WILL YOU PRAY FOR ME?
Intro: Paul was without a doubt one of the greatest, if
not the greatest, Christian who has ever lived. He was
a man of power who was used of God in some very
magnificent ways. He saw the Lord work more miracles
and save more souls that you and I would probably see
in several lifetimes. You would think a man of his
stature would have needed no one or nothing.
However, such is not the case. Several times in the
writing of Paul, 1 Thes. 5:25; 2 Thes. 3:1; Heb. 13:18,
he is found asking the people of God to pray for him.
Here is a man who is on top of the heap spiritually
speaking, yet he feels the need to have God's children
battling for him in prayer. Yet, here is a man who is
keenly aware of the benefit of having the saints of God
lift you up in prayer.
As Paul is asking the question, "Who will pray for
me?", he is also illustrating for us one of the greatest
privileges that is ours a believers. We have the
privilege of being part of the ministry and work of
others. When we pray for them and carry them and
their needs before the Lord, we have a part in their
ministry. So, while Paul is asking for people to lift him
up, he is also inviting them to join him as he serves the
You see, down through the years, God has given us
some great spiritual giants. However, behind every one
of them were people who prayed and touched heaven
on their behalf. The names of the prayer partners may
not be remembered here, but when the rewards are
handed out at the Judgment Seat of Christ, those who
labored in the closets will receive as much as those who
labored in the field! Let's look at Paul's closing plea to
the Roman Christians. He seems to be asking "Who
will pray for me?" It just may be that this message will
remind us of the importance of intercessory prayer and
that we will get busy praying about the needs in the
lives of those around us!
I. V. 30 A CALL FOR DILIGENCE IN PRAYER
(Ill. Paul says that he "beseeches" then to join with
him in praying for his work. This is a strong word!
It is the same word used in Romans 12:1. There
Paul called them to present their bodies to the Lord.
Here they are called on to join him in a ministry of
prayer. The word "beseech" comes from a word
that means, "to call to ones side, or to draft into
service." It gives the impression of an SOS. Paul
is saying, "I need your help! I am drafting you to
come alongside of me and help me pray about
some things." Like a half-back in the Super Bowl.
He may be fast, but if he doesn't have some folks
blocking for him, he will be on the ground in short
order. So, those in spiritual ministry need others out
in front blocking for them!)
A. The Motive Of Prayer - Paul tells them that he
isn't asking selfishly about needing their prayers.
He wants them to know that he is asking
because he wants Jesus to receive all the glory.
Paul's request isn't for himself, but for the glory
Friends, this should be the overriding theme
of every prayer we pray! Can we really pray that
prayer in faith knowing that it is for the glory of
God? If not, then we need not pray that prayer,
1 Cor. 10:31; Rom. 14:23.
(Note: There are times when people will ask me
to pray about some matter or the other and they
already know how they want it to turn out. Well,
often, I don't have liberty to pray the way they
want me to! I have to pray, "Lord, if it's your
will, do this or that..."; or, "Lord, if it will
glorify you do this or that..." We need to be
careful how we pray!)
Notice also that Paul says for "Jesus' sake
and for the love of the Spirit." When we are
saved and the Spirit of God indwells us, one of
the first things He does is He gives us a love for
the people of God, Rom. 5:5. This love of God
in us is one of the major reasons why we pray
one for another. If I love you, I will be concerned
about what affects you and I will want to help
you pray about it. So, pray should be birthed out
of a desire to glorify God and out of love for
B. The Ministry Of Prayer - Lastly, Paul calls upon
these Christians to "strive" with him in prayer.
This word carries the idea of entering into a
fight with some one else. It is the same word
from which we get the English word "agony." It
is the same word used of Jesus when He prayed
in Gethsemane, Luke 22:44. It pictures prayer
as "wrestling". Brother, that's just what it is! I
don't care what you name in the Christian life, it
is easier than praying! Why? Because the devil
and the forces of evil will fight your attempts at a
consistent prayer life more than anything else
you do! The devil fears a Christian who prays
effectual prayers, James 5:16. Paul isn't
referring to this casual approach to the throne of
grace that we engage in most of the time! No!
He is talking about people who come boldly
before the Lord, Heb. 4:14, and who labor to lay
hold on God, Isa. 64:7. Where are those who
will abide faithful through the night watches?
Where are the saints that will lay their heads on
the door steps of Heaven, grasp the horns of His
altar by faith and lay siege to God throne until He
answers? That was the kind of prayer warriors
Paul was looking for and those are the kind we
need in our churches today!
Prayer is our opportunity to enter into spiritual
warfare with the devil. Prayer is our opportunity
to stand tall in the power of God and fight battles
against enemies that we cannot see. It is our
opportunity to win battles that we cannot fight
with our hands. It is in the closet of prayer that
power descends upon the preacher! It is the
prayer of a mother that protects the son in the
war thousands of miles away. It is the prayer of
the church that meets the need of the missionary
in the foreign field! May we never neglect or
downplay the enormous potential of prayer!
That is why we pray on Wednesday! That is why
we meet again on Friday! God grant us some
who will pay the price in prevailing prayer so that
the work of God may prosper in the land!
II. V. 31-32 A CALL FOR DETAIL IN PRAYER
(Ill. Paul was not asking for some generalized
prayers that would avail nothing. He takes the time
to tell these believers exactly what he wants them to
pray for. By the way, prayer ought to be specific!
We ought not be afraid to name our requests to the
Lord. If we do not, how will we know when they are
answered? Notice the three specific areas where
Paul asks for prayer
A. That Paul's Walk Might Be Protected - Paul
knew that he was walking into the lion's den.
There were people in Jerusalem who hated Paul
and the message he preached and would stop at
nothing to kill him. Read Acts 23 and you will
see! There were 40 men there who determined
not to eat or drink until they had killed Paul! They
hated him and he is praying for protection!
This same kind of praying is needed today!
God's people are still being attacked by a
spiritual enemy, 1 Pet. 5:8. He is seeking to
devour them and they need prayer. When will
we learn that our real power as a church does
not lie in our size, our organization, our affiliation
or our education? Our real power is spiritual in
nature, 2 Cor. 10:4-5, and is exercised through
the avenue of prayer, Eph. 6:18!
(Note: We need to pray for the church leaders!
We need to pray for these young preachers! We
need to pray for the young people. We need to
pray for one another! Pray a hedge of divine
protection around those who are being attacked
by the enemy. Pray that they will be strong and
that the attacks of the evil one will be turned
back upon his own head!)
B. That Paul's Work Might Prosper - Paul's next
item of prayer concerns the offering he is taking
to the church in Jerusalem, v. 25-27. Now, why
would they have a problem with the offering?
Because the unbelieving Jews wanted Paul
dead, and the believers were still a little leery of
Paul. He merely wants them to pray that God
will open doors and soften hearts.
(Note: This is the same kind of praying we need
tonight! Pray when the preachers preach! Pray
when the teachers teach! Pray when the singers
sing! Pray when the witnesses witness. Pray
that God will prepare hearts and touch lives. It is
a glorious thing to see the Lord move and
prosper His work when it is undergirded by the
prayers of His people! So pray that the work
C. That God's Will Might Prevail - Paul wants to
come to Rome if it is the will of God. He wants
to meet these saints, if it is the will of God. He
wants to rejoice with them, if it is the will of God.
So, Paul asks them to pray that God's will might
be done in all of these things. Here, Paul
speaks of joy and refreshment. These things
exist where the will of God is being carried out.
Above all, Paul wants the will of God to be
(Note: When I am in God's will, I have joy!
When I am out of His will, there is a loss of joy.
When I am in His will, I am refreshed in the
Spirit. When I am out of His will, there is no
refreshment of heart.
As a church, when we are praying and seeing
the Lord work out His will in our midst, there is
joy and there is a refreshing spirit around the
house of God. When we are running on our own
steam, there is a lack of power, of joy and of
refreshment. God help us to seek His will first,
both as individuals as well as a church body.)
(Note: We all have things we think we want to
see the Lord do here at the church. However,
may all of our praying be tempered by the will of
God. After all, if His will is being done, then
there will be joy and refreshment. When it is our
will that is being accomplished, there will be
problems and turmoil!)
III. V. 33 A CALL FOR DELIGHT IN PRAYER
(Ill. This final verse is a glimpse at Paul's heart. He
is able to leave all these matters in the hand of God
and rest in the assurance that God will take care of
the Roman believers. This final verse is something
of a prayer. It is breathed by the Apostle on behalf
of the church and it teaches us about some valuable
components that need to be included in our own
prayer lives. This isn't Paul crying our in despair! It
isn't him throwing up his arms in defeat. No! He is
telling these people, "I have committed these
matters to God and I am at rest. You do the
same thing and rest too.")
A. Rest In The Peace Of God - Paul is on his way
to Jerusalem. He does not know what will
happen to him when he gets there. For all he
knows, he might be killed or badly wounded, but
he is able to rest in the arms of God. He is able
to roll his whole need over into the strong arms
of God and trust Him to take care of it all. He is
also able to take these Roman Christians, in the
midst of their persecution, and he able to tell
them, "God will take care of you!"
(Note: This is a lesson for you and me as we
labor in prayer before the Lord. When we have
prayed about a matter in faith and have
committed it to the will of God, then we can have
peace in our hearts the He will take care of it for
us! He may not answer it the way we want Him
to, but He will always do what is right with the
things we ask Him. Therefore, when you have
prayed well, rest in His peace, John 14:27; Phil.
B. Rest In The Presence Of God - Paul reminds
these believers that they not only have the
peace of God to rest in, they also have the
presence of God to rely on. Paul wants them
to know that they can count on God to be with
him as he travels and with them as they wait to
hear from him again. He merely wants them to
know that having God is far more valuable
than having anything God can give!
(Note: You and I have the same assurance as
we go through life. There are times when we
look at situations and think they are totally
hopeless! And, they are as long as we leave
God out of the picture. Remember the spies in
Numbers 13? You leave God out and you are
in a mess! But, we need never leave God out!
He is always with us, regardless of the situation.
Regardless of how He answers our prayers, He
is always there for us! That is His promise -
Heb. 13:5; Matt. 28:20. Therefore, let us have
confidence as we face the stormy seas of life.
The One Who walks on the waves is the One
Who holds our hands!)
Conc: Now, Paul was praying and the folks in Rome
were praying, but did God ever answer these prayers?
Yes He did! Look at Acts 21-23. He was protected, just
like he prayed. He was well received of the church is
Jerusalem, Acts 21:17. And, he was able to rejoice with
the Roman Christians in the Lord's time, Acts 28:15.
Yes, God heard these prayers from Paul and the church
and they were answered!
Now listen, when you pray, do not be discouraged if
the answer doesn't come along as quickly as you'd like
it to. But, when you have prayed in faith, believing,
always remember that God answers every prayer you
pray! Sometimes He says "Yes!" I like those!
Sometimes He says "No!" I don't like those!
Sometimes He says "Wait!" Those are the hardest of
all. But, it is still a blessing to know that all prayers are
Therefore, Christian, pray! Will you pray for the
church? Will you pray for the community? Will you
pray for me? Will you pray for the leaders here? Will
you pray unto the Lord, trusting Him to Protect Our
Walk, Prosper Our Work and for His Will to Prevail? If
we will pray as He has taught us, we will see Him work
in ways we have never imagined!