Praying for All Saints

Each Sunday night we and the congregation of believers to which we belong confess with one heart the Apostles’ Creed. The ninth article of this creed reads “I believe an holy catholic church”. This is a truth we confess with sincerity and joy each Lord’s Day.

As we gather for worship tomorrow, we will probably be standing among people who look much like we do. They act, speak, and live very similarly to us. Even though this is true, we truly believe, as we confess, that God gathers His church from all nations, races, cultures, and languages.

Yet how real is this truth to us? How much thought do we give to our brothers and sisters in Christ as they are scattered throughout the world?

Ephesians 6:18 tells us what the Christian should always be doing: “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.”

We belong to the church militant on earth, as Ephesians plainly teaches when it describes the armor of God in the verses immediately preceding verse eighteen. Prayer follows the six pieces of armor, not as a seventh piece, but as the “means by which each piece is effectively employed.”[1] For this reason, prayer is vital to any soldier’s success, for without it all other efforts, all the other pieces of armor, are in vain. What is particularly striking about this calling to pray is that we are not commanded to pray first for ourselves in our own personal battle, but for all saints, for our brothers and sisters in Christ, for our fellow soldiers. We are not fighting this battle alone, and one of our greatest assets is that we have the catholic church praying for us that we might be faithful, that we might persevere in our warfare together, as the body of Christ. So let us, tomorrow and always, pray for the catholic church, that she be gathered, that Christ may come again, and that the church militant become the church triumphant.

How amazing to think that as we worship tomorrow there are saints all over the world lifting their voices with us in worship of God! That there are saints all over the world praying for us as we also pray for them! That one day we will all gather around the throne of the holy God, singing His praises into all eternity.

Revelation 7:9,10 “And after this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; and cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.”

Emily Feenstra

[1] Borgman and Ventura, Spiritual Warfare, Reformation Heritage Books, 88.

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