corinthians 5:21, it’s applied to us. “God made Him (Jesus) who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him, we might become the righteousness of God.” We can now clothe ourselves with the righteousness of Christ!

But there’s also a practical, imparted, sanctifying righteousness as well when we, empowered by the Holy Spirit, live a righteous life. The Breastplate of Righteousness guards our hearts and our emotions. We won’t allow our hearts to attach to anything that is impure. We won’t allow our emotions to rule in our decisions. Instead, we will set them on what is right, good, and just. We will live today by what is true, not by what we feel.

Scriptures to meditate on:

This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe (Romans 3:22a).
You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness (Romans 6:18).
The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever (Isaiah 32:17).

Prayer

In Jesus' name, we put on the Breastplate of Righteousness. We praise you, Lord Jesus, that we are covered with Your righteousness today in our bodies, souls, and spirits. We now pray that, by the power of Your Holy Spirit, our lives would show forth the righteous fruit of Your presence. Guard our hearts, for it is the wellspring of life. Strengthen and protect the most vulnerable places in our lives with that which is right, good, and noble so we might not receive a fatal blow from the enemy.

The Shoes of Peace

… and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace (Ephesians 6:15).
boots of peace

No soldier would ever think to go into battle without the proper footwear. Josephus described the Roman soldier’s shoes as being thickly studded with sharp nails so as to ensure a good grip, allowing the soldiers to undertake long marches at incredible speed over rough terrain. Just as physical shoes give our feet protection from rocky terrain, the Shoes of Peace we’re putting on give us spiritual protection in the midst of our spiritual battles. But the shoes aren’t just defensive. The iron nails hammered into the sole allowed the soldier to inflict damage. Romans 16:20 says, “The God of peace will soon crush satan under your feet.” That’s now possible because we’re wearing the Shoes of Peace.

Scriptures to meditate on:

“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you (Isaiah 26:3).

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7).

Prayer

Lord, we’re putting on the Shoes of Peace. We choose to stand on the firm foundation of Jesus Christ and the good news of His amazing grace. In Jesus’ name, we claim over our hearts and minds the peace of God that transcends all understanding. We cast down every anxious thought today, and as we walk in the gospel of peace, we pray that You would make us ready to share Your good news with others.

The Shield of Faith

In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one (Ephesians 6:16).
The fact that we’re attacked with fiery arrows should not be surprising. Peter said, “Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you” (1 Peter 4:12, NLT).
shield

What a comfort it is to know that we are protected with God’s Shield of Faith and that the shield that we take up is not a small circular one but a large, oblong shield that protects our whole body. Remember, faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see (Hebrews 11:1). And because spiritual battles are fought against unseen forces of evil in heavenly realms, we must exercise faith in Christ’s power and might and trust that He will surround us with His favor and His protection! Even though the evil one flings flaming arrows at us, they will not reach their mark. Before they can even hit our Breastplate of Righteousness, we will raise our Shields of Faith and extinguish and knock every single one of those arrows down. No weapon formed against us will land on us, work against us, or wound us.

Scriptures to meditate on:

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see (Hebrews 11:1).
Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong (1 Corinthians 16:13).
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings (1 Peter 5:8-9).

Prayer

We take up the Shield of Faith this day and in Your name, Jesus, we extinguish every dart and arrow by which the enemy would seek to take us down spiritually, physically, mentally, or emotionally. We lift the Shield of Faith against every arrow directed at us, our families, our churches, this ministry, our health and possessions, or any part of our domain. We bind every fearful thought in Jesus’ name and choose rather to walk by faith and not by sight.

The Helmet of Salvation

Take the helmet of salvation … (Ephesians 6:17a).
helmet of salvation

One of the evil one’s most effective weapons against us is discouragement, but when we’re equipped with our Helmet of Salvation, it’s hard to stay discouraged. In addition to protecting us from discouragement, we’re protected from evil thoughts, doubt, fear, and against the desire to give up. The Helmet of Salvation gives us hope not only in knowing we are saved, but that we will be saved in this battle because God has already triumphed! Praise God for the gift of salvation we have through Jesus Christ! Satan was already defeated when Jesus on the cross declared “It is finished” (John 19:30). The atonement for our sins was made and the penalty was paid. And now we have freedom, forgiveness, and salvation through Christ!

Salvation is the ultimate blow of defeat to the enemy. This is why we can declare there is now no condemnation for us because we are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). And we can confidently proclaim, “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:55).

Scriptures to meditate on:

For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 5:9).
“And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Acts 2:21).
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).

Prayer

Lord, as we put on the Helmet of Salvation, we pray that You would protect our minds from thoughts that could lead us astray. We choose to take every thought captive to Jesus Christ and to reject any thought, notion, or idea that is not from You. Transform our minds by the power of Your Word and grant us hope-saturated minds so that we may truly overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. This day, in the name of Jesus, we bind and refuse all depressed, despairing, defeated, and discouraged thinking.

The Sword of the Spirit

… and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Ephesians 6:17b).
sword

Have you ever noticed that the armor of God begins and ends with truth? The first piece of the armor of God is the Belt of Truth. The last piece of the armor in Ephesians 6:17 is the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. As warriors of the Word, we can use the Sword of the Spirit to fight our battles with God’s truth and power. This is precisely what Jesus did in the wilderness for 40 days when He was tempted by the evil one. David Guzik writes that, “Not only did the Spirit give us the Scriptures, but also He makes them alive to us ... and He equips us with the right thrust of the sword at the right time.” Each moment we spend time reading, speaking, and meditating on His Word, we are wielding our swords and preparing for battle!

Scriptures to meditate on:

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart (Hebrews 4:12).

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Prayer

Finally, we take up the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Lord, we ask for the insight, wisdom, and revelation to wield Your Word skillfully against every scheme of the enemy. Thank You that Your word on our lips has the power to defeat every attack of the enemy!

Concluding prayer

Now as we’re all suited up, Abba, we thank You for equipping us with everything we need to win our battles this day! We praise You that we are protected by the full armor of God. We now stand firm on Your promise that no weapon formed against us shall prosper. In Jesus’ mighty name, amen!

Illustrations: David Nielsen/Samaritan Ministries

Anthony Hopp is executive editor of the Samaritan Ministries newsletter and chief purpose officer for the ministry.