Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me; That I may be delivered from them that do not believe in Judaea; and that my service which I have for Jerusalem may be accepted of the saints; That I may come unto you with joy by the will of God, and may with you be refreshed (Rom. 15:30-32).
Notice the 3 things Paul ask his Roman brethren to pray for:
- Paul requested their prayers that he would “be delivered from them that do not believe in Judea”( 15:31). This epistle was written at the end of Paul’s third missionary journey, at a time when the Holy Spirit was testifying in every city that bonds and afflictions were going to come upon Paul at Jerusalem (Acts 20:22-23).
- Paul requested their prayers that his “service” which he had “for Jerusalem may be accepted of the saints”( 15:31). Throughout Paul’s third missionary journey, he had been collecting contributions from the churches for the poor saints in Jerusalem, and now he was ready to take what he had collected to them (Rom. 15:25-31; 1 Cor. 16:1-3; 2 Cor. 8:1-5; 2 Cor. 9:2).
- Paul also requested their prayers that he would be able to come to Rome “with joy by the will of God” and be refreshed with them there( 15:32).
When we study Romans 15:22-33 closely, we perceive the plan Paul had for the remainder of his third and fourth missionary journies. Paul was at the end of his third missionary journey and was planning to complete the journey by going to Jerusalem “to minister unto the saints” thereby delivering the contributions from the churches Macedonia and Achaia (Rom 15:25-27), and of Galatia (Acts 18:23 & 1 Cor. 16:1-2), and probably of Ephesus too (Acts 20:35).
Even before the completion of his third missionary journey, Paul was already planning a fourth. Paul said he had “a great desire these many years” to go to Rome to see the brethren there (Rom. 15:23), but he had “been much hindered from coming” to them (Rom. 15:22). Now, Paul was planning for his fourth journey to take him to Rome and from there to Spain (Rom. 15:24, 28). He planned to be “somewhat filled” with the company of the brethren in Rome, and then to have them send him to Spain. Paul said he was sure that he would come to them “in the fullness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ” (Rom. 15:29), and he asked them to pray that he would indeed “come unto you with joy by the will of God, and may with you be refreshed” (Rom. 15:32).
(to be continued)
2 thoughts on “PRAY FOR HARMONIOUS WORKING RELATIONSHIPS 1”
Sometimes in the rush of everyday living, prayers get trimmed down to what’s on our minds in the immediate, narrowly-focused moment. How often do we leave this avenue of help for our Christian relationships untapped, even somewhat neglected? How much do we actually NEED each other without realizing it? How often do we neglect to CONSIDER one another to provoke to love and good works, and what better way to provoke someone than to PRAY about it before and after? YES, We need to pray for good WORKING relationships in the Church!!! We NEED each other! All of us tend to get focused on our own lives, our own problems, our own frenetic pace, and may unwittingly disobey the command of God to exhort one another daily, gradually growing apart from one another and the strength God designed us to be for each other. Exhort one another daily? Sure, that would take a lot of work. It might even be a little odd-seeming, socially, to reach out to others that often. Sometimes we don’t get a good reaction to something we mean well. Does that mean we should back off? What if we persisted, but with more prayer? What would the rewards be? We do need each other more than we know. (You realize that when you lose someone you love…)
9 Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. 10 For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. 11 Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? 12 And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
Sometimes we forget to shut the gate before the horse gets out.