Ephesians 6:18-20

This is written by Caitlin Shewell-Cooper - she has been coming to St Mary's since September. She loves books and steamed buns.

Ephesians 6:18-20

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.

Reflection

These verses can feel a bit flat after the fun metaphors of the Armour Of God section, what happened to the sword? And the helmet? Even worse, we are reminded that Paul is in chains, imprisoned because of his work of spreading the gospel. But Paul is not afraid - he even says "fearlessly" twice so we're sure. Why is he not afraid? Because he is praying, and people are praying for him.

It's important that these are the last words of Paul's letter to the Ephesians before he signs off. He's saying that prayer is what makes the armour of God work, it's the greatest weapon we could have. He says that we should also pray in the spirit, and some translations say "at all times" - we should be constantly praying during our day to day lives, and praying for others.

Of course this is more easily said than done! These verses reminded me of part of my favourite bit of the bible, Psalm 27. Verses 1-2 say "The Lord is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear?" and later: "Hear my voice when I call, Lord; be merciful to me and answer me. // My heart says of you, 'Seek his face!' // Your face, Lord, I will seek." (7-8) When I am finding it hard to pray, I read this Psalm as my prayer, and ask God to help me be fearless like Paul.
 
Pray
Father I'm sorry for when I haven't taken time in the busyness of life to pray, and really seek you. Help me to make speaking with you a part of my daily life, and thank you that we never have to be afraid.

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