READING: Isaiah 20-22, Ephesians 6
“Keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me.”
If you know me at all, you probably know my interest in the Bible’s teachings about spiritual warfare. Given that interest, I’m captured by much of Ephesians 6. I read it this time, though, and what most grabs me is Paul’s request for prayer for himself: “To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak” (Eph. 6:18-20).
This was the apostle Paul, an extraordinary missionary who was in jail for proclaiming the gospel boldly, now asking the believers to pray for him to speak boldly. In essence, he said, “Pray that I will keep doing what got me here in the first place.” Not only was he unwilling to allow imprisonment to stop his ministry, but he also requested prayer that he would do it with the same fervor and passion he had as a free man. Prison walls never stopped Paul from speaking about Jesus; they just changed his audience.
Moreover, it was to the Ephesians that he first said, “Put on the whole armor of God” (Eph. 6:11) even as he said, “And pray also for me.” As a prisoner for the Lord, he wanted to make certain that those who were praying for him were fully walking with God. They needed to be men of truth and righteousness who spoke the Word of God themselves, trusting God’s promises in faith along the way. I understand that request—if I were in prison, I would also want to be sure that the warriors praying on my behalf had a clear prayer channel to God.
As our churches struggle to do evangelism, we would be wise to hear Paul’s approach: get faithful, righteous people to pray for you to speak the gospel boldly. Who knows what might happen if we simply followed this direction?
- Enlist someone to pray this prayer for you.
- Walk with God so closely that your prayers are not hindered.
PRAYER: “Father, help me to speak your Word boldly. Connect me with a prayer warrior who follows You closely.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Isaiah 23-25, Philippians 1