and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, (ESV)
In the previous verse Paul admonished the Ephesian believers to pray. Pray at all times. Pray in the Spirit. Now, in verse 19 he makes an appeal for himself. He asks that they would pray for him. Before we go any further let's think about the kind of prayer request that the Apostle Paul would have. Imagine for a moment that your church is taking prayer requests on a Sunday morning, and somehow you get a prayer request from the Apostle Paul. What is he asking prayer for?
First and foremost, one would think that Paul would be praying that God would release him from prison. Unlike the somewhat sanitary conditions of our modern American prisons, the Apostle Paul would have been in a very unpleasant place. He would be in literal chains. His meals and provisions were only provided by friends of his because the prison provided nothing for him. But, strangely, Paul does not pray for release from prison.
Perhaps one would think that Paul would be praying for the "thorn in his flesh" (2 Corinthians 12:7-9). We do not know what Paul's thorn in the flesh was, but we know that three times he asked God to take it from him and God said no. If that were me, I might ask everyone else I knew to pray for me, hoping that maybe God would listen to them. But, that is not what Paul asks prayer for.
Paul asks that God would give him the words to boldly proclaim the Gospel. Paul knew that the end result of speaking those words would bring more persecution. He knew that things could get even worse for him. He did not care. He wanted to proclaim the Gospel. There was nothing more important for Paul. What an amazing example Paul's request is.
What is at the top of your prayer request list? Is it something that would give you comfort? Or something that would give God glory? Allow the Holy Spirit to direct what you should ask for.