Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel – Ephesians 6.19From David King:
I am so grateful for those of you who, in the week, pray for the person who will be preaching the following Sunday (or teaching in our children and youth groups). Paul in the verse above makes it clear that, in praying for him, the Christians in Ephesus were part of what God did through his preaching. I like the thought that when we meet Paul in glory and talk about what amazing things God did through him, he will call over the Christians from Ephesus and will say, “No, it’s amazing the things that God did through us.” When you pray for the preacher, you are part of the sermon or the small group teaching that Sunday.
What I am struck by, though, is Paul’s request that they should pray that he would preach the gospel fearlessly. As Paul sat there in chains, there were obvious reasons why he might be afraid and tempted either to water down the gospel or stop speaking it at all.
The preachers at St Patrick’s don’t face the threat of imprisonment, but there are still reasons why we might be afraid to speak the mystery of the gospel:
- we want to be liked and the gospel has some hard things to say to us.
- we like others and don’t want them to be made to feel awkward or sad.
- the gospel challenges us and we are aware of how far short we fall.
- the Bible challenges our culture in ways it hates and we don’t want to face the backlash.
And yet the only hope for St Patrick’s, Wallington and our country is that the gospel is preached without fear. So please pray for us to preach the gospel fearlessly. Pray that we will preach the gospel that tells us: that our world is in rebellion against God and is facing Hell; that its distorted ethical standards on economic justice, the family and truth, demonstrate its rebellion; that humans are loved by God; that he sent Jesus to die on the cross to forgive our sins and rise again to conquer death; that forgiveness and life is found in repentance and faith in Jesus; that this is the only way of salvation; that his people are called to live lives of obedience and holiness; and that one day he will return as judge.
Please pray for us.