From John Piper's message on Ephesians 3, delivered at the third Lausanne congress in South Africa:
When Paul was willing to go to prison for the sake of Christ, he showed the nations that Christ is more precious than freedom. When he was willing to suffer for Christ, he showed the nations that Christ is more precious than comfort and security and prosperity.
In other words, the infinite value of the unsearchable riches of Christ shine brightly not in Paul’s prosperity, but in his imprisonment. With his suffering, he draws the nations to the glory Christ and displays the wisdom of the cross.
But no one chooses prison,
* no one turns from prosperity,
* no one sees the breadth and length and height and depth of the love Christ that passes knowledge,
* no one is filled with all the fullness of God,
* no one says, “I count everything as loss for the sake of Christ”
without supernatural, omnipotent power coming into their lives.
And how does it come? Paul shows us that it comes by prayer.
Most of the peoples of the world where the church is not yet planted, don’t want us to come and bring the gospel. But they will perish if the gospel does not reach them. If, for Christ’s sake, we are willing to go—and Christ commands us to go—then we will suffer. And if our suffering is to be the glory of the world, then we must pray.
So to you, O Lord, who are able to do far more abundantly
than all that we ask or think,
according to the power at work within us,
to you be glory in the church
and in Christ Jesus
throughout all generations,
forever and ever.