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Soldiers do a lot of training. In order to function well in battle, they spend hours each year training on various things. For instance, the training the United States Marine Corp delivers to its solders each year includes water survival, operations security, chemical/biological/nuclear defense, physical fitness, counter intelligence awareness, cyber awareness and rifle marksmanship.1 Although all the training is important, General Alfred M. Gray once highlighted the priority of combat skills with his famous saying “Every Marine is, first and foremost, a rifleman. All other conditions are secondary.”2 I bet, if you know a Marine, they have heard this saying!
The Christian life is compared to the equipment of a solder in Ephesians 6. There, the equipment of a Roman soldier illustrated the spiritual battle of life. In the passage, we are urged to take up the various pieces of “spiritual equipment” such as the belt of truth. Then we are commanded to stand firm and do one other thing. Pray. Prayer is not compared to the soldier’s equipment. It seems to be the essence of how we fight the spiritual battle. We are to pray at all times, according to verse 18. Romans 12:12 puts it another way, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” As we’ve learned, faithfulness is seen in continual action over time. So, don’t give up! Keep praying! We must first and foremost be people of prayer!
- “Annual Training and Education Requirements,” Marine Corp Bulletin 1500, February 20, 2015, https://www.marines.mil/Portals/1/Publications/MCBUL%201500%20DTD%2020FEB15.pdf
- Adam Levine, “U.S. Marine Slogans, Mottos, and Sayings,” Custom Ink, https://blog.customink.com/2012/11/marine-slogans-mottos-and-sayings/.
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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.