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Yesterday I preached on the passage from Ephesians 6: 10-20, which outlines the armor of God.  I think that too often we interpret these things to be offensive weapons, and of course they are when needed, but it seems to me that they are primarily defensive.  Just like the police wear a bullet proof vest, or firefighters wear heat proof clothing. 

My favorite reference Bible is the Renovare Spiritual Formation Bible.  Regarding this passage, the commentators in the Renovare write:  To survive in the land of spiritual formation we must grow deep into the soil of prayer.

To this I would add….This folks is not optional.  We MUST grow deep into the soil of prayer.  This is the message for all times, and all people…. to engage in all the spiritual and prayer disciplines with all perseverance.  We are people of the Word and our lives are framed and shaped by prayer and God’s word.

So I thought that the best task for this week’s acrostic prayer is to use the various items of “spiritual clothing” that are provided for us in the Spiritual Disciplines.

helmet of salvation
breastplate of righteousness
shoes of the gospel of peace
the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God
shield of faith

heavenly Father
eternal Lord
life giving Spirit
my whole being sings your praise
expressing my love for you
trusting you to provide all I need for powerful spiritual life

bring your word into my heart
redirect my thoughts until they are your thoughts
examine my heart
abolish my selfish desires
sweep through me with your cleansing spirit
touch me with the gift of faith
penetrate my being with your love
lead me along the paths of righteousness
adjust my will
teach me your ways
everlasting ways of peace, trust, love and hope

spirit, holy and wise
healer of heaven
only begotten son
everlasting father
summon me into your service

send me forth
work through me
occupy me in your service
reach through me into your world
depend on me to fulfill your will

spring forth in my heart
heal me with the joy of your spirit
invite me into your perfect will
energize me in your service
lift from me the anxiety of self doubt
dwelling within me until my heart and spirit soars.  Amen