Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Eph. 6:12)

Molly felt exhausted after the seminar on workplace emergencies required by her employer. Somehow, she had been elected safety monitor for her floor and needed to learn procedures for assisting her coworkers in case of tornado, fire, or earthquake. The other seminar attendees were similarly tired after a long day’s worth of lecture and media presentations, and took part only halfheartedly when handed a fire extinguisher and told to apply what they had learned on a simulated fire. Molly won a small door prize by following directions exactly—aiming the extinguisher directly at the base of the fire.

In your prayer life, are you aiming your efforts at the wrong target? When a friend is struggling in their walk with the Lord, you may be tempted to diagnose the “cause” of their problem, and pray that God would remove the people or situations you believe are guilty of drawing them away from Christ. However, behind the events you see with your physical eyes, other powers are at work. Ephesians 6 reveals the true nature of the battle; it’s first an invisible conflict, whose effects eventually become visible in people’s lives. In your prayer life, ask God to push back the “spiritual forces of evil” that drive the events you see, and to help you stand firm in your own commitment to Him.

Put on God’s full armor every day of your life.

Paul Zinter serves as a substitute teacher. He enjoys writing, bread making, and teaching at his local church.