Ephesians 6:19-20

Ephesians 6:19-20 jumped out at me this morning. Paul is sitting in a Roman prison, in chains and squalor, when he wrote this letter to the Ephesians (likely a circulation letter meant for other churches as well). Yet despite his own conditions, Paul was concerned first with the church. In Ephesians 6:10-17, Paul provides critical instructions for the true believer to overcome in the spiritual warfare he or she is sure to face. But the conclusion of this exhortation (vv. 10-20) is where we really Paul’s character shines forth.

He encourages the spiritual warriors to prayer and supplication as an important part of their spiritual warfare. He asks them to pray for all the saints and then to pray “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.”

Paul could have asked the Ephesians–the prayer warriors he had just equipped for spiritual battle–to pray for anything. He could have asked that his imprisonment be ended, or for his conditions while in prison to improve. Instead, he asked them to pray that he may continue to effectively speak the truth about Christ! That is devotion!

*Note on the word AMBASSADOR. It is from the Gr. meaning “mature elder representative of a king.” This generates imagery of a regal, dutiful representative with a noble purpose, perhaps dressed in some kind of royal finery. In this I see Paul, head up despite being in shackles, smoldering with divine purpose as he represents Jesus, the King of Heaven.

Oh, that we may all be so bold!

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