Chapter 6:18b-24 (ESV) - 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.
So that you also may know how I am and what I am doing, Tychicus the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord will tell you everything. I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are, and that he may encourage your hearts.
Peace be to the brothers, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with love incorruptible.
Question to consider: Why do you think Paul asked for prayer to be able to boldly proclaim the gospel?
If you have followed these studies for any length of time, you may have noticed that I end each one with a prayer that is adapted from the daily passage. Everyone seems to have a different idea about how we should pray or the topic of our prayers. It is generally my desire to limit the number of words I say to God and spend more time on the words God has given to us in scripture. However you feel led to pray, I think it is apparent from today’s passage that Paul put great value on prayer.
He had given the Ephesians the tools to bolster their faith and remain united together in the church. As a united people, he asked for them to keep alert and pray for their brothers and sisters in Christ. While they were at it, he also desired that they pray for him to continue to be bold in his proclamation of the gospel. Paul asked this while being chained to a guard from Caesar’s household as he waited for his own trial in Rome.
The letter was delivered to the Ephesians from Tychicus. He and Trophimus were both from Ephesus and had traveled with Paul (along with Luke) to Jerusalem to give the church there a love offering to carry them through the famine and persecution-based poverty. Tychicus would have witnessed the persecution and arrest in Jerusalem, and their harrowing journey on the ship that made them despair of life for two solid weeks. So Tychicus could encourage the church at Ephesus that the Lord had cared for Paul even in the midst of great difficulty.
The blessing of peace in the closing was to reinforce his desire that the church unite around their love for Christ and one another and that the love given to them would be the imperishable love that only Christ provides. We look at the word grace and think of it as unmerited favor. In this case though, the Greek word charis is used in the sense that Christ is their benefactor supplying them with a love for each other that will not fail.
May this blessing be for us and our churches as well.
Dear heavenly father, thank You for safely bringing Tychicus back to Ephesus to deliver this letter. May it be an encouragement to us to love one another and be united in Christ in our own churches that they may be a light shining in the darkness. Amen.