“… and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness 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.” (Eph. 6:19, 20)
The Great Apostle Paul asked the Ephesian Church to pray for him. Not to remove the chains or increase his health or give him more things. No, all Paul wanted was to do his job with boldness. To speak boldly as the ambassador of Christ, which he said is the way it should be done.
Anyone who has been a missionary or even visited one knows that their lives can be and often are difficult. They may not be near proper medical care, and their housing may well be below typical American standard. Even their diet may suffer from certain foods that they are used to and like. It is incumbent on the Christian to help in that situation if they are able. Missionaries should be well taken care of by their sponsoring churches and Christians in general.
Paul received help from time to time, but that is not what he wanted as far as prayers on his behalf concerned. We can and should provide physical care for those who give their lives to the preaching and sharing of the gospel whether home or abroad. What we cannot do is make them bold in their work. For that, we can only pray.
And we should. We should pray for every man and woman who is sharing the glorious mystery of the gospel of Christ. We should pray that God will give them the courage to speak boldly as they ought to speak. We must speak boldly for them. Our words to them should build up and edify. We should, as the saying goes, lift up their hands.
What a comfort to be on the firing line with the gospel fighting the Devil every day for the souls of lost mankind to know that you are lifted up in prayer. What a blessing to know that the church has your back in every possible way. Sadly, that has not always been the case. Even Paul had to ask.
Task for Today: Pray for the evangelist of this evil world. Pray for the proclaimers of gospel truth as they endeavor to win souls for Christ. Find your own Paul and put him or her at the top of your prayer list. Pray for their boldness. Provide their needs and pray for their courage.