Note from Jesus
The apostle Paul is known as a great missionary. He is also the writer of many of the letters that you find in your New Testament. However, there is a side of Paul’s ministry that is not emphasized enough in your world. This lack of emphasis inhibits the success of your mission efforts.
Paul was powerfully effective in reaching the lost, living out his calling, and blessing new Christians because of his prayer life. His letters include many of his prayers. These letters contain prayers of thanksgiving, prayers of intercession, prayers of blessing, and prayers of focus to help new Christians know what to work on in their lives. The surging power behind the effectiveness of Paul’s mission work and church planting work was his prayer life. Through prayer, he invited the Spirit to take control of his life, his ministry, and the opportunities available to him.
You’ve already read several of Paul’s prayers of blessing in previous passages from Romans (Romans 15:13 for example). In addition to Paul’s many prayers for those in My family, he also sought the help of new Christians to pray for him, for his team, for his boldness, for his courage, for open doors, and for his mission efforts. The power of mission always has been tied to the work of the Holy Spirit in response to My people’s passionate prayer!
Note from Phil@heartlight.org:
To see places around the world that are responding to Jesus in recent years, check out this blog post: The Top 20 Countries where Christianity is Growing the Fastest. For more on the power of prayer for missions, you are encouraged to read Miraculous Movements: How Hundreds of Thousands of Muslims Are Falling in Love with Jesus.
Verses to Live
Paul made very clear to his brothers and sisters in Rome that there were difficulties, obstacles, and dangers that awaited him during his journey to them. He knew that he could not overcome these problems on his own power, with his own cunning plans, or through his own skill. He needed divine power and supernatural deliverance if his plans were to be fulfilled. So, Paul asked these new believers in Rome to join him in prayer for these plans. Paul’s foresight was correct: great hardships awaited him, great challenges confronted him, and harsh realities met him in Jerusalem and on his way to Rome. But, his anticipation of arriving in Rome and being “refreshed” by their presence proved accurate (Acts 28:14-15).
Because of many issues, I [Paul] have not been able to visit you in the city of Rome. But my time to serve those here is coming to an end, there’s no room left for me in this region, and I have longed to come to you for many years. So I plan to visit you on my journey to Spain. I am hoping that I will not only see you face-to-face, but that you will assist me in the journey west after I have enjoyed our time together. But right now I must make the journey to Jerusalem to serve the saints there. Those in Macedonia and Achaia decided it was a good idea to share their funds to help the poor among the saints in Jerusalem. I must tell you that they were thrilled to be able to help. They realize that they are indebted to the believers in Jerusalem. If the nations share in the Jews’ spiritual goods, then it’s only right that they minister back to them in material goods. When this work is complete and the funds we’ve collected are delivered, I will make my way to Spain through your grand city of Rome and enjoy some of your hospitality. I’m sure that when I come to you I will come as a blessing and as one fully blessed by the Anointed One.
My brothers and sisters, I urgently plead with you by the name of our Lord Jesus, the Anointed, and by the love of the Spirit to join together with me in your prayers to God for my success in these next endeavors. Pray that I will be rescued from those who deny and persecute the faith in Judea and that my service in Jerusalem will meet the approval of all the saints there. If that happens, then my journey to you will be filled with joy; and, if God wills, I can rest and be refreshed in your presence. I pray the God of all peace will be with you all. Amen.
Response in Prayer
Father, I have several missionaries and ministries on my heart today. I pray that You not only bless and protect them, but that You also empower them to make an eternal impact in the lives of those they seek to reach. Give them courage and boldness. Give them Your sense of timing. I ask this in Jesus’ name and for the triumph of His message of grace. Amen.
‘A Year with Jesus’ is written by Phil Ware.
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All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved.