Paul specifically asked the Romans to pray about three challenges he knew he would be facing. First, he asked them to pray that he would be rescued from the unbelievers in Judea. Many Jews in Jerusalem considered him a traitor to their faith, which could have put his life in danger. Second, he asked the Romans to pray that the financial gift he was bringing on behalf of Gentile believers for hurting Christians in Judea would be acceptable to the saints. His ministry to the Gentiles could raise concerns among a primarily Jewish audience. So, he asked that their hearts would be warmed toward the mission God had given him. Finally, he asked them to pray that he would soon be able to visit them personally. Paul had been delayed in the past by other obligations, but he sincerely wanted to connect with the Romans and to be refreshed together with them. He longed for an opportunity to encourage them and be encouraged by them face-to-face. The Book of Acts reveals that Paul’s prayers were answered, though maybe not as he expected. The Jewish Christians did welcome him (Acts 21:17-20a). He was protected from his enemies—by being arrested by the Romans (Acts 21:31-34). And he did make it to Rome—as a prisoner to stand trial before Caesar (Acts 25:9-12; 28:11-31).
What do your prayer requests reveal about your priorities?