Let’s lift one another up to our Father in prayer – today.
23 But now I have finished my work in these regions, and after all these long years of waiting, I am eager to visit you. 24 I am planning to go to Spain, and when I do, I will stop off in Rome. And after I have enjoyed your fellowship for a little while, you can provide for my journey.
25 But before I come, I must go to Jerusalem to take a gift to the believers there. 26 For you see, the believers in Macedonia and Achaia have eagerly taken up an offering for the poor among the believers in Jerusalem. 27 They were glad to do this because they feel they owe a real debt to them. Since the Gentiles received the spiritual blessings of the Good News from the believers in Jerusalem, they feel the least they can do in return is to help them financially. 28 As soon as I have delivered this money and completed this good deed of theirs, I will come to see you on my way to Spain. 29 And I am sure that when I come, Christ will richly bless our time together.
30 Dear brothers and sisters, I urge you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to join in my struggle by praying to God for me. Do this because of your love for me, given to you by the Holy Spirit. 31 Pray that I will be rescued from those in Judea who refuse to obey God. Pray also that the believers there will be willing to accept the donation I am taking to Jerusalem. 32 Then, by the will of God, I will be able to come to you with a joyful heart, and we will be an encouragement to each other.
33 And now may God, who gives us his peace, be with you all. Amen.
Paul is continually showing us how we can be a blessing to others while being blessed ourselves – all at the same time.
We cannot out-bless God. We often naively think that He is showing us a need to meet so that we can bless another and it always turns back to where we end up blessed! I can’t explain it. His ways are so much higher than our ways. And I praise Him for that truth!
Challenge: Pray for one week asking God to show you a need that you can meet.
It doesn’t have to be grand and it doesn’t have to involve money, although it could. God may reveal to you a person who needs prayer. He might show you a financial need to meet. Or He might show you a need that you can meet with your time like babysitting for a young couple with a new baby so they can have a date night. Pray diligently for one week and He will bring something to you. But be warned, it can be contagious and you may not want to stop!
Ask for prayers.
In the Scripture above, we see Paul asking for prayer for numerous things, including for himself. Here is a list of the prayer requests that are contained in these 11 verses:
- Prayer for himself;
- Prayer that he will be rescued from those in Judea who refuse to obey God;
- Prayer that the believers in Jerusalem will be willing to accept the donation he is taking to them; and,
- Prayer that God, who gives us His peace, be with all of the people he is writing to in this letter.
Notice that in the verses above Paul did not apologize before he asked for prayer. In our society, we tiptoe around others because we don’t want to bother them. I’m guilty of this myself. We don’t always ask for prayers even though the Word clearly shows us that we should. We need to be bold about our requests. It should not be a burden to ask a friend for prayer. It is a privilege to be able to pray for others. It is a blessing to be able to lift another to our good and loving Father.
Challenge: Initiate a prayer chain today.
This is easy on Facebook. You create a post that says something like this:
Let’s start a prayer chain. I will start. In the comments, I am going to list my prayer request. The first friend who reads it is to pray for this request for me and note that you did so in a reply comment. Then in a new comment, you list your prayer request. The next friend (even if they don’t know you) is to pray for you and note that they did so. They then create a new comment with their prayer request and on and on it goes. There is such power in the knowledge that another person, possibly even a stranger, is lifting your prayer to our Father. I hope you take this challenge and put it in action today. You’ll be blessed when you do so.
Paul’s missionary trips and his passion for those who did not know Jesus should be inspiration for all of us.
I’ll close with some aspects of Paul’s life that we should try to imitate. Paul spoke boldly. He spoke directly and with conviction. His heart was for all those in darkness. And he also had a soft spot for all the young, new believers. He was always encouraging and lifting them up to be the best they could be. Let’s do that in our lives. It’s contagious. Others will see it in you and want to know your secret allowing you to share Jesus. He opens doors for us to minister. Be bold for Christ!
Stay in the Light and the Love Always,