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It's a luxury to have an air-conditioner in a car. When I was a girl we would leave two hours before the sun came up, windows rolled down, on the road for ten hours to see our Grandmothers. They were worth the trip. And just when I thought I could not stand the summer heat in the car on that long no-air-conditioner drive we'd pull into Grandmother's gravel driveway then sit and visit outside under the pecan trees in the cool fresh air.

Grandmother had prepared for our arrival with a fresh chicken to fry, yeast rolls that melted in our mouths, snap green beans, and iced tea. We'd wait until the kitchen cooled off just a bit before we sat down at table and my father said the prayer over the food. That evening Grandmother lay sheets down on the living room floor and we kids slept. Grandmother had prepared for us. Both my loving Grandmother's were prepared.

Ephesians tells us we are to prepare also in a different way-- not for loving company but to prepare to fight against an attack(s) from evil. On that day evil visits we are to use the weapons of God. Prepare these weapons beforehand. Start with truth and encircle yourself, for evil cannot get through truth. Prepare goodness within you and prepare for right-mindedness. Hold these before that evil like a breastplate. Stay firm in your right-mind and think clearly.

Now the Grandmothers could handle our family visits on their own but the Bible tells us that when evil comes we cannot handle it alone, that Christ will fight with us. Be prepared to use God's weapons. Ephesians says to take every weapon God gives you: Truth, righteousness, peace, faith in your heart, and salvation are God's weapons. Salvation will clear your mind of negative thoughts.

His Word, the Bible, is an indispensable weapon. Holy Spirit uses Scripture like a sword to cut evil down to nothing. Holy Spirit will aid you in prayer because you may not know how to pray, so pray anyway as Holy Spirit will form the prayers. Lastly, keep your eyes open and remain strong in your encouragement of others.

Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out. And don’t forget to pray for me. Pray that I’ll know what to say and have the courage to say it at the right time, telling the mystery to one and all, the Message Ephesians 6:13-20 The Message Bible


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