trusted online casino malaysia
Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
The Scriptorium

Looking Ahead

Every step bathed in prayer. Romans 15.30-33

Paul in Corinth (5)

Pray Psalm 125.4, 5.
Do good, O LORD, to those who are good,
And to those who are upright in their hearts.
As for such as turn aside to their crooked ways,
The LORD shall lead them away
With the workers of iniquity.
Peace be upon Israel!

Sing Psalm 125.4, 5, 1.
(St. Gertrude: Onward, Christian Soldiers)
LORD, do good and care for those upright in heart.
Those who turn to evil shall from You depart.
Sinful men may increase on their way to hell!
Save Your people, let your peace abound in Israel!
Refrain, v. 1
All who trust in Jesus, strong as Zion stand!
Naught shall ever move them from their promised land!

Review Romans 15.22-33; meditate on Romans 15.30-33.


1. Where was Paul planning to go?

2. What did he ask the Romans to pray?

Paul’s initial ministry in Corinth ended at Acts 18.18. Many had come to faith in Jesus, including Jews and Gentiles, as well as leaders—like Crispus and Sosthenes—who understood how to oversee a body of God’s people. Paul would return to Corinth later to collect a gift they were preparing for the churches in Judea (1 Cor. 16.1-3). Having arrived there, he was looking forward to his trip to Jerusalem and, beyond that, to Rome and Spain.

In preparation for that longer term plan, Paul wrote to the Romans from Corinth, to let them know he was on the way (Rom. 15.22-25). Here’s the evidence of the Corinthian provenance of Romans, as provided by E. A. Judge in The New Bible Dictionary: “[T]here are certain indications in [Romans 16] which point to Corinth as the place of dispatch…[I]t is significant that Phebe is commended, and she was a deaconess at Cenchrea, one of the two ports of Corinth. There is also a passing reference to Gaius who was Paul’s host at the time of writing [cf. 1 Cor. 1.14].”

Paul was forward-thinking. He never rested on laurels, never felt that his work was over, never looked ahead to retiring from his ministry, and never stopped seeking the Lord for ways to expand his Personal Mission Field and reach more people with the grace of God (2 Cor. 4.15). But in all his planning, Paul entrusted himself completely to the Lord, enlisting others to pray with and for him and for all the Church of Jesus (Rom. 15.30-33). He came to Corinth without a single convert in sight. Years later, he departed from there to Judea and Rome having been used of the Lord to establish many house churches, sound leaders, new mission partners, and a Corinthian church fully ingrafted to the worldwide Body of Christ.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
Paul was a creative, courageous, and uncorrupted servant of God. He was chosen by God to do the work he was doing; and yet, his dependence upon God for each next step is evident. He did not just go hither and yon because he felt like it; no, he was explicitly led to each person and place. His time and ministry were valuable to him, and he made the most of every minute of each day.

And how did he do this? Through seeking God’s guidance, wisdom, and leadership in prayer.
He prayed for himself, and he sought the prayers of others for his work.
“Now I beg you, brethren” was not a casual toss-off of “pray for me”.
He was begging them to pray with him for very specific things, and by particular means:
-Through the Lord Jesus Christ
-Through the love of the Spirit
-Strive together with me in prayers to God for me (Rom. 15.30).
And why?
-That I may be delivered from those in Judea who do not believe
-That my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints
-That I may come to you with joy by the will of God
-That I may be refreshed together with you (Rom. 15.31, 32). 

Jesus, the very Son of God, also spent hours alone in prayer with God.
The gospels are full of those examples.
So it follows that: the work that we have been called to do must be bathed in “a prayer to the God of my life” (Ps 42.8). And the prayers offered from a righteous and Law-following life are “His delight” (Prov. 15.8; 28.9).

Amid persecution our first response should be prayer. As Nehemiah’s was, when his enemies “conspired together to come and attack Jerusalem and create confusion”, he said, “Nevertheless we made our prayer to our God…” (Neh. 4.8, 9).

In all our circumstances God hears us: “He shall regard the prayer of the destitute, and shall not despise their prayer” (Ps. 102.17). 

And our brother Paul, wrote these additional words of encouragement and guidance about prayer:
“…rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer…” (Rom. 12.12).
“…praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—and for me…” (Eph. 6.18, 19).
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4.6, 7).
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thess. 5.16-18).

Look ahead. This might not have been our previous modus operandi; but it can certainly be the way forward, defining how we conduct our lives and ministries henceforth. Every day is a new day with God: full of His faithfulness, compassions, and hope (Lam. 3.21-24). Beg your brothers and sisters in Christ to pray for you; and pray for them, as well.

It is the strength we all need (Ps. 18.1): to be delivered from unbelievers, serve the saints with acceptable work, refresh one another, and be full of God’s joy serving within His will!

For reflection
1. How’s your prayer life? Can you see any ways to improve it?

2. Do you have prayer partners, people who pray for you as you work your Personal Mission Field? Do you pray for them?

3. What does it mean for you to “look ahead” at the work God has appointed for you?

Those who cleave to the ways of God, though they may have trouble in their way, their end shall be peace. The pleading of their Savior for them, secures to them the upholding power and preserving grace of their God. Lord, number us with them, in time, and to eternity. Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on Psalm 125.4, 5

Pray Psalm 125.1-4.
Pray that God will protect His people from trial and persecution, that He will strengthen them in every situation to live for Him, and that He will do good for them and grant them rest.

Sing Psalm 125.1-4.
(St. Gertrude: Onward, Christian Soldiers)
All who trust in Jesus, strong as Zion stand!
Naught shall ever move them from their promised land!
Like the hills surrounding safe Jerusalem,
Christ surrounds His Church and holds her in His mighty Hand!
Refrain, v. 1
All who trust in Jesus, strong as Zion stand!
Naught shall ever move them from their promised land!

Wickedness shall rest not on this holy land.
Sinfulness shall never come forth from their hand.
Trusting in the Savior, firm in His caress,
ever shall His favor on this holy city rest.

T. M. and Susie Moore

The Church in Corinth was in need of revival. But there was much to be done before that would happen. The Church today is in need of revival, and the same is true for us. Our book, Revived!, can help us to discern our need for revival and lead us in getting there. Order your copy by clicking here.

Support for Scriptorium comes from our faithful and generous God, who moves our readers to share financially in our work. If this article was helpful, please give Him thanks and praise.

And please prayerfully consider supporting The Fellowship of Ailbe with your prayers and gifts. You can contribute online, via PayPal or Anedot, or by sending a gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 103 Reynolds Lane, West Grove, PA 19390.

Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalteravailable free by 
clicking here.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

Subscribe to Ailbe Newsletters

Sign up to receive our email newsletters and read columns about revival, renewal, and awakening built upon prayer, sharing, and mutual edification.