Onward Christian soldiers,
Marching as to war,
With the cross of Jesus
Going on before! (LSB 662, refrain)
The refrain of “Onward Christian Soldiers” begs the question: Who is the enemy? How do we fight? Ephesians 6 answers these clearly. The war is against the devil and his hoards. The war is NOT against people. Not against people who disagree with us. Not against people who hate Jesus. Not against people who would harm us because we love Jesus. Not against people at all! The battle is against the devil and the dark spiritual forces of this world. This is really important for us to remember, especially in these days that we live in.
How do we fight? Again, Ephesians 6 gives us the clear answer: Pray. The battle is won from our knees. Luther says it best in the explanation to the Third Petition of the Lord’s Prayer: “How is God’s will done? God’s will is done when He breaks and hinders every evil plan and purpose of the devil, the world, and our sinful nature, which do not want us to hallow God’s name or let His kingdom come…”
Prayer allows us to fight the enemy. Let’s use it!
Dear Jesus, thank you for leading us into battle and hearing our prayers! Amen.