An Admonition Regarding the Church’s “Prayer Vigilance”
In the letters Paul wrote to the church or to individuals, his prayers are always recorded. That’s because praying is the life line to his connection with God. Although the Roman church was not personally established by Paul, he frequently interceded and gave thanks on their behalf (Romans 1:8). At the conclusion of the Epistles to the Romans, Paul urged the brothers and sisters to join him in fervent prayer to God.
“I urge you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me.” (Romans 15:30)
There are two possible meanings to the sentence Paul used when he directed the church to pray for him by the Son and the Holy Spirit: 1) When Paul, by the instruction of Jesus Christ (He is the mediator and High Priest for man in heaven), and by the love of the Holy Spirit (The Spirit that bestows blessings and facilitates petitions for people on earth), urged believers to pray for each other, it signifies that both the Son and the Holy Spirit encourage believers to pray to the Heavenly Father. 2) When Paul admonished the church to pray, it was by Jesus Christ who is the mediator and High Priest in heaven, and by the love of the Holy Spirit that they would pray for each other. That meant that believers pray to the Heavenly Father through the Son and the Holy Spirit. Whichever explanation is taken, they both remind believers to pray and intercede for one another.
Paul wished that the brothers and sisters would join him in his struggle by praying to God for him. In fact, praying is a form of struggle. This brings to mind the time Jacob wrestled with God at the fork of the Jabbok. But Paul did not mean that we should wrestle with God through prayer. He just wanted us to understand through this that prayer is a struggle against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 6:12). Although Paul did not specifically point out here what difficulties he was confronting, yet he hoped that the brothers and sisters would join him in fervent prayer. Praying is a spiritual battle and a test of wills. It requires that we be willing to spend the time, determine to get involved, and submit heart, soul, will and strength to complete the holy task.
“But you are a chosen people, a
royal priesthood…” (1 Peter 2:9) Dear brothers and sisters, we have been
slacking in our holy duty of prayer and intercession as priests. This can be
seen from the attendance at the church’s Wednesday evening prayer meetings. Although
this writer had often reminded everyone to focus on praying, and Brother