Training for Spiritual Warfare

Ephesians 6:10-17

Brothers and Sisters:  Finally,be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.  Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.  Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

St. Isaac the Syrian wrote:

Remember God, that He too might always remember you; and when He has kept you in His memory and preserved you safe to the end, you will receive every blessing from Him.  Do not forget Him, your mind being distracted with futile concerns, lest He forget you in the time of your warfare.  When you enjoy abundance, be obedient to Him, so that in the time of your afflictions you may have boldness before Him through the heart’s persevering prayer to Him. 

Before the war begins, seek after your ally; before you fall ill, seek out your physician; and before grievous things come upon you, pray, and in the time of your tribulations you will find Him, and he will hearken to you.  Before you stumble, call out and make supplication; and before you make a vow, have ready what things you promise, for they are your provisions afterwards.  The ark of Noah was built in the time of peace, and its timbers were planted by him a hundred years beforehand.  In the time of wrath the iniquitous perish, but the ark became the shelter for the righteous man.           (The Ascetical Homilies of St Isaac the Syrian, Holy Transfiguration Monastery, pgs48-49)