Paul’s Prayer Request
Prayer is such a broad topic and if you visit a Christian Bookstore, you will notice that there were many books written by different authors (some very popular and influential pastors) in all denominations just for prayer alone. With such amount of material just, it’s a question why we still
fail in our prayer life. Paul’s prayer in the Bible specially here is an amazement to me. The man who prays for the Ephesian Christians is now asking for their prayer! Of course, his prayer request is not
for himself or his personal physical comfort but for other reasons. 1
I. Boldness in proclaiming the gospel
A. The word boldly was mentioned twice in this chapter in verse 19 and 20.
B. The meaning of the word boldly is to be fearless before danger, showing confidence or lack of fear.
C. Paul were asking the Ephesian Christians to pray that the Lord will give him bravery, courage, and confidence to proclaim the message of salvation to the unsaved.
D. In proclaiming the gospel, fear is one that hinders us in obeying the Great Commission.
E. Fear has the ability to stop you. For fear of the Jews, the people of Jericho has lost its courage to fight. Josh. 2:9-10. Fear can stop us from doing better things.
F. For fear of what men may do, will keep many Christians from speaking about the Lord to the people whom they desperately need. Jn. 7:13.
G. Paul, despite of his qualification and command from the Lord in proclaiming the good news of salvation still asked his fellow believers to pray for him.
H. We need to pray for pastors, evangelists, soul winners, and other church workers to be bold in proclaiming the gospel of salvation to all people no matter what the cost.
Illustration: The Apology
Hugh Lattimer once preached before King Henry VIII. Henry was greatly displeased by the boldness in the sermon and ordered Lattimer to preach again on the following Sunday and apologize for the offence he had given. The next Sunday, after reading his text, he thus began his sermon:
“Hugh Lattimer, dost thou know before whom thou are this day to speak? To the high and mighty monarch, the king’s most excellent majesty, who can take away thy life, if thou offendest. Therefore, take heed that thou speakest not a word that may displease. But then consider well, Hugh, dost thou
not know from whence thou comest—upon Whose message thou are sent? Even by the great and mighty God, Who is all-present and Who beholdeth all thy ways and Who is able to cast thy soul into hell! Therefore, take care that thou deliverest thy message faithfully.” He then preached the same sermon he had preached the preceding Sunday—and with considerably more energy.
Evangelism, A Biblical Approach, M. Cocoris, Moody, 1984, p. 126
II. Faithfulness in proclaiming the good news of salvation
A. Prayer gives us the energy and the strength to move on and continue doing the task that has been given us by the Lord.
B. It is prayer, our constant communion with the Lord that will keep us faithful to the Lord.
C. My prayer everyday is for the Lord to help me be a faithful servant of His.
D. If Paul makes such a request, why can’t we? We need to be faithful in doing our duty and obligation to Christ but we need the prayers of others also to go on.
E. As of writing this Epistle, Paul was an ambassador in chain. A preacher under arrest,imprisoned and under guard by Roman soldiers. Yet it did not stop him from telling others about Christ.
F. His imprisonment became the means so that the household of the Emperor of Rome can hear about Christ. By sharing the gospel to the soldiers, people in higher class of society heard about Christ and got saved.
G. Your prayer to your Pastor, and other Christians can make a difference.
Illustration: Robert Moffat
An elderly preacher was rebuked by one of his deacons one Sunday morning before the service. “Pastor,” said the man, “something must be wrong with your preaching and your work. There’s been only one person added to the church in a whole year, and he’s just a boy.”The minister listened, his eyes moistening and his thin hand trembling. “I feel it all,” he replied, “but
God knows I’ve tried to do my duty.” On that day the minister’s heart was heavy as he stood before his flock. As he finished the message, he felt a strong inclination to resign.
After everyone else had left, that one boy came to him and asked, “Do you think if I worked hard for an education, I could become a preacher—perhaps a missionary?” Again tears welled up in the minister’s eyes. “Ah, this heals the ache I feel,” he said. “Robert, I see the Divine hand now. May God bless you, my boy. Yes, I think you will become a preacher.”
Many years later an aged missionary returned to London from Africa. His name was spoken with reverence. Nobles invited him to their homes. He had added many souls to the church of Jesus Christ, reaching even some of Africa’s most savage chiefs. His name was Robert Moffat, the same
Robert who years before had spoken to the pastor that Sunday morning in the old Scottish kirk.
Lord, help us to be faithful. Then give us the grace to leave the results to you.
We need to pray for one another. Pray for your pastor specifically. He needs to be bold and faithful in preaching the gospel. Before I end this message let me tell you a word from S.D. Gordon. “The greatest thing anyone can do for God and man is pray. It is not the only thing, but it is the chief thing. The great people of earth are the people who pray. I do not mean those who talk about prayer; nor those who say they believe in prayer; nor yet those who can explain about prayer; but I mean those people who take
time to pray.