This week as part of our 50-days of prayer I am reading through the prayers of Paul. You learn a lot about a person and what is important to them when you listen to them pray. Today the prayer is from Romans 1:8-10:
First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world. God, whom I serve with my whole heart in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you.
Notice Paul thanks for a particular characteristic of followers of Jesus in Rome and then something he is requesting from God. He is thankful because their “faith is being reported all over the world.”
What a statement! The Roman Christians were already suffering persecution in Rome. In A.D. 49 persecution came upon Jews in Rome that was linked by historians to the Jewish followers of Jesus. Yet, what is being reported about them is their faith. The faith being spoken about is the persevering trust in God that brings strength and endurance. However, this should not be seen as separate from their faith in Christ. As to Apostle Peter states, “in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect….”
Second, he prayed he would be able to come to them. Paul had never been to Rome. Undoubtedly who knew some of the members of the church in Rome due to crossing paths in travel. However, he had a longing to meet them and to encourage them.
As we continue our 50-days of prayer, I pray we may be known for our faith. I would love to hear as I travel to other places of how the faith of those in Houston is spoken about throughout the world. I also pray we wold not take for granted the believers in Houston who may not be part of our church but even long for their company knowing we all proclaim the same “gospel of his Son.”
Note: This post is associated with a call to 50 days of prayer at Bethel Church of Houston in association with the Houston Church Planting Network. You can find their devotions for the day at the following link: Day 24