Martyn Lloyd Jones reflects on Paul’s prayer life in prison,
“The important thing for us to realize is that what he is saying is in effect, that though he is a prisoner, though a malignant enemy has arrested him and put him into bonds, and has made it impossible for him to visit them at Ephesus and to preach to them, or to go anywhere else to preach, there is one thing that the enemy cannot do, and that is, he cannot prevent him from praying. He can still pray.
The enemy can confine him to a cell, he can bolt and bar doors, he can chain him to soldiers, he can put bars in the windows, he can hem him in and confine him physically, but he can never obstruct the way from the heart of the humblest believer to the heart of the Eternal God.
In many ways in this uncertain modern world of ours this is one of the most comforting and consoling truths we can ever learn. Think of what this means to hundreds, say thousands, of Christian people in various parts of the world at this moment. Some are in prison and some in labor camps. They are subject to untold suffering and indignities but thank God they can still assert that stone walls do not a prison make nor iron bars a cage. The spirit of prayer is still free in spite of all the malignity of cruel tyrants.
Men may forbid us to speak with our lips, but even were they to stitch our lips together we can still pray in our spirits, still keep on praying to God.”