Now I beg you, brethren, through the Lord Jesus Christ, and through the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with me in prayers to God for me…~ Romans 15:30 (NKJV)
In this verse, taken from Romans 15, there are really two precepts on prayer that might be culled away. But for the purpose of this brief essay, I would like to only consider one with any real depth. The first principle is believers ought to strive together in prayer. The collective voice of Christ’s church is a powerful weapon against His enemies and a wonderful sound in the ear of God. Here, the Apostle Paul touches on this seeking other Christians to join him in prayer.
This leads me into the main point I hope we can take from this passage: The Apostle Paul strives in prayer for himself. Notice how he asks others to unite “with me in prayer to God for me” (emphasis mine). St. Paul knew the necessity of a prayer life which included supplication for himself. If you look at the verses which follow, you will read some of the specific items of concern both Paul and the others are praying about on his behalf. Paul prays on his own behalf to God “that I may be delivered from those in Judea who do not believe” and “that my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints” (vs.31). Likewise, he asks, “that I may come to you with joy by the will of God, and may be refreshed together with you” (vs.32). Paul prayed for himself so he might faithfully labor in the service of God and be spiritually strengthened to serve others.
The mighty apostle knew lifting up his own spiritual needs before the Lord was essential to fruitful and meaningful service in the name of Jesus Christ. It is never self-centered to pray for ourselves. And to the first point, neither is it to ask others to strive together with us in prayer. Yet, confessing our own sins and admitting our own needs before the Lord ourselves, is a vital step in walking with God, growing in grace, and being a true blessing to our fellow man.