I urge you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me

23 But now that there is no more place for me to work in these regions, and since I have been longing for many years to visit you, 24 I plan to do so when I go to Spain. I hope to see you while passing through and to have you assist me on my journey there, after I have enjoyed your company for a while. 25 Now, however, I am on my way to Jerusalem in the service of the Lord’s people there. 26 For Macedonia and Achaia were pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the Lord’s people in Jerusalem.27 They were pleased to do it, and indeed they owe it to them. For if the Gentiles have shared in the Jews’ spiritual blessings, they owe it to the Jews to share with them their material blessings.28 So after I have completed this task and have made sure that they have received this contribution, I will go to Spain and visit you on the way. 29 I know that when I come to you, I will come in the full measure of the blessing of Christ.

30 I urge you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me. 31 Pray that I may be kept safe from the unbelievers in Judea and that the contribution I take to Jerusalem may be favorably received by the Lord’s people there, 32 so that I may come to you with joy, by God’s will, and in your company be refreshed. 33 The God of peace be with you all. Amen.           Romans 15:23-33.

The apostle Paul emphasized time and again the importance of giving to the work of the Lord.  We don’t give to the Lord so that He will bless us.  He will bless us because as we are shown to be faithful with very little, He will entrust us with much.  But the reason we give to the Lord is because of what Jesus has done.  Jesus death and resurrection are enough and we give to the work of the Lord to see the kingdom of God expanded on the earth.  Too many times churches and ministries guilt people into giving to build an empire unto themselves.  To use the name of Jesus to gain worldly wealth is to use the name of Jesus in vain and is an abomination to the Lord.

But the apostle Paul also knew the importance of prayer.  He knew that it was prayer that opened the door for the gospel to go forth, it is prayer that protects the sons and daughters of God, it is prayer that empowers God’s people, it is prayer that opens the door for God’s hand to touch the earth.

God has designed things upon the earth in which He uses His sons and daughters greatly in the place of prayer.  He is all powerful but for some reason He has chosen to use us.  He will not move upon the earth until He has moved on the hearts of one of His sons or daughters and through them He will bring His will to pass.

When the Lord desires to do something great upon the earth He will develop and cultivate a deep relationship with someone who is willing.  When the Lord finds a person who is willing to humble themselves before Him and be used He will pour Himself out into their lives and He will use them greatly in the place of prayer.  These people of prayer may never be well known upon the earth, but they are well known in heaven and will be greatly rewarded some day.

We must daily lift up our brothers and sisters around the world who are taking the gospel forth.  We may not be able to travel to distant lands to plant the seeds of the gospel, but from where ever we are we can go before the throne of God and pray forth His will, seeing the door to the gospel open and seeing the work and hand of the enemy bound.  As we pray the Lord will move greatly in the earth.  Even when the enemy lies to us over and over again telling us that nothing is happening, we need to know in the depths of our hearts that things are happening because we are simply being obedient to pray.

Never underestimate the power of the prayers you bring before God’s throne.  We know that if we pray all things in the name of Jesus and it aligns with the Father’s will that it is accomplished.  We can know that it aligns with the Father’s will by becoming a diligent student of God’s word, because it is through His word that His heart is revealed.

If we are hungry for the Lord today and desire to know the depths of who He is then we simply need to begin to open His word to read and meditate upon His word.  We must seek Him in the place of prayer asking the Lord for greater wisdom, knowledge, understanding, and revelation.  Those who are hungry will be satisfied and those who are hungry will be greatly used.  Never lose heart and never give up but simply press on toward the high call in Christ Jesus.

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