(Ephesians 6:20) “For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.”
Notice that Paul’s prayer request was not for his personal freedom. Most of us would say he was unjustly imprisoned. But his goal was not to reverse the legal judgment. Paul fully realized he was in jail because of his stance on the Mystery of the gospel. Both Jew and Gentile were convicted before God as sinners in need of a Savior. This is why Paul was locked up. His prayer was for boldness to stand even stronger on this message.
Paul remembered his identity in Christ regardless of his circumstance. He still considered himself an “ambassador.” He lived as a heavenly diplomat locked up in the world’s chains. In this circumstance, he looked for courage – not to face danger and death. Rather, he looked for courage to keep preaching the message. Paul knew the spiritual battle he faced originated in his own mind and the souls of people were at stake depending on whether he won or lost.
Have you ever really listened to prayer requests – either your own or someone else? Most of the time they tend to be focused on something physical. I’m not saying this is wrong. All I’m pointing out is there is a great difference between what Paul prayed for and what most of us pray about. Even though the Lord supernaturally freed him from the Philippian jail in Acts 16, the Apostle didn’t go back to that experience and ask for a repeat. Instead, his mind and desires remained on the needs of those he was trying to reach. Paul considered preaching the gospel in these circumstances as his “reasonable service” (Rom 12:1).
Renewed Thought – The world may place us in chains but our true freedom rests in Christ alone. Lord give us strength to speak your gospel in our darkest hour.