Friends, when we ask for prayer, who do we go to first? We go to those we know pray with sincere hearts, wanting God’s best for us. Right? Hold that thought…
As believers in Jesus, we are all ministers of the gospel—the Good News that all can be saved for eternity by believing in Jesus. God’s work in us is to listen for His prompting, timing, right words, with His Spirit of delivery of those words to the lost. Paul went where no other apostle had been before, telling the Good News to the Gentiles as well as his fellow Jews. Paul was powerful, passionate and productive in God’s work, giving all the glory to God for whatever was accomplished. We love that about Paul. We also love that often Paul humbly asked for prayer.
We love that about anyone in the church today who does not seek glory for themselves as they do God’s work. Friends, God invites us to His work, equips us and leads us. So, to HIM be the glory for all that is good from the results of our yielding to Him. When pray asking for help, it is only fitting and sensible to give glory to the One who helped us. When we get this wrong, we are in trouble and peace alludes us. When we get this right—walk humbly with God—we walk in His peace.
As Paul brings his letter to the churches in Rome to a close, he asks humbly for the church to pray strenuously for him. Paul, who seems to have it all under control, strong and courageous even while in prison, always preaching in all circumstances, asks for earnest, strenuous prayer. This is the kind of prayer that “wrestles” with God to know exactly what HE wants. This is the kind of prayer Paul is asking his friends to pray with him. Paul knows, without doubt, WHO is really in control. God and His will are what Paul seeks. Why? Because Paul knows that prayers of sincere hearts bring the peace of God in all circumstances—even in jail.
ROMANS—OUR CARE AND CALLING
Romans 15:22-33, The Message
Part three of three
22-24 And that’s why it has taken me so long to finally get around to coming to you. But now that there is no more pioneering work to be done in these parts, and since I have looked forward to seeing you for many years, I’m planning my visit. I’m headed for Spain, and expect to stop off on the way to enjoy a good visit with you, and eventually have you send me off with God’s blessing.
25-29 First, though, I’m going to Jerusalem to deliver a relief offering to the followers of Jesus there. The Greeks—all the way from the Macedonians in the north to the Achaians in the south—decided they wanted to take up a collection for the poor among the believers in Jerusalem. They were happy to do this, but it was also their duty. Seeing that they got in on all the spiritual gifts that flowed out of the Jerusalem community so generously, it is only right that they do what they can to relieve their poverty. As soon as I have done this—personally handed over this “fruit basket”—I’m off to Spain, with a stopover with you in Rome. My hope is that my visit with you is going to be one of Christ’s more extravagant blessings.
30-33 I have one request, dear friends: Pray for me. Pray strenuously with and for me—to God the Father, through the power of our Master Jesus, through the love of the Spirit—that I will be delivered from the lions’ den of unbelievers in Judea. Pray also that my relief offering to the Jerusalem believers will be accepted in the spirit in which it is given. Then, God willing, I’ll be on my way to you with a light and eager heart, looking forward to being refreshed by your company. God’s peace be with all of you. Oh, yes!
WHAT WE HAVE LEARNED ABOUT PAUL…
Paul explained the characteristics of his ministry in this chapter, don’t miss what God is teaching us—
- Paul’s ministry was received by grace (vv. 14–15).
- It was centered in the gospel (v. 16).
- It was done for God’s glory (v. 17).
- It was done by God’s power (vv. 18–19).
- It was according to God’s plan (vv. 20–24).
Like Jesus went to the Father in continuous prayerful communication before doing anything of significance, Paul has learned to go the Father, asking for His specific plan, by His power, in Jesus Name, for His glory as he centers God’s work all on the gospel of Jesus Christ!
Who are we, as believers, to do anything less? Pray for me and I’ll pray for you, sincerely and strenuously…
In Jesus Name, For His Glory, Amen.