PRAYING FOR OTHER BELIEVERS
“First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world. For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention you always in my prayers, asking that somehow by God’s will I may now at last succeed in coming to you.” Romans 1:8-10
I have always wanted to study the prayers of Paul. So I hope you won’t mind walking this path with me. The first prayer we encounter is in the book of Romans. Paul did not plant the church in Rome, but he recognized the faith that was growing in the church in Rome. And he deeply wanted to go there.
What I get from this prayer is first the importance of praying for other believers. I love how Paul thanks God for the other believers that have been put in his path and in his mind to pray for. We should recognize what other believers in our midst are doing for God and where their faith lies as well as those that are not directly in our midst. I have always wanted to go on a mission trip. However, that has not been in the cards for me yet. But I can pray for those who are on mission for God. My role is no less important than theirs who are serving at this time.
Another point that I took from commentary is when Paul says “for God is my witness” he was putting emphasis on the fact that he did in fact pray. Paul wanted the Romans to know that he wasn’t just saying “I’m praying for you” he was actually doing it. I was convicted a long time ago about this very thing. How many times do we say “I’ll pray for you” and then we walk away from a situation or a person and then we never actually do it. I try to be very specific. If I am going to put someone on my prayer list that I say that, or if I am going to “say a prayer” for someone that is what I say. Prayer is a privilege, I love to pray for my friends and family, but it is something I take very seriously. If I am going to say I “mention you always in my prayers” I want you to know it is true. I believe that is what Paul was emphasizing to the Romans. He wanted them to know that they were a consistent topic in his conversations with God! I love that!
We also know about Paul that he embraced his mission wherever he was. Whether he was in jail, chained up, under house arrest or sojourning from town to town to preach the gospel, Paul seemed to have learned contentment over his life. However that did not stop him from also wanting to do more. He wanted to go to Rome to encourage and to be encouraged by his fellowship with other believers. I think sometimes we see contentment as being fine just right where we are and having no desire to do more. I think contentment is being fine just right where we are at the moment, but looking ahead to the future to grow wherever He leads us. But in His time not ours. I struggle with this. There are things I would like to do that don’t seem to be in my path at this time. And sometimes I wonder why the Lord won’t let me get to that place where I could serve Him more. I need to find the balance where I can look ahead but also be ok where He has me planted today.
I thank my God for all of you who take the time to read and to study along with me. The last month I took some time for personal time with Jesus and posted repeats but I hope to continue studying and writing my thoughts down studying these prayers of Paul. I am honored and humbled when you read along and study with me. I look forward to what Paul will teach us about prayer!