I wrote the following article this morning in Portuguese for the “God with Us” devotional. I translated it for those who might be helped by it.
To This End
With every prayer and petition, pray at all times in the Spirit, and to this end be alert, with all perseverance and requests for all the saints.
Ephesians 6:18 NET
Four times in this verse, Paul uses a form of the adjective “all” or “every.” His subject is prayer. He wants to emphasize its importance as a means of the Christian keeping himself faithful in face of attacks from the evil one.
A short phrase not translated by some versions, but essential to the apostle’s thought is this: “To this end.” The phrase in the version above translates two works in the Greek language, ein auto, or “For it/this.”
The NIV translates it as, “With this in mind.” The Bible in Basic English extracts from the phrase this meaning: “with strong purpose.” Althought this last translation tends toward commentary, that’s the idea.
If we do not establish a strong purpose for our spiritual survival, and for that of our brothers and sisters in Christ, prayer will be but a cold formality.
When, however, we see that each day is a battle to beat the evil one, secure the saved in the hands of the Lord and win hearts for the kingdom of God, there will not be sufficient hours in the day for “every prayer and petition.”