Ephesians 6:10-12, 18 Believers are exhorted to pray at all times in our lives – when we are doing well or not doing well, in the morning, when we awake at night, in the midst of daily tasks. And then Paul exhorts believers to supplication – earnest pleading by the Spirit which involves self-humbling. Part of the earnestness of supplication is caused by the great need that bows the entire body before the King. We see David, after his repentance, pleading for the child he had with Bathsheba, throwing himself on the ground in earnest prayer. II Samuel 15:30, 31 David has been rejected as king and pushed out of the city by the treachery of Absalom. We see him going barefoot, weeping, and calling on God in earnest prayer.
There is another aspect to supplication. Daniel 9:1-3 Daniel has seen God’s promise in the Scriptures to restore Israel after the exile of 70 years. Daniel is praying with great self-humbling and confession but still bringing God’s promise before Him. Every prayer of the believer should have good biblical reasons and promises that he brings to God, not to change God’s unwillingness to willingness but to bring His own promises before Him.
Prayer also becomes a pouring out of the soul of those things that are given to the believer to pray for, that are a necessity to pray for. Romans 8:15 There is a spirit of prayer that is given to the believer by the Holy Spirit of adoption. Romans 8:20-26 The creation itself groans and the believer groans in prayer for sin. Supplication is not always a beautifully ordered prayer but often a groaning that is given by the Spirit and heard by God. This supplication and groaning is given to the believer as his part in this sin-sick world.
Ephesians 6:10-12 The entire cosmos is a gigantic spiritual battleground. The believer can’t just walk along in his “Sunday best” and pick daisies. Some of the scenes encountered are not pretty. Ephesians 6:18 The believer must get in place to wield the sword of prayer. Supplication is this earnest prayer.