The Apostle Paul writes this letter with his free hand.  His other is chained to a guard. He doesn’t ask the recipients of this letter to pray for his release, but for prayers to have the courage to be a Gospel ambassador, even in chains.

There are many Christians in prison today for professing their faith. Some may be praying for freedom from their chains, but many others pray for the boldness to declare their faith, to brothers and sisters who they write, to prisoners they encourage, even persecutors who desire their demise.

We may not be in jail, but each of us knows the experience of being imprisoned. Some of us are chained to addictive behaviors. Others are surrounded by walls of racial prejudice. Still others are held captive by mental illness and other disabling conditions. It is natural for us to desire release, to pray for the freedom to be liberated from our limiting conditions.

But what if we pray for the strength to endure. What if we ask to be set free not from oppression, but within our oppression. What a testimony it is to true Gospel freedom when God’s people see beyond earthly imprisonment to eternal liberation.

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