Wednesday, October 15, 2014



and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.  (Ephesians 6:19-20)

If such a spiritual giant as the Apostle Paul sensed a desperate need for others to pray for him, then I know I must have this—and, I suspect, you would feel the same.  Paul doesn’t pen these words from a palace, but a prison.  He was in chains; the Devil had painted a big target on him, and was launching attack after attack.

In those conditions, wouldn’t anyone pray for freedom?

The Apostle does, but the central focus of his request isn’t about getting his body out of a cell, but getting the Gospel out of his mouth!  While I would tend to whine about the deplorable conditions of the dungeon, the paramount plea of this man of God is for boldness in witness.  May we learn this vital lesson today, if we do not grasp any other.

As a pastor, I beg you to pray for me!  There are many matters you could intercede about, but the need for me to speak God’s Word with authority, clarity, liberty and urgency are hugely important.  Do I seek this from God, and will you as a church member pray this for your pastor?

Just last night, news came from Houston, Texas about how the lesbian mayor there has subpoenaed the sermons of pastors she thought might have spoken against the homosexual agenda she is aggressively promoting.  Her efforts are being joined by a chorus of others seeking to chill free speech being expressed in the pulpits.  It seems that this type of thing is only going to intensify as time goes by.  The champions of tolerance will tolerate anything except truth.  No practice is evil except to speak against sin.  Society is to be inclusive of anything except the exclusivity of the Gospel.

Pray for your pastor to speak with authority.  Paul called himself, “an ambassador.”  His authority was in his appointment from heaven.  We stand as God’s representative in this world—and the Devil doesn’t like it!

Pray for your pastor to speak with clarity.  The Apostle was never one to tip-toe around the truth.  He was quite plain spoken.  He saw his purpose as, “to make known the mystery of the gospel.”  My job isn’t to be so profound that you are impressed with my vocabulary, but to be so simple that even a child can grasp the message.  If you don’t understand what the preacher is saying, then what is the point of saying it?

Pray for your pastor to speak with liberty.  Paul requests prayer so, “that utterance may be given to me.”  When he opened his mouth, he wanted something to come out.  He wanted freedom of thought that would bring liberty of expression.  He didn’t want to stutter, but to utter!  Any pastor can tell you when he has liberty in his delivery of a sermon—and the horror of being bound up—and I suspect the congregation notices also!  That should lead you to pray for our liberty,

Pray for your pastor to speak with urgency.  Twice, the Apostle uses the word, “boldly.”  The pressure outside the man of God was for him to back down, tone it down, clam up, and then be able to walk away from his cell.  But, that would also mean to walk away from his call!  Pray for courage of conviction—our time here is marked by the brevity of opportunity and the gravity of eternity to follow.  This presses upon us the urgency of speaking now—sharing often, with passion and conviction.  Sunday’s sermon isn’t the performance of an actor, but the pleading of a rescuer crying for souls to be saved from the wrath that is to come.

Pray for your pastor—and all those who stand to speak for God!  Remember that as a Christian, you are God’s representative to your family, your neighborhood, your school, your work—wherever you go.  My prayer is that you would speak boldly as you ought to speak!

Rescue the perishing, care for the dying,
Snatch them in pity from sin and the grave;
Weep o’er the erring one, lift up the fallen,
Tell them of Jesus, the mighty to save. (Fanny Crosby)




Ann Scott said...

I loved this! This is the time for us to be bold and I intend to do just that!

Dennis Thurman said...

Thanks Ann for taking the time to read! You are so right. We need a backbone of steel that is given by God. We can stand up to any foe, if we have knelt before the Lord!