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Praying the names for Jesus

A Commentary by Constance Vanides

"But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts." (Romans 13:14)

Early in my Christian walk, a mature Christian suggested I should begin each day by putting on "the whole armor of God." She was, I discovered, taking a cue from the apostle Paul who, in closing his epistle to the Ephesians, gave the command, "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles (schemes) of the devil." (Ephesians 6:10-11)

It didn't take me long as a new believer to find out about those "spiritual hosts of wickedness" (Ephesians 6:12) who hover about looking for someone to destroy. (1 Peter 5:8) They tried to put a wedge between my husband and me, taking advantage of our weaknesses.

God sent an angel first to my husband, Tom, for protection lest cast-out spirits of evil took a notion to return in greater numbers. To me, the Holy Spirit sent a rebuking word of caution against returning to old confrontational habits. But, then, that's another story!

It soon became natural for me to put on the "full armor" daily after my morning shower. To this day while drying myself, I pray that each part of my body be protected. First, I take off my shower cap and replace it with the "helmet of salvation." I continue from there, putting on the "breastplate of righteousness", the "girdle of truth", taking the "shield of faith" and the "sword of the Spirit", ending at my feet shod with the "preparation of the gospel of peace".

For about twenty years I've continued this routine. I must be a slow learner because it's only been recently that the Holy Spirit, my faithful Teacher, finally got to me, to explain what "putting on the full armor" actually means. Each thing I put on, He revealed, is a name for Jesus!

The helmet is the Salvation (Titus 2:11) that is Jesus; the breastplate of Righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21) is what He is, given to those who believe; the girdle or belt of Truth (John 14:6) is Jesus Himself. I can count on the shield of Faith to protect me because He is Faithful. (1 Corinthians 1:9) The sword, the very Logos of God, is the Word (John 1:1) to use in power and strength; and, finally, in the shoes that take me out to the world, I can declare, "And this One shall be Peace." (Micah 5:5)

I'm dressed. I'm ready. My covering is JESUS!

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© Constance Vanides