We just looked at how our spiritual warfare is won through prayer, especially in prayer for each other. Paul continues this thought.
Pray for Paul
Just as it is extremely important to bear each others burdens and pray for one another, it is also important that we pray for those who are laboring in the Word of God. This includes all those preaching, teaching, and proclaiming the Gospel. Sometimes we can become so focused on the our trials and temptations that we neglect to pray for those who are advancing the Gospel around the world.
The word here in Greek is the word translated “word” in John 1. It means the declaration of a thought, doctrine, or idea. In Greek it is a term that encompasses the entirety of a system of thought. For example, the Bible is called the “word” of God. Paul here is asking for them to pray that the Holy Spirit would give him a complete understanding of the entirety of Christian doctrine.
The term boldly here can also be translated as “bluntly.” Paul wants to communicate the whole of Christian doctrine in a pointed, uncompromised way. So often we can beat around the bush and hesitate to directly apply the Gospel to the hearts of our audience. Paul wants the boldness to proclaim the Gospel without compromise in any form.
Make known the mystery
There is so much about the Gospel that is hidden from blind sinners. Paul wants the ability to proclaim the Gospel in such a way that it opens their eyes and brings them to Christ. He knows that salvation is of the Lord; He just wants to ensure that it is not his lack of clarity in preaching that keeps people from Christ.
Representative in chains
Paul is here referring to his seniority in the Gospel and how he represents the Gospel of Jesus Christ everywhere he goes. It is because of this Gospel that he is now in chains. He is here giving us an example of how we are to fight our own warfare. We are to continue our fight against spiritual darkness even when our flesh and blood is chained. The Gospel still must go forward in spite of persecution.
Speaking as he ought to speak
He does not want fear of persecution to affect his boldness in the Gospel. He wants to proclaim the Gospel in all its truth and power no matter the circumstances he finds himself in. He does not want to compromise or shirk away from the truth. This is how we all should strive to share the Gospel.
We must make sure that we are praying for preachers, teachers, and missionaries. We must pray that they:
- Have a complete understanding of doctrine
- Have boldness to not compromise
- Have clarity of speech that does not hinder the Gospel
- Accurately represent the Gospel
- Not compromise in the face of persecution
Will you pray the same for yourself?