To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak. Eph 6:18–20, ESV.
Isolation is not something we are wired for as human beings. The God who created us to “to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever,” wired us for fellowship with Him and with one another. Now a small virus has driven many of us to a form of isolation—unable to spend time with many of the people we care deeply about. I believe this pain is especially poignant when Christians cannot gather often with their brothers and sisters in Christ.
Paul understood isolation. He refers three times in the letter he wrote to the church in Ephesus to the fact that he was writing from prison (3:1; 4:1; 6:20). Paul, the missionary who traveled from city to city preaching Christ, starting churches, and encouraging the saints, was now prevented from travel. Paul understood isolation.
In that isolation, Paul wrote the words we read above. He had just told the church to put on the whole armor of God. Now he tells them to be alert in this battle for their souls. They were to endure in their fight against the “schemes of the devil” (6:11). And when it comes to a specific battle plan, they were to pray. They were to pray for one another, and they were to pray for Paul the prisoner to also be Paul the gospel mouthpiece.
These are good marching orders for those of us who are facing a form of isolation today. Pray for the saints. Do you miss being with your church family? Why not, whenever they come to your mind, pray for them! And after you pray for them, reach out to them with a text, a phone call, or a letter to tell them you are praying for them. Remember, they are in the foxhole with you in this battle of faith. And don’t forget to pray for the missionaries who are going through this world-wide pandemic and doing so far from home. Pray that they will remain bold for Christ! Need specific missionaries to pray for? Check out this page: https://www.imb.org/pray/.
Your pastor is praying for you.