Ephesians 6:18 Analysed

“Praying { Always
With all prayer
And supplication
In the Spirit
And Watching { Thereunto
With all perseverance
And supplication
For all saints

This verse is in brief simply “praying and watching”—two actions of the utmost possible importance for the Christian as he seeks to enjoy his place of blessing in the “heavenlies.” But, lest praying should degenerate into a form, and watching into a sentiment, and in order to secure a healthy and spiritual exercise of soul, he is to pray always, or (as in the New Translation) “at all seasons.” He is to be a man of prayer, habitually, continuously prayerful, praying at stated moments indeed, but praying always. He is to pray with all prayer, not a measured quantity or a fixed form. He must urge every plea and employ every motive. His whole soul must be in exercise. He must leave nothing untold.

And to this is added supplication. He is to be in earnest, importunate, as a starving man begging for bread, or as one whose need is overwhelming; he can take no denial. He feels the power of the enemy; he knows what is at stake; he wrestles; he pleads; he is in an agony of intercession. Again, he is to pray in the Spirit. He is therefore in Christian liberty, in power, in holy boldness, in gratitude, in intelligence. He fears no final defeat. He is with God, and God is with him.

Further, he is to “watch thereunto,” or (as in the New Translation) “to this very thing.” He must expect to receive at God’s hand; his eye must be open; be must he vigilant, observant, on the constant outlook for result. If a child should ask a father for bread, he anticipates a kindly answer to that “very thing.”

He is to watch with all perseverance! Two mighty words when flung together. How few persevere! Saul failed in it and lost his kingdom! It is the great test in Hebrews; and now the Christian must watch with all perseverance. The word in this form is used only here. My soul, persevere in thy watching! “He that waits on his Master shall be honoured.” God values confidence. He is to watch with supplication, or enduring constancy; he is to be unwearied; he must not lose sight of his object; his grip must be one of unrelaxed tenacity as he contemplates the great purpose in view. It is the good of “all saints” That is his field of labour! He must embrace the whole Church of God in his earnest praying and watching.

He may know but a few scores or hundreds of the saints; he may be associated with but a handful of them; but his affections and spiritual interests are to envelope all saints. “If one member suffer, all suffer; if one be honoured, all rejoice.” Such exercise expands and gladdens the heart! How superabundant the wording of our verse! May we pray and watch far better.

 “To wait on God no time is lost,
    Wait on!”