Spreading the Word

“Finally, brothers and sisters, pray for us, so that the word of the Lord may spread rapidly and be glorified everywhere, just as it is among you” (2 Thess. 3:1)

The briefest amount of research reveals an interesting fact about Paul’s condition when he wrote this: He was in prison.

Today, prisons are expected to meet a certain standard, otherwise the conditions are considered “cruel and unusual.”

They did not have these same standards 2000 years ago.

Paul’s prison cell would have been dark, dank, and disgusting.

His hands were contained in thick, iron manacles – or else held in an iron stock above and behind his head (for the entirety of his stay).

He would not have had daily showers, “yard call”, or a TV set. Instead, for entertainment, the guards would beat one of the inmates senselessly. If the inmate died as a result, the guard would be docked a half-day of wages, and that was it.

Regarding “due process”, it was the accused’s duty to convince the court of their innocence, or else be convicted.

Along with corrupt officials, a negative disposition and stigma toward criminals (guilty or not – much like today, being accused is enough), it was very difficult indeed to do any actual convincing of one’s innocence.

Paul didn’t care about any of that.

He didn’t care that he was wrongfully imprisoned. He didn’t care that the cards were stacked against him. He didn’t care that he could be sentenced to death.

His prime consideration was the continued growth of the gospel.

It’s right there in his request!

“Pray for us…that the word may spread rapidly and be glorified everywhere.”

He does not say, “Pray that these chains be removed; pray that they let me out of here; pray that they go easy on me…”

His concern is for spreading the word of God and giving Him glory in all that he does.


“For me to live is Christ, to die is gain.” (Phil. 1:21)