I can imagine the encouragement and the joy the believers of Rome must have felt as they read or heard the apostle Paul had mentioned them in his prayers. I know when I find out someone has prayed for me it increases my faith and builds me up.
When Paul wrote this letter to the believers in Rome the gospel was under attack. People were twisting it to suit their own preferences. There were those who taught that salvation was by works not by faith. Still others were using the grace of God as a license to live any way they pleased. It would be easy to get discouraged or even question your own beliefs of the Gospel message. Does any of this sound familiar? We could almost lay these attacks of the Gospel on our own time line in history and they would fit perfectly. The writer of Ecclesiastes says, “There is nothing new under the sun.” If we have been around for a while we know that his words ring true.
That which has been is that which will be, and that which has been done is that which will be done. So there is nothing new under the sun. Ecclesiastes 1:9.
Let’s look at the prayer that Paul prayed in Romans 1:8-10.
“First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, because your faith is being proclaimed throughout the whole world. For God whom I serve in my spirit in the preaching of the gospel of His Son, is my witness as to how unceasingly I make mention of you, always in my prayers making requests, if perhaps now at last by the will of God I may succeed in coming to you.”
*First we see that Paul was thanking God through Jesus Christ for all the believers in Rome. Because of the finished work of Jesus Christ we have direct communication with God ourselves. Paul approached the throne of grace with confidence. You and I can do the same!
He was thanking God for their faith. What a faith they had, in the midst of attacks and persecution their faith was being proclaimed throughout the whole world. Oh, how I desire that I have that kind of faith! How I desire that the church, the bride of Christ, would have that kind of faith! Can you imagine the Glory that would be shown to God if we exercised this kind of faith in our day. And the encouragement believers every where would receive from each others faith.
I want to be an encourager through my faith and trust in Jesus Christ. No matter what is going on in the world in which I live. I have asked God to show me the faith of other believers of our day. He has been faithful in answering that prayer. What a joy and faith builder it has been!
*Second we see Paul praying, “if by the will of God,” he would be able to go and be with the believers in Rome. Think about this for a minute. Paul was praying for people he had never met. We are taught in 1 John 4:7-11 that one of the signs of a true believer is love for the brethren. Paul is a great example of one who loved the brethren.
Our church family supports a missionary family from Bangladesh. I can understand the love Paul had for the believers of Rome because God has placed such a great love for this family in our hearts. The love and bond that God places in the hearts of believers is an amazing thing! It truly is hard to put into words.
Paul Longs to See The Believers in Rome!
For I long to see you so that I may impart some spiritual gift to you, that you may be established; that is, that I may be encouraged together with you while among you, each of us by the others faith, both yours and mine. Romans 1:11-12
*Third we see Paul pray that he may visit the saints in Rome so that each can be encouraged by the others faith. This passage reminds me of what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 12, Romans 12 ,and Ephesians 4 concerning spiritual gifts. These gifts are given for the equipping of the saints, for works of service and for the building up of the body of Christ.
Each one of us is to use our gifts in accordance to the grace that has been to us through the Holy Spirit.
I pray that each of us remember this as we prepare to come together each Sunday as the body of Christ! May our services erupt with praise and worship to God as we exercise our gifts in honor of Him!
*Fourth we see Paul prays for and desires to obtain fruit among the believers. This could mean that Paul prayed that he would have opportunity to witness to the un-saved. Through the preaching and teaching of the gospel he would lead them to Christ. It could also mean that through the preaching of this same gospel that the believers in Rome would grow in maturity in the faith. Believers are characterized in Scriptures as those who are continually growing and maturing in the faith.
After reading this small passage of Scripture has it encouraged you to be a prayer warrior for your brothers and sisters in Christ?