Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me. (Romans 15:30)
Although it is permissible and good to pray for yourself, prayer for the people of God and especially the man of God is pressed upon God’s children. What a privilege prayer is unto our God and Saviour! To rest in His presence, to listen to His gracious words in the Scriptures, and to speak in return to our Creator in love, admiration, and affection – is an unspeakable blessing and responsibility.
Paul beseeches the slaves and common people of the Roman churches to pray for him. No need for the spiritual elite to be sought for in this case. Even the lambs of God can bleat for the men of God. All of God’s sheep can raise their voice unto the Great Shepherd for their under-shepherd. The Holy Spirit heightens the exhortation by reminding them of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of the Spirit. Prayer is encouraged and engaged in God’s people when they are reminded of the mercies of our Lord and their spiritual sense of love one for another. Prayer is necessary for the work and for the men of God; even among the greatest of God’s servants, perhaps more so.
Ian Paisley stated in his commentary on Romans – “Paul was a giant on his feet because he was a colossus on his knees. He moved in the atmosphere of prayer. He breathed the breath of prayer. His prayers were not parochial, confined to a narrow space. The outreach of his prayers embraced the whole world.”
The one who is typically regarded as spiritually “successful” in our churches is the pastor. He is to be the example to the flock and the mouthpiece of God. The man of God is committed to prayer and the ministry of the word. How much more should the church of God pray for their under-shepherds! If the under-shepherd is smitten then the sheep are scattered. “Brethren, pray for us,” is on the mouth of everyone of God’s men.
Charles H. Spurgeon, from the beginning of his ministry in London unto his dying days, besought and pleaded with the people to pray for him. Spurgeon wrote in his acceptance letter to the deacons at New Park Street in London (January 27, 1854). “Pecuniary matters I am well satisfied with. And now one thing is due to every minister, and I pray you to remind the church of it, namely, that in private, as well as in public, they must all earnestly wrestle in prayer to the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, that I may be sustained in the great work.”
Pause this moment and pray. Pray for your pastor. Pray for your church leadership. Pray for your missionaries and your church teachers. Pray one for another. Out of a love for Christ and a intense love for one another – pray. May the breath of prayer to our Great Lord and Saviour be constant and fervent, even as our physical breathing is.