Guard duty. How I hated it. I despised it. That annoying interruption of the few hours of sleep a soldier gets in the field. One is asked to wake up, and be alert in the dark and silence, not to falling back asleep while guarding gear, personnel, or a location.
1. I will guard everything within the limits of my post and quit my post only when properly relieved.
2. I will obey my special orders and perform all of my duties in a military manner.
3. I will report violations of my special orders, emergencies, and anything not covered in my instructions to the commander of the relief. General Orders, Guard Duty, U.S Army
Man, how one always hoped the the relief would be on time, if not come early. Guard duty never seemed to go fast enough, while sleep never went slow enough. If one was lucky, one was on guard duty with someone, and so the time past by quicker. Also, with a partner there were two pair of eyes to watch out for the enemy, and extra ears listening for further instructions from the higher command through the radio.
Eph 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints
When one guards something, one already owns it. So, in this text, when it tells us to pray and watch, it is describing guard duty of territory we as a Christian body already own. We have Stood UP; we are no longer wrestling. We have Geared Up; we are no longer nude. No we must Stay Up; we must defend the ground we have been freed to occupy.
"Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit..." Eph. 6:18a
Prayer is the breath of the soul. In prayer there is a resting on the promise and the presence of God. For the Christian, prayer is not wrestling with God, for all the promises of God in Christ Jesus are Yes! and Amen! (2 Cor. 1:20). In war, one communicates with higher to receive the mission, and request support and supplies. Constant communication ensures you hear and are heard.
Therefore the text says we are to offer prayers and supplications. The first thing we offer is prayers, which means worship. Even in this warfare we wage worship is a weapon, and is to be used always by the believer. Worship is simply that...worth-ship. It is giving glory and honor and praise to the only One Who is worthy. Requests come after I have worshipped, and requests are different from worship. Worship is praise and honor given to the One who is already victorious. In worship we acknowledge the defeated nature of our foe, and that the place where we stand is holy territory. It is in requesting that we ask for provision for our warfare, support in our warfare, and/or deliverance from the warfare.We are to pray in the Spirit, which in my mind means we are to pray according to the leading of the Spirit. We as for what the Spirit asks for.
Eph 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ...
What this text says is that we have all the support and supplies we need. Additionally, because we are seated in heavenly places in Christ (Eph. 2:6) we now have the strategic geographic location for defense. When we are in Christ, Satan is fighting an uphill battle. We are asked to occupy and defend, and our weapon, our armor, is Christ Himself! This is why Paul says...
Rom 8:37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
Prayer is two-way communication. Not only do we speak to Jesus, but He also wants to speak with us. For us to stay prayed up is in reality to be in communion with the Victor, constantly receiving His assurance of our salvation, resting in this salvation, and informing Him of the attacks we are facing. For us to stay Prayed up is to shut up long enough to listen. Jesus will then give us directions how He will through us defend against an enemy He has already defeated. Prayer lets us rest in Him.
"...and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints." Eph. 6:18b
When one guard duty, one must watch for movement for encroachment: for an attack. The enemy is crafty, and the best time to attack is just at the setting sun, when darkness is coming, at the darkest point in the night, or just before dawn. The first and third situations are very tricky, because this is when fog and dew arise, the eyes are trying to keep up with the change in light. These are the times when everyone is either bedding down, or about to stir. The darkest point of the night is when everyone is in their deepest sleep. A good guard must be very alert, because the lives of other soldiers depend on him.
We are to be sleepless, not restless. Prayer should relieve restlessness, however there is never a time when we can be sleep. We must be alert, on guard. This does not mean we are tense, but we are aware of our surroundings. However, remember that this is done in the context of worship. The aggressive tendency of war is waged through worship, supplication, and watchfulness with perseverance.
We are to watch persistently in the midst of our worship and requests, for/on behalf of all the saints. Thus our worship, prayer, supplication is for more than just ourselves. Our elevated defensive position in Christ, all the armor, and all the worship and requesting is done for all the saints, not just me and my family. I wage war for others, with others.
Prayerful Worship and Requests for support and supplies: these are OUR General Orders!