“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;” (Romans 15:30, KJV 1900)
Yesterday, I shared that Paul was confident in having Christ’s blessings in his visit to Rome. Yet, since he had all this confidence, you might ask, “Why did he ask for prayer?” This question is akin to another that is, “If God is sovereign and His ways will be done, then why do we pray?” Let me give a short thought on this. First, there apparently are things in God’s sovereign plan that are vitally connected to our prayer life. When we pray, we join God in his divine purposes. Second, we are commanded in Scripture to pray. It is obedience. Third, when we pray, we connect through Christ to the Father in the most intimate way. He wants to hear from His children.
While there are probably many other reasons you could add, I will give just one more thought, which specifically relates to Paul’s prayer request. When we pray for the ministry of others, we participate in a practical way in it. Thus, we are connected in some wonderful way to the blessings of another’s ministry.
When Paul asked for the believers in Rome to pray for him, they had the privilege and blessing of partnering with him in accomplishing God’s sovereign purposes in his ministry. Imagine this. When you pray for a missionary, an evangelist, or your pastor, you have contributed in their ministries. You will have part in the blessings they will experience.
Paul asked for prayer specifically. It was not a generic prayer like we often offer up. We often pray things like, “Bless all the missionaries.” Paul specifically asked for three things. First, for protection from unbelieving adversaries in Judea (v31). Second, he needed the saints in Jerusalem to be blessed by his ministering there (v31). Third, he desired to be able to leave Jerusalem and visit them in Rome (v32). He asked for protection, ministry success, and traveling mercies.
We should always remember that prayer is powerful and it is our way to join in something greater than ourselves. By connecting with prayer at the throne of grace, we accomplish much. We join in God’s sovereign purposes in a powerful way. Pray without ceasing. Have special times of prayer. Pray with others. Pray specifically. Pray in accordance with the will of God. Partner in ministry through prayer.