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)