For the majority of Christians I know of, including myself, the words, "I am in chains now..." just don't quite compute. Oh yes, we understand that Paul and many of God's servants have faced imprisonment for their faithful service to God. But I, for one, can't really imagine what it must be like to be in that kind of situation! Yet Paul took it as part of his ministry for the Lord. He knew he would suffer, but he also knew something else: He knew as God's people prayed for him he would be effective even "in chains!"
Christian, God calls on us to "remember those who are in prison, as if you were there yourself." Hebrews 13:3 NLT. And the way we remember them is to pray for them. And you get the sense of what Paul is saying that he wasn't asking so much that he would be released. He was praying that his witness would still be strong and that he would speak boldly as he should!
How did the Philippian jailer get saved in Acts 16? His job was to watch the prisoners in his prison. He didn't have time to go and hear the preacher who was making quite a stir in his city. So, what did God do? God sent the preacher to the prison! And as God's people were praying for Paul God was blessing Paul's witness whether he was "free" or in chains.
My encouragement for all of us in these most recent passages is to pray for God's servants to have an effective witness for Christ wherever they are and in whatever situation they may find themselves.