I have found that in my own life, there is a difference in my spiritual strength depending on when I choose to read the scriptures and say my prayers. It is easy to forget, in our busy lives, to say a prayer or read the scriptures in the morning before we leave home. Yet I find that I need that strength in my life.
“Ere you left your room this morning,
Did you think to pray?
In the name of Christ, our Savior,
Did you sue for loving favor,
As a shield today?”
I believe there is great strength given to our young men and women, who, despite the sacrifices of sleep, comfort and social opportunities the night before, attend early morning seminary before school. They pray and receive spiritual strength before taking on the peer pressure and other temptations and distractions of the day.
“Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints….” (Ephesians 6:11-18).
Whenever I read this passage, I think of actually going into battle. Does it make sense to put on our armor before we have fought the day’s battles, or after? How foolish is even the thought of going into battle without our armor in place, knowing it is readily available to us?
In like manner, our daily lives are battles against an adversary who seeks our destruction. The war waged by Lucifer against us is a much more important battle than any earthly military conflict. The stakes are infinitely higher. We cannot afford to lose this war. Knowing what is at risk, shouldn’t we want to use the greatest defenses available to us? And what greater defense is there than our faith in God, and the resources He has given us? With God on our side, even the weakest of earthly souls can defeat our spiritual enemy.
It is important that we read the scriptures and pray every day. The Lord has made promises to those who will follow this counsel. But I also believe that we all can benefit from studying the scriptures and praying at the beginning of our day. This way, we are giving ourselves the spiritual strength we will need before the temptations and trials come our way. In this sense, we are putting on the armor of God before going into battle against Satan.