… as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. Ephesians 6:15
To fight effectively as soldiers for Jesus, we need our spiritual armor, and our third piece mentioned in Ephesians 6 is shoes. When we enter into the prayer battle, we require this vital piece of equipment. Why? Because we are warriors.
In the winter of 1776, the ill-equipped Colonial army sat on the brink of destruction. As General George Washington led his troops through the December snow in one last ditch effort, his soldiers left behind bloody footprints. Many no longer wore shoes. They’d worn out in the preceding months of fighting and fleeing from the British Army. How could they go on without shoes?
Napoleon reportedly said his army needed two things, a full belly and a pair of shoes. Why? The food part is obvious, but shoes are just as important. Warriors can’t march and fight unless their feet are protected.
That’s why, after belting on truth and wrapping up in the breastplate of righteousness, we must strap on our shoes — the shoes of the gospel of peace. If our feet are not protected and supported, how will we stand and fight? The answer: we won’t!
But we’re commanded to put on specific shoes. To battle in our Armor, we must shod our feet with the GOSPEL first, and then engage in prayer.
It’s hard for me to picture exactly what GOSPEL shoes look like. Let’s study and get a better understanding of what the gospel of peace actually is, and how gospel shoes provide the READINESS we need to fight.
The Shoes of The Gospel of Peace
Some shoes are made of leather and some of cloth. But our prayer shoes are made of eternal material that never wears out: the GOSPEL. When I put them on, I both stand on the gospel while I pray, and I also pray for the gospel to be made reality in my loved ones’ lives.
Here are some truths of the gospel and scripture support for each statement.
The gospel is worth my whole life. It’s the most valuable and precious treasure I have.
Acts 20:24: But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.
The gospel contains God’s power that provides me salvation because I believe in Him.
Romans 1:16: For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
The gospel enables me to stand firm in my spirit and my mind through the strength of Christ.
Philippians 1:27: Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel
The gospel empowers me through its word, its power, and its conviction.
1 Thessalonians 1:5: because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.
The gospel focuses our prayers away from temporary needs. Instead it trains our efforts toward eternal outcomes.
The enemy would like nothing better than for us to be distracted by “little” stuff so that we never get around to praying for gospel issues. And if that doesn’t work, he can always lie to us, telling this eternity-seeking, heaven-knocking, gospel-shoe prayer is ineffective.
Let’s fight those lies.
Replace Lies With Truth About The Gospel of Peace Prayers
Lie #1: I’ve been praying for salvation of a loved one a long time. It’s hopeless.
Truth #1: Jesus has saved, healed, and carried me. HE is my life and deserves my life. So, every day I’m still breathing I will pray for salvation for the lost because nothing is hopeless in Him. I love HIM and I love my people enough to never stop.
Mark 8:35: For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it.
Lie #2: I don’t know what to pray.
Truth #2: when we put on these Gospel Shoes, the Lord will show us exactly what hill to stand on. He’ll inform our prayers and direct our efforts. It’s all about obedience and following.
Habakkuk 3:19: GOD, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer's; he makes me tread on my high places.
Lie #3: I have so many other prayers: sickness, finances, problems. I’m praying about those.
Truth #3: There is no more beautiful prayer I can pray than for the gospel to be real in peoples’ lives— people I love and people I don’t even know. I can also PRAY FOR those who are sharing the gospel. This doesn’t mean I don’t pray about the other stuff, it just means I need to pray for both.
Isaiah 52:7: How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, "Your God reigns.”
Lie #4: God already knows who is going to be saved so I don’t need to pray.
Truth #4: Alongside the sovereignty of God stands every command He ever gave for His people to share the gospel. Not only do I need to pray for others’ salvation, I also need to be praying for opportunities to tell others about Jesus.
Romans 10:14-15: How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”
Lie #5: Prayer doesn’t really do any good.
Truth #5: I have the privilege to actively fight with prayer BEFORE the gospel has even been shared. I can pray for the opening of ears, the boldness of words, and the realization in hearts of their need for forgiveness and mercy of God. It’s effective and it matters.
Luke 1:76b-79: ... you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, ... to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace."
Get Your Shoes On
Maybe it’s from my years as a Mom, trying to urge my children to get ready and out the door. But I can just hear the Lord telling his people, “Get your shoes on! It’s time to go!”
I believe He is calling us to active service. To fight. To pray. To engage in the battle. We aren’t supposed to sit around and wait for heaven. We have jobs to accomplish here.
So, let’s go, Christians! Get your shoes on and get busy!
When you feel discouraged about a child or loved one’s rejection of the Lord, go back and read the scriptures above about the gospel. Then get your shoes on and pray!
Armor of God Series
All Scripture from ESV, unless noted. Emphasis added.