It’s no accident that praying for boldness immediately follows putting on the armor of God. Paul urges the Ephesians: “With every prayer and petition, pray at all times in the Spirit, and to this end be alert, with all perseverance and requests for all the saints. Pray for me also, that I may be given the message when I begin to speak—that I may confidently make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may be able to speak boldly as I ought to speak” (Ephesians 6:18-20).
Paul’s prayer is so humbling here---he asks that the Lord will give him confidence even in the midst of being persecuted for his faith. He is not asking for boldness in the comfort of his house, but in the discomfort of prison. For Paul, boldness is a matter of life and death---to be fully honoring to God, he must boldly share the gospel with all he can, even though it will cost him everything. The idea here is that Paul desires to speak without reservation, without hesitation, about what Christ has done for him, that he may speak without concealment or ambiguity.
Are we willing to take up Paul’s petition for boldness? Are we willing to pay the same cost he did? Are we willing to accept the same treatment in a hostile world? Are we willing to share Paul’s passion for the gospel, speaking with equal boldness? May we all pray that we may be given Paul’s same boldness, remembering, as Paul wrote: “To me—less than the least of all the saints—this grace was given, to proclaim to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ and to enlighten everyone about God’s secret plan—a secret that has been hidden for ages in God who has created all things” (Ephesians 3:8-9).