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Ephesians offers a picture of the Christian life as a battle. The Church encourages every Christian at their baptism to fight valiantly ‘against sin, the world and the devil’. We do battle against the evil which remains in our own lives. We do battle against the evil which is in the world. We do battle against the devil, who represents the spiritual forces of evil we cannot see.

Ephesians 6.10-20

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armour of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. 15 As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. 16 With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints. 19 Pray also for me, so that when I speak, a message may be given to me to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it boldly, as I must speak.

One translation of this line of the Lord’s Prayer is ‘deliver us from the evil one’. Sometimes, the evil which besets us seems not random, but to have a strategy to pull us down, accuse us or distract us.

The daily call to resist evil is a call to courage and to take seriously the challenges of living as a disciple. Ephesians offers help here through a picture of the armour of God: the qualities of truth, righteousness, salvation, peace, faith and the scriptures which shape our inner lives.

Turn Ephesians 6.10-20 into a prayer and put on the whole armour of God.

By your ministry in word and work;
by your mighty acts of power;
and by your preaching of the kingdom,
good Lord, deliver us.

From the Litany

Make an “Armour of God” pairs game. You will need 12 pieces of card or thick paper. Draw or paste a picture of a belt on one card, a breastplate on another, shoes, shield, helmet and sword on four more cards. On the last six cards write Truth, Righteousness, The Gospel of Peace, Faith, Salvation and The Word of God. Place the cards face down (so that you cannot see the pictures or words) and shuffle them around. Take it in turns to pick two cards. If you get a pair (e.g. shield and faith) you keep the cards. If not, put them back. The person with the most pairs wins.
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Reflections from the Church House Publishing Pilgrim Journeys: 40 Days of Reflections on The Lord's Prayer written by Steven Croft are copyright 2019, 2020 The Archbishops’ Council and used here with permission. Full details of both resources are available on the Church of England website.

Bible readings are taken from The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2020 The Church of England, All rights reserved.

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