30Now 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, 31that I may be rescued from those who are disobedient in Judea, and that my service for Jerusalem may prove acceptable to the saints; 32so that I may come to you in joy by the will of God and find refreshing rest in your company. 33Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.
As Paul ends his letter (I know, there’s one more chapter, but this is specific to his “speech to the Romans”), he exemplifies more Christian values.
To strive together with me in your prayers to God for me. Prayer. Not just praying, but praying with each other and for each other. The word “strive” is not meant to be taken lightly. The original text suggests through this word to exert as if in an athletic competition. I think about the passage that talks about Jesus praying so hard his sweat was as thick as blood. This is where we do battle. This is where our lives are fought.
Next, Paul states his goal. He sees what is in front of him and he recognizes what he would like to do. Paul previously spoke of setting goals and carrying them out for God’s glory. This is what he faces.
We see in verse 32 Paul uses the phrase by the will of God. How often do we focus on God’s will instead of our own? You see, Paul is reflecting Christ’s call to the Father during that prayer I mentioned. Christ asked for the cup (his mission to die on the cross) to be taken away, but only if it was God’s will. Paul is expressing the same thing here. He prays for his deliverance from the difficulty he faces but only if it is in alignment with God’s will and purpose for him.
This is where we need to put focus in our prayer lives. We can pray for everything under the sun, but if we pray for God’s will and His peace (stated in verse 33), we will be at peace with God’s will! For me, this is a constant prayer. I pray for God’s will to be carried out (which, we all know will be regardless) and for my understanding and peace with it. I’m sure we all have had at least one time in our lives when we questioned God’s purpose for something that we weren’t to happy about.
How aligned are you with God’s will?