[Pray for me] that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel. Ephesians 6:19
Catherine and I were good friends in high school. When we weren’t talking on the phone, we were passing notes in class to plan our next sleepover. Sometimes we rode horses together and partnered on school projects.
One Sunday afternoon, I started to think about Catherine. My pastor had spoken that morning about how to have eternal life, and I knew my friend didn’t believe the Bible’s teachings the way I did. I felt a burden to call her and explain how she could have a relationship with Jesus. I hesitated, though, because I was afraid she would reject what I said and distance herself from me.
I think this fear keeps a lot of us quiet. Even the apostle Paul had to ask people to pray that he would “fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel” (Ephesians 6:19). There’s no getting around the risk involved with sharing the good news, yet Paul said he was “an ambassador”—someone speaking on behalf of God (v. 20). We are too. If people reject our message, they’re also rejecting the One who sent the message. God experiences the sting along with us.
So what compels us to speak up? We care about people, like God does (2 Peter 3:9). That’s what led me to finally call Catherine. Amazingly, she didn’t shut me down. She listened. She asked questions. She asked Jesus to forgive her sin and decided to live for Him. The risk was worth the reward.
Whom might God want you to speak to on His behalf? What’s stopping you? What effect would prayer have on this situation?
Dear Father, give me the courage to reach out to people who don’t know You. Give me wisdom to know when and how to start conversations about You.
Paul’s instructions on prayer in Ephesians 6:18–20 addressed the reality of spiritual warfare and the Ephesian believers’ need for spiritual armor. The spiritual conflict before them was made all the more daunting because of the rampant idolatry and occult practices that prevailed in their community (see Acts 19:19, 25–27). In Ephesians 6:10–17, the apostle described for this church family the challenges they faced and the resources available to them. Nevertheless, even with the elements of spiritual armor in place, Paul made it clear that prayer is a key component for living out their faith in such a harsh place. In battling spiritual forces, we need to enlist the aid of the greatest spiritual power in the universe—the true and living God Himself.