Sitting in prison, Paul says, "Pray that I may communicate the gospel clearly and boldly."
Published May 31st, 2017
Ephesians 6:19-20 NASB
19 and a pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me b in the opening of my mouth, to make known with c boldness d the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an a ambassador b in 1 chains; that 2 in proclaiming it I may speak c boldly, d as I ought to speak.
and pray on my behalf,
that utterance may be given to me
in the opening
of my mouth,
to make known ... the mystery
of the gospel,
for which I am an ambassador in chains;
that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly,
as I ought to speak.
MP: Pray that God would help me to clearly and boldly proclaim the mystery of the gospel.
Paul's prayer request Imagine that you are sitting in prison for preaching the gospel. You have been there a long time and it may still take years before your case even goes to court. In this situation, given the opportunity, what would you ask prayer for? A speedy trial? Good health to sustain you through your prison sentence? Well, Paul is in this situation when he writes to the Ephesians, and in Ephesians 6:19-20 he shares his prayer request with these fellow believers. Paul asks the Ephesian Christians to pray for these two things: 1. Pray that words would be given to him in explaining the gospel. 2. Pray that he would proclaim this gospel with the confident boldness that befits it. This simple prayer request shows us what Paul's priority was, even in prison. For Paul the primary aim of his life was the clear and bold proclamation of what God has done in Christ, even above his own personal needs and desires. And so this is what Paul asks his fellow believers to petition God for. Is the clear communication of the gospel by those that we know who minister the Word something that we pray for? Is it a priority to us, like it obviously was to Paul? Or are our prayers taken up with personal concerns? Pray for the clear and bold communication of the Word of God. The gospel must be clearly communicated. Paul needs God’s help to preach the gospel in a clear and understandable way so that those who listen will understand it. Paul, as the Apostle to the Gentiles has been entrusted with the task of communicating the gospel to groups of people who have no background or familiarity with the God of the Bible. He has to cut through generations of ignorance, and superstition to bring the truth of who God is and what he has done in a clear and understandable way. Not only in Paul’s time but also today, we must communicate and clarify the gospel for the world around us. For every nation and every generation the gospel must be clarified, and we need God’s help to do so. Paul’s request for prayer to aid him in clear and bold communication of the gospel shows us the utter impossibility of proper preaching in human wisdom and strength alone. Those who would preach the gospel and see people reconciled to God face a task that is impossible with man. It would be easier to force a camel through the eye of a needle, or to make dead bones live again. Therefore this desperation and dependence on God should drive us to our knees, to plead with Almighty God, the one for whom all things are possible, to give us clear and compelling words, and to use those words to accomplish the work that only he can do.