22 This is why I was often kept from coming to you. 23 But now there is nothing more to keep me in these regions, and I have for many years desired to come to you 24 on my way to Spain. Because I hope to visit you when I pass through and that you will support me on my journey there, after I have enjoyed your company for a while. 25 But now I am going to Jerusalem to minister to the saints. 26 For the believers in Macedonia and Achaia are pleased to make some contribution for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem. 27 Because they were pleased to do this, and indeed they are indebted to the Jerusalem saints. Because if the Gentiles have shared in their spiritual things, they are obligated also to minister to them in material things. 28 Consequently, after I have completed this and have safely delivered this gift to them, I will set out for Spain by way of you, 29 and I know that when I come to you I will come in the fullness of Christ’s blessing. 30 Now I urge you, brothers, through our Lord Jesus Christ and through the love of the Spirit, to join fervently with me in prayer to God on my behalf. 31 Pray that I may be rescued from those who are disobedient in Judea and that my ministry in Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints, 32 so that by God’s will I may come to you with joy and be refreshed in your company. 33 Now may the God of peace be with all of you. Amen.
One of the things about being a missionary is the constant asking for help from others. Paul does not seem to have problems with that at all. He makes it quite clear that he plans to spend some time in Rome on his way to plant churches in Spain. He also makes it quite clear that he expects to be “refreshed” in the company of the Roman Christians. He wants to come in the fullness of Christ’s blessing. He reminds them how generous the churches in Macedonia and Achaia have been. He seems to utilize every way he can think of for getting money out of the Romans.
And he is not stopping there. He dares to ask them to take time out from their busy lives to pray for him and his mission on a regular basis as well. He wants prayer both for his present mission to Judea and for his longer term ministry plans in Spain.
Why is Paul so pushy? He understands that all ministry is mutual ministry. Even though he wants to plant churches where no one else has laid a foundation, he realizes that he cannot do it without the prayer and monetary support of others.
LORD, show us how to share in each others’ ministry by prayer, encouragement, and financial support.