A short reading and prayer for today
God knows how often I pray for you. Day and night I bring you and your needs in prayer to God, whom I serve with all my heart by spreading the Good News about his Son. Romans 1:9 NLT
Prayer is a blessing in every way. It is the way in which we communicate with God and so it is at the heart of the Christian life. Prayerlessness is the surest path to spiritual weakness and discouragement. By contrast, the person who takes prayer seriously will find every aspect of their life being blessed. However, the blessings of prayer don’t end there. They also strengthen our relationships with our Christian brothers and sisters. One of the greatest privileges of my life is the knowledge that every day people pray for me. I couldn’t demand or deserve it, but I receive it with enormous gratitude.
Here we get an insight into Paul’s life as we hear that he was persistent in his prayers for the Christians in Rome. He prayed for them night and day which shows the intensity of his commitment to them. These were not formal prayers that he offered as a matter of dull religious duty, but prayers which sprang from his passionate desire to see them stand strong in the faith in their strategically important city. Paul probably wrote this letter whilst he was in Corinth in the later 50s AD, about 20 years after the end of Jesus’ ministry. He declared that he was longing to see them and so he would, but probably not in the way that any of them expected. About five years later he would arrive in Rome as a prisoner, having been arrested in Jerusalem. I have no doubt that throughout the intervening years he continued to pray faithfully for the church in Rome, and one can only imagine the joy that he had when he was finally able to spend time with them. It’s clear that this relationship was, and always had been, underpinned by prayer.
The conclusion that we need to draw is that prayer is important in every direction. It not only strengthens our relationship with God but also with our Christian brothers and sisters.
In what ways have you seen your prayers strengthen your relationships with others?
Loving God, I thank you for the privilege of prayer and for the way in which it strengthens every part of my life. Amen
Photo – Parish church, Ballycastle