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Monday, July 1, 2024

Paul's Request for Prayer



Romans 15:30-32

Since Paul’s ministry required so much of him and there was such great opposition to stop him, he knew he needed as much prayer support as possible. This is the reason he wrote the following to the Romans and asked:

“Now I beg you, brethren, through the Lord Jesus Christ, and through the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with me in prayers to God for me, that I may be delivered from those in Judea who do not believe, and that my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints, that I may come to you with joy by the will of God, and may be refreshed together with you” (Roman 15:30-32).

Studying Paul’s request for prayer support can help us determine how to pray for our pastors or those in spiritual authority over us. We can gather six things from his request.

1.   Paul asked them to “strive together with me in prayers to God for me.”  

    The Greek word for “strive” is “agonizomai,” meaning to contend with an adversary.” You can grasp that Paul was in agony and that his battle against the enemy was intense. The battle was so severe that he needed others to pray with him. He didn’t want to face the enemy alone, so he opened his heart and asked others to come alongside him.

When you pray for your pastor, remember he needs your support. Just as Jesus asked Peter, James, and John to pray with Him in the Garden the night before his crucifixion, your pastor needs your prayer support. Knowing others are standing in faith and in prayer with him encourages him. If Jesus and Paul needed this support, then so does your pastor. 

2.   Paul specifically asked them to pray “that I may be delivered from those in Judea who do not believe.”  

“Delivered” means “to be rescued or snatched from danger.”

Why would Paul ask to be delivered from those who didn’t believe? Because he had endured many hardships, with unbelievers fighting against him and believers undermining his ministry with continuous trouble.

A known fact is that Satan works through people. He wants to stop the Gospel from advancing, so he will use anyone he can to hinder it. He may use someone outside the church to create adversity, but sadly, he also uses people inside the church to create division and difficulty. When you pray for your pastor, pray he will be snatched out of danger from the enemy’s traps set for him.

3.   Paul asked them to pray “that my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints.”  

Paul asked for prayer for his ministry to be well-received.

Paul sought God through prayer and listened to the Holy Spirit to guide him. He desired his every word to be spoken accurately and that it would be accepted. Paul also wanted the people he ministered to know he was sincere and had no ulterior motives. Hence, he prayed that his ministry to the saints in Jerusalem would be well received. This is a prayer your pastor always desires you to pray for him.  

Pray that your pastor stays sensitive to the Holy Spirit and that his ministry will be accepted, that people will receive him, and that they will hear his heart. He needs your prayers to support him as he applies his understanding of God’s Word in countless situations.

4.   Paul asked them to pray “that I may come to you with joy.” 

Paul’s ministry had presented him with numerous opportunities to lose his joy. He had suffered broken relationships, failed prospects, political unrest, church division, and countless other issues. Paul wanted to experience joy in his ministry. He asked for prayer to keep his joy despite everything he had to deal with in ministry.

What tempts you to lose your joy? Consider your pastor. Consider all the people he counsels, the sermons he prepares, and the spiritual, emotional, and physical time he gives to the purpose of the church. Now consider the disappointment your pastor is tempted to feel when someone he has previously helped chooses to leave the church. There are more than enough issues in ministry to make your pastor lose his joy.

The joy of the Lord is your pastor’s strength. Pray he will keep his joy despite everything he has to deal with in ministry. 

5.   Paul asked for prayer “that I may come to you with joy by the will of God.” 

Paul wanted believers to pray that he would make no mistakes and always stay in God’s will for his life. 

When you pray for your pastor, pray he will have the wisdom to know what to do in various situations. Problems in the church and his own life always come at him. He needs your prayers to make the right decisions. Just as Paul requested prayer that he would be in God's will, help your pastor by praying that he will stay sensitive to the Holy Spirit and follow God’s will for himself and the church. 

6.   Paul requested prayer so he might be “refreshed.” 

We all need to be refreshed, which is no different with your pastor. Sometimes, people regard pastors as knowing the answer to all their issues. He is your pastor because he is called to shepherd the flock, and that is where his heart lies. He wants you to know you can come to him when needed. But pastors are just like everyone else. They get tired and need refreshing. Paul makes his need known by telling his readers, “I need to be refreshed just like the rest of you. Please pray that I will be refreshed.”

Paul wasn’t shy about asking for prayer. Romans 15:30-32 lets us know ministers especially need prayer. Why not use Paul’s prayer to help you pray more effectively for your pastor and others in the ministry that the Holy Spirit has brought into your life? 

*******

Lord, our pastor has a sincere heart of love for you and his flock. He has not taken advantage of the sheep but has strengthened the weak and bound up the broken. Protect him from the lies of the enemy who comes to steal, kill, and destroy the calling you have given him. Give him a spirit of revelation in his wisdom and knowledge of you. I ask you to deliver him from anyone with wrong intentions. I also pray that his ministry be well received, that he will have joy in his ministry, make the right decisions, and stay in your will. I pray he will receive your healing and strength and be refreshed in his spirit—his soul—and his body. May he experience your victory in every moment. Please pour your abundant blessings upon our pastor, his wife, and all his family. In your all-powerful and wonderful name, I pray. Amen.

www.lynnlacher.com/2024/07/pauls-request-for-prayer.html

 

 

 

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