". . .and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak." Ephesians 5:19-20 NASB
In the passage above, Paul at least was able to speak, and speak boldly, as the Spirit gave him utterance. That was the request he wrote to the believers at Ephesus, to pray that he would "make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel."
Not "that I will be released from these chains." Why complain about the chains? It was for the Gospel's sake that he wore them. He knew God would work despite them.
At the beginning of this new school year, I pray that God will use all of us to accomplish His purpose. I pray for boldness, not to utter the mystery of the Gospel, but to live the good news in our daily lives in the classroom and the break room and the hallways of our schools.
May our faces reflect the joy of sinners who have been saved by grace. May our hands give freely because we have been given much. May our ears be quick to listen and our feet quick to serve. When we speak, may it be with confidence that we are fulfilling God's call upon our lives to teach.
It's so tempting, while we're at it, to pray for an easy year. "Lord, let us have smooth sailing." But I think it's our responses to the tough times that allow our lights to shine before the unsaved most clearly. If we have smooth sailing all year, how will they know what God can do in a life surrendered to Him?
So please, dear Lord, let us shine as lights for you in a darkening world, even if it means we face difficult days ahead. You promise to walk beside us and uphold us. We submit ourselves to your teaching, that others may see you in us.
Blessings on your new school year, my friend.