the weblog of Alan Knox

They don’t need me…

Posted by on Oct 21, 2007 in discipleship | 3 comments

… and [praying] 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. (Ephesians 6:19-20 ESV)

Paul recognized himself as one called to proclaim the gospel to the Gentiles, and yet he needed other to pray that he would carry out his calling.

Paul knew that God had called him to speak in Rome, and yet he asked for prayer for boldness.

Paul proclaimed the good news of Jesus Christ in cities all around the Roman empire, and yet he asked for prayer to do what he ought to do.

Paul had the knowledge, the training, the experience, and the testimony, and yet he asked for prayer.

I’m glad that Paul asked the church in Ephesus to pray for him. I’m glad the he asked them to pray that he would have boldness to speak the gospel. I’m glad the he recognized that his knowledge, training, experience, and testimony would not provide what was necessary to bring people into God’s kingdom.

I also have knowledge, training, experience, and testimony. But, I also need prayer, because I need God, and those I speak to need God. I can give them words and I can give them service, but I can’t give them what they need. They don’t need me, even if God chooses to use me. They need God.


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  1. 10-21-2007

    Thanks for posting this. Over the course of the last few weeks, I have been praying the prayers from Paul’s epistles for the people partnering with me in ministry. It has helped me grow in love and concern for them, and also given me insight into how I can help them grown in wisdom and insight.

    This encourages me to be transparent enough to ask for help and prayer from them myself. There is an ever-present temptation to appear fully competent.


  2. 10-21-2007

    Indeed, Paul was speaking about the “full armor of God,” and how the battle is never against people but against principalities, spiritual hosts of wickedness, etc. When up against these spiritual forces, all the training, knowledge, experience, testimony, etc, doesn’t mean a thing and doesn’t stand a chance unless the battle is the Lord’s. We may know the truth solidly, and we may have prepared well, but we’re opposed on all sides by invisible, intangible forces, and we all desperately need the prayers of each other in order to boldly speak and live out the word of truth.

  3. 10-22-2007

    I really like this post. Was it Oswald Chambers who said prayer was not preparatory work was the work?