Jump Start # 2566
Romans 15:30 “Now I urge you, brethren, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit to strive together with me in your prayers to God for me.”
It is such a simple statement. We hear it all the time. And, especially in these times, we hear it often and see it on so many Facebook posts. Three little words, “Pray for me.” These are times in which those three little words mean so much. A loved one in the hospital and you can’t go visit them. You are worried, scared and hoping for the best. A simple post on Facebook, “Pray for me.” First line medical staff in hospitals who are facing this dangerous virus every day. They post a simple plea, “Pray for me.” A loved one dies and only ten people can attend the service. It’s not what you wanted, but here we are. “Pray for me.” A wedding is planned, but now things are having to be changed. It’s not the way the bride or her family planned. Pray for me. Shepherds are concerned about how many are staying with the livestreams, podcasts and videos that the preachers are putting out. Are people drifting away as time passes? Pray for me, is what they are thinking.
Multiple times in Paul’s letters he would tell congregations that he was remembering them in his prayers. I expect that he did. These people were in the heart of Paul. But here, in this Roman passage, he asks for prayers for himself. He says, “in your prayers to God for me.” Pray for me.
Here are some thoughts:
First, when someone asks you to pray for them, do that. They are wanting help. They are opening up to you. So many times we’d like to do a dozen other things before we’d pray. Could it be that we do not grasp how powerful prayer is. We are asking the God of Heaven and earth, who uses the earth as His footstool, to come and help. God can do things we cannot. God can move faster, better and has no limitations. Will you pray for me? That is such an honor, that someone trusts you enough to ask God for help. Pray.
Second, when you pray for someone, say their name to Heaven. Sometimes we may not fully understand all that is going on. We may not know just what to pray about other than for the Lord to help them and to lead them to do what is right. That is always an important aspect of prayer. Praying for someone’s health is fine, but sooner or later that person is going to die. We are not getting out of this place alive, unless the Lord comes first. So, we pray for a person’s health and they live another twenty-five years, but die not knowing Jesus, that’s not good. As you pray, ask the Lord to open their hearts. Ask the Lord to use you to show them. Ask the Lord to help you know what to do to lead them to salvation. As you pray for their health and safety, pray for their salvation. They may not ask for that. They may not be thinking of that. But you are.
Third, often one prayer just isn’t enough. There are folks who need daily prayers. There are family members, parents, children, spouse that we ought to be praying for every day. If you love them, then you ought to pray for them. There are some situations, health problems, marriage troubles, that you may pray over and over and over about. If it concerns you, take it to the Lord in prayer.
Fourth, during this time of separation, we need to be praying for our congregations. We need to pray for good leadership. We need to pray for the preachers. We need to pray that we remain spiritually strong and alert. We need to pray for this virus to end. We need to pray for the day we can all be back together. Won’t that be a special Sunday! Together again, how wonderful that will be! Pray for that.
Finally, don’t forget to pray for yourself. Paul was asking the Romans to pray for him. That’s not selfish. He needed help. We may be praying for everyone but forget to pray for ourselves. We need to pray to be healthy, strong spiritually and hopeful. Pray that your spirit doesn’t become bitter during this long period of separation. Pray that you will continue to trust the Lord.
Pray for me—what special words those are. What a privilege it is when someone asks you that. Good things to think about once in a while.