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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Today’s Scripture Reading | Ephesians 6:10–20

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 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. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. 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. Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 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.

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, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it boldly, as I must speak. (NRSV)

Reflection
I have a memory of this Bible verse being the focus of a Sunday School lesson growing up. I’ll be honest: I didn’t like it very much. The teachers approached the lesson very literally. We went around to different stations making the belt of truth and the breastplate of righteousness. By the end of the hour, we had our very own “Armor of God” made out of construction paper and poster board. It fit poorly, and I felt ridiculous in it as they tried to take our pictures. I did not feel any more prepared to take on “the flaming arrows of the evil one.”

As I have grown into my faith I have come back to the passage and tried to discern what, in reality, is my “armor” that helps me take on whatever comes my way. What spiritual practices prepare me to be a Christian in this world? For me I try to remember that when life is getting me down and I don’t think I can stand any more—to pray and turn it over to God. Rely on your church community to help you through the dark times. Find peace in God’s amazing power through the beauty of creation around us.

What is your “armor” or toolbox for when things are challenging?

Prayer
God, help me to remember that you are there, even when things are tough. You give me the strength I need and tools for coping when I don’t feel like I can stand alone. Thank you for your many blessings. Help me to discern how to use them to further your purpose. Amen.

Written by, Katie Patterson, Youth Mission Coordinator

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