4 Masters, provide your slaves with what is right and fair, because you know that you also have a Master in heaven.
2 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.
There is so much I could say about prayer. Sometimes I think it gets over-analyzed. I read a book called Prayer by Philip Yancey, who is usually one of my favorite writers. But if it is possible, I think I knew less about prayer after reading it!
I heard a great sermon by John MacArthur that emphasized some basics of prayer and the freedom we have with it. Pray to any member of the Trinity – or all three! Pray any time, or all the time. Pray with eyes open or closed. Structured or unstructured prayers. And so on.
3 And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. 4 Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. 5 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. 6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
What great things to pray for – that God will give us opportunities to share the Gospel in a clear fashion! I am convicted by the admonitions towards wisdom with outsiders. Blogging is a challenge with so many hostile views out there. I try to write the truth in provocative ways (especially on my other blog) without deliberately offending people.
7 Tychicus will tell you all the news about me. He is a dear brother, a faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. 8 I am sending him to you for the express purpose that you may know about our circumstances and that he may encourage your hearts. 9 He is coming with Onesimus, our faithful and dear brother, who is one of you. They will tell you everything that is happening here.
Onesimus is the runaway slave written about in Philemon, a very short but impactful book of the Bible.
10 My fellow prisoner Aristarchus sends you his greetings, as does Mark, the cousin of Barnabas. (You have received instructions about him; if he comes to you, welcome him.) 11 Jesus, who is called Justus, also sends greetings. These are the only Jews among my fellow workers for the kingdom of God, and they have proved a comfort to me. 12 Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured. 13 I vouch for him that he is working hard for you and for those at Laodicea and Hierapolis. 14 Our dear friend Luke, the doctor, and Demas send greetings. 15 Give my greetings to the brothers at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house.
Luke is the one who wrote the Book of Luke and the Book of Acts. He was a close friend and traveling companion of Paul.
16 After this letter has been read to you, see that it is also read in the church of the Laodiceans and that you in turn read the letter from Laodicea.
17 Tell Archippus: “See to it that you complete the work you have received in the Lord.”
18 I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.
The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.
Again, Paul was in prison when he wrote this. Yet consider his attitude! We may not always be happy, but having true joy is one of our birthrights as Christians. I have to remind myself of that because it is so easy to get pulled into the worries of the world.
Grace and peace to you all!