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; (31) 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; (32) That I may come unto you with joy by the will of God, and may with you be refreshed.Rom 15:30-32
Paul begins his final conclusion of the letter by asking the local church at Rome for prayer. He prays for them to strive with him in prayer, saying that he is already praying for the requests for which he is about to ask. He asks for prayer regarding his relationships with three specific groups of people.
1. “Those who do not believe in Judaea”- There were many people in and around Jerusalem and Judea which saw the Gospel of Jesus Christ as heretical and a threat to their position and power in Judaism. Much of the church was scattering from Jerusalem because of persection there. Paul was asking for freedom from them so that he could make it eventually to Rome and beyond.
2. The saints in Jerusalem- Paul’s desire was that the gift and ministry that he was taking to Jerusalem would be accepted by those in Christ that were there.
3. Church at Rome- Paul prayed that He would make it to Rome and that He and they would be used to refresh together upon his arrival.
It is interesting that these three groups all had an effect on Gospel. There were those who would hinder the gospel mission that Paul prays to be delivered from. Then there were those who he wanted to minster to and partner with that would help the Gospel to be advanced.
Prayer is essential for effective Gospel ministry. It is right and proper for leaders to ask for people to pray. It is essential that leaders pray themselves. We should pray for deliverance from those who would hinder Gospel proclamation. We should also pray for partnership with fellow believers to proclaim God’s Word. Of course we should also pray for the lost, those who have not heard, that the Gospel would be proclaimed to them.
Take some time to pray for the Gospel to be advanced today by your life and around the world.