I urge you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me (Romans 15:30).
Paul’s wrapping up his letter to the Romans, and as he does Paul pleads for their prayers. When I pray for people, normally it’s for people who are struggling or in need of some kind. We generally don’t pray for people if we think they’re on top of things and have it together. Why would I pray for Pastor So and So—they seem spiritually strong and able. But that’s the wrong kind of thinking! Leaders have great challenges before them and require as much prayer as anyone else! Paul’s not too proud to admit he’s “struggling” and covets his Christian friends’ prayers on his behalf. Pastor Paul needs daily wisdom for important decisions and direction, the Spirit’s power to live above reproach, and grace to handle the unique challenges of preaching the Gospel and shepherding God’s people. Pastors and their families deal with a lot of stress. And the devil knows by focusing his efforts on one man, he’ll get the best bang for his buck—if you take down the pastor, hundreds of others are harmed as well! Paul closes his letter by begging his friends to keep him in their prayers. The apostle knows that the prayers of God’s people are powerful and effective, and if he’s going to come out on top in his struggle, it will be because people are praying for him.