Today we will wrap up our study of Ephesians and look at Paul’s final words on prayer.
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 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, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.
These verses immediately follow the passage on the armor of God and it is connected by the word ‘and’. William Barclay gives the best description of this passage. “Finally, Paul comes to the greatest weapon of all – and that is prayer. We must note three things that he says about prayer. (a) It must be constant. Our tendency is so often to pray only in the great crises of life; but it is from daily prayer that the Christian will find daily strength. (b) It must be intense. Limp prayer never got a man anywhere. Prayer demands the concentration of every faculty upon God. (c) It must be unselfish. The Jews had a saying, “Let a man unite himself with the community in his prayers.’ I think that often our prayers are too much for ourselves and too little for others. We must learn to pray as much for others and with others as for ourselves.”
“Finally, Paul asks for the prayers of his friends for himself. And he asks not for comfort or for peace but that he may yet be allowed to proclaim God’s secret, that his love is for all men. We do well to remember that every Christian leader and every Christian preacher needs his people to uphold his hands in prayer.”
21 Tychicus, the dear brother and faithful servant in the Lord, will tell you everything, so that you also may know how I am and what I am doing. 22 I am sending him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are, and that he may encourage you.
23 Peace to the brothers and sisters, and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.
Paul tells the people He is sending someone else who will encourage them in their faith. He leaves them with the peace, love and undying love of Christ.
Which area do you need to bolster your prayer – its constancy, intensity or selflessness? Are you upholding you church leaders and pastors in prayer? As we approach the weekend, spend some time in prayer for your church community and its leaders. As we leave our study of Ephesians, I pray you have grown in your faith and pray you experience God’s peace, grace and undying love in your life and show it to those around you!