August 23, 2016

Ephesians 6:10-20 John 6:56-69 “A Spiritual Battle?” The other day I was reading a reflection about our recent national church meeting, the General Assembly, and the writer mentioned that there were a couple of women praying throughout the meeting for the deliberations. Normally, I would have been happy and grateful to know that we were being held up in prayer as we met and made important decisions for the denomination. But the author referred to these praying women as “prayer warriors.” Maybe you have heard that term, or even used it yourself, but it made me a little bit uncomfortable. Given the context of the discussion of some difficult and controversial subjects, I wondered who these women were “warring” against with their prayers. Maybe against me, with my liberal views, or against the evil spiritual forces that were causing me to have such views! I was somewhat suspect of these “prayer warriors,” even though they were probably just praying for wisdom, and unity, and love in our deliberations. This Sunday’s text from Ephesians sets off some of the same feelings in me, because Paul seems to be inviting the Ephesians to get ready for a battle. As a person with more pacifist leanings, it doesn’t sit well when he starts talking about Christians putting on armour… a breastplate, and boots, a shield, a helmet, and even a sword. It reminds me of how uncomfortable I am singing hymns with militaristic language like, “Onward Christian soldiers… marching as to war…” But … Read more »