The Tribal Chairman asked for a "war on suicide" on the Rosebud Reservation. It is important that we look at and pray with some of the warrior language of the Bible.
For the next several days, I will be posting prayer guidance from Ephesians 6:10-20, "the whole armor of God."
10 A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.
The Christian teaching in Ephesians has gone on for over five full chapters, including wisdom about Christ, salvation, the church, spiritual gifts, human transformation and Christian family life. How striking that so much teaching is bounded by "a final word" - an encouragement to establish all of our Christian efforts in the Lord and his power. This is expressed as a warrior putting on every bit of armor, to foil the manifold ways that the enemy will seek to inflict harm. This teaching is vitally important, and as we see next it is indispensable during our prayer campaign:
12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
Verse 12 speaks for itself. Those coming against the people on the Rosebud, and who will turn to attack us as we pray, are "mighty...evil" and most dangerously, "unseen." Because their tactics unfold in ways we can't spot humanly, we need to use the equipment that God provides.
13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.
The enemy will find and exploit any weak spot, so we must put on "every piece of God's armor." With our prayers we march into a time of evil - only with God's armor will we emerge "standing firm."
Father God, Ancient of Days, the Lakota/Dakota people were known as fearless warriors. But even the best human weapons are weak against the unseen, mighty and evil forces that are taking the people down by suicide. We pray that Christians on the Reservation, and those praying in their support, will put on the whole armor of God, resist the enemy, and stand firm. May Christ's victory be apparent and bring many under the protection of his cross. We pray this in Jesus' Name. Amen.
Update: We are establishing contact with pastors and missionaries on the Rosebud, and hope to bring more immediate local insight to the campaign shortly.