Together in Christ: 'Supporting Those on Dangerous Missions' — Ephesians 6:19-20

Sunday, September 29, 2024

And pray for me, too. Ask God to give me the right words so I can boldly explain God’s mysterious plan that the Good News is for Jews and Gentiles alike. I am in chains now, still preaching this message as God’s ambassador. So pray that I will keep on speaking boldly for him, as I should.
— Ephesians 6:19-20 NLT

Key Thought

The early church has a great legacy for praying for boldness and having courage when facing dangerous opposition. I particularly love the prayer of the disciples in Acts 4 after the Jewish authorities warned them to stop and jailed them for preaching in the name of Jesus:

As soon as they were freed, Peter and John returned to the other believers and told them what the leading priests and elders had said. When they heard the report, all the believers lifted their voices together in prayer to God: "O Sovereign Lord, Creator of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them — you spoke long ago by the Holy Spirit through our ancestor David, your servant, saying, 'Why were the nations so angry? Why did they waste their time with futile plans? The kings of the earth prepared for battle; the rulers gathered together against the Lord and against his Messiah.'
 
"In fact, this has happened here in this very city! For Herod Antipas, Pontius Pilate the governor, the Gentiles, and the people of Israel were all united against Jesus, your holy servant, whom you anointed. But everything they did was determined beforehand according to your will. And now, O Lord, hear their threats, and give us, your servants, great boldness in preaching your word. Stretch out your hand with healing power; may miraculous signs and wonders be done through the name of your holy servant Jesus."
 
After this prayer, the meeting place shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Then they preached the word of God with boldness.
 [1]

Notice that these early disciples did not pray for protection but boldness! And they courageously continued to proclaim Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit. They demonstrated their commitment to pray and spread the Good News of Jesus regardless of the personal cost again after Stephen was martyred and the disciples of Jesus were scattered. Rather than going into hiding, they took the message of Jesus wherever they went. [2]

We shouldn't be surprised that Paul asked Christians throughout the Roman world to pray for the right words to say, the courage to speak them, and to do so with Spirit-empowered boldness. [3] As modern disciples of Jesus, we need to take Paul's outline for prayer and pray those things for missionaries and church leaders throughout the world today:

  • Pray for them by name.
  • Pray the Spirit gives them the right words to say.
  • Pray for God to sustain them in their trials, suffering, and persecution.
  • Pray for them to reach people from all nations and ethnicities effectively.
  • Pray for God to sustain them in their trials, suffering, and persecution.
  • Pray for them to speak with boldness and courage.

Paul could talk about the Philippian believers as his partners in proclaiming the Good News of Jesus because they supported him financially and prayed for him spiritually. [3] Our missionaries and foreign church leaders need us to be partners with them in similar ways!

[1] Acts 4:23-31.
[2] Acts 8:4.
[3] Philippians 1:3-24.

Today's Prayer

Loving Father, I am praying for several people I know personally and others I know from the information I have received concerning them. I know you know these believers and care deeply about their work and their faith. While I know I may be basing my request on my sense of mortality, I pray that you protect and deliver them. More importantly, I pray that you inspire them with the right words, spiritual courage, great opportunities, and divine wisdom to know with whom to speak about Jesus. Through all things, we desire for You to be glorified, Jesus to be proclaimed, and the Spirit's power to lead to more people finding salvation in Jesus. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Acts 4:1-31
  • Acts 8:1-4, 10:19-26

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Illustration

Illustration of Ephesians 6:19-20 NLT — And pray for me, too. Ask God to give me the right words so I can boldly explain God’s mysterious plan that the Good News is for Jews and Gentiles alike. I am in chains now, still preaching this message as God’s ambassador. So pray that I will keep on speaking boldly for him, as I should.

About This Devotional

Together in Christ is a daily devotional that focuses on what Scripture teaches about godly living in relationships.

'Together in Christ' is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.