22 That’s why I have often been kept from coming to you. 23 Now there is no more place for me to work in those areas. For many years I have been longing to see you. 24 So I plan to see you when I go to Spain. I hope to visit you while I am passing through. And I hope you will help me on my journey there. But first I want to enjoy being with you for a while. 25 Now I am on my way to Jerusalem to serve God’s people there. 26 The believers in Macedonia and Achaia were pleased to take an offering for those who were poor among God’s people in Jerusalem. 27 They were happy to do it. And of course they owe it to them. Those who aren’t Jews have shared from the Jews’ spiritual blessings. So the non-Jews should share their earthly blessings with the Jews. 28 I want to finish my task. I want to make sure that the poor in Jerusalem have received the offering. Then I will go to Spain. On my way I will visit you. 29 I know that when I come to you, I will come with the full blessing of Christ. 30 Brothers and sisters, I am asking you through the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me. Pray for me with the love the Holy Spirit provides. 31 Pray that I will be saved from those in Judea who do not believe. Pray that my work in Jerusalem will be accepted by God’s people there. 32 Then, as God has planned, I will come to you with joy. Together we will be renewed. 33 May the God who gives peace be with you all. Amen.
In reading Romans I so appreciate the way it captures Paul’s heart; his passion for God, for the Jews, and for the Gentiles flows through the text. I find his passion so infectious. Almost 2000 years ago he called on the Roman church to join him in his struggle by praying for him, such that the Jews in Jerusalem would receive the financial gift from the Gentile churches Paul had established. Paul’s heart cry was that the Jewish Christians would welcome the Gentiles into the church, and accept that God’s mercy was for the whole world.
As I read Paul urging the people to join with him in prayer my faith is stirred. Paul no longer needs our help, but in our church, in the local area, in this nation, around the world, believers are contending for the gospel. Lord, I want to join their struggle, I want to be a part of seeing your will done and your kingdom come. Help me to see the people around me who I can join with, thank you that you call me to something so much bigger than myself. Amen.
Written by Beth Waugh