TEXT: ROM. 15:30-33
INTRODUCTION: You are welcome to the year 2014. It is the grace and power of God at work on our behalf that made it possible for us to see the New Year. Since our life is a product of the grace of God, it is necessary and good to intensify what we know we do, that bring positive results on our life here on earth.
This year as Nigerian Baptist Convention our theme is celebrating and renewing our ministries. Our ministries is all we do for God here on earth, as a believer and denomination. To do this excellently, we need to be surrounded with prayer as apostle Paul challenged us in the focal passage.
“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, 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, that I may come to you with joy by the will of God and may be refreshed together with you. Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen – Rom. 15:30-33.
To be surrounded is to be encircled or encompassed about like the mountain surrounded Jerusalem. Psalm 125:2 or the wall surrounded Jericho – Jos. 6:3, or like the Syrian army surrounded prophet Elisha. II Kg. 6:14-15.
Prayer is a solemn request for help. In the focal passage apostle Paul requested to be surrounded with prayer. To be surrounded with prayer is to be encircled by the power of God against all evils. It is to be supported by the prayer of others. Requesting for prayers here does not suggest that we cease from praying for ourselves but it teaches us to value others prayers.
AIM OF THE STUDY
This study is to teach that:
(1). To be free from all evils, we must be prayerful.
(2). We must learn to behave in a manner that attract the prayer of other. Paul’s lifestyle is a
standard for believers in Christ to emulate.
(3). We must engage ourself in praying for others always and as the need arises.
(4). We must ask for prayer of others when we need it. Many today are suffering in silence just
because they are ignorant of the power of corporate prayers or possibly because they are arrogant
in the spirit to ask for support in prayers.
(5). We must learn to pray when we are stimulated or inspired by the Holy Spirit. Believers will enjoy
more of God’s power and grace when we learn to positively respond to the prompting of the Holy
Spirit in our life.
WHAT DO YOU SURROUND YOURSELF WITH?
Many today surround themselves with things which does not belong to God such as wealth, ungodly association, fetish power, evil thought, ungodly counsel and the likes. In I Sam. 17:4-7, Goliath surrounded himself with military hardware which he thought are sufficient to save him, with what do you surround your life in the journey of 2014.It is only the strength of God that can carry you through the year. Paul admonished the Ephesian’s believers to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Eph. 6:10. Paul covet the prayers of others because its power is unquenchable by the enemies. He was in the habit of asking for the prayers of others as recorded in II Cor. 1:11, Col.4:2-3, 12,
I Thess. 5:25, II Thess. 3:1, Rom.15:30, Eph. 6:18-19.
You need to imitate Paul in asking for others to pray for you when you are led by the spirit to ask for it. The prayer of the righteous availeth much. Jam. 5:16. Paul knew he could not be effective in ministry without the insurance that prayer provides.
JESUS SURROUNDS US WITH PRAYERS
Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour surrounded believers with prayer. During His early ministry, He set a time to pray for them. “I pray not the world, but for them which thou hast given me, for they are thine. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word”. John 17:9, 20. It is restoring and satisfying to know that Jesus has prayed for us. It also gladdens to know that the Holy Spirit intercedes for us – Rom. 8:26. What we need to know is that we must cooperate with the trinity in the ministry of prayer by asking for prayer and praying for others. Jesus did not only pray for believers, He taught them how to pray: Luke 11:1
RESULT OF BEING SURROUNDED WITH PRAYERS
When we are surrounded with prayers, mountains are removed (Mark 11:22-24), problems dissolves, enemies conquered yokes are broken, paths created, closed doors are opened and requests are received: all to the glory of God. Peter, the apostle enjoyed the benefits of being surrounded with prayers. In Luke 22:31-32, it was the prayer of Jesus that delivered him of the snare of satan. Likewise, the prayer of the apostle in Acts 12:4-5, set the heavenly host in motion for his deliverance from the prison.
Moses in the wilderness destroyed the power of the Amalikites through prayer when Joshua was in a fierce battle with them. Exd. 17:8-13. The strength of the Amalites dwindled with the prayer of Moses on the mountain. Moses encircled Joshua with prayer. This you can do for a believer as well in the journey of 2014.
An heathen king surrounded Daniel with prayer in the lion’s den. Dan.6:17, 19. The king prayed for Daniel and he was delivered from the dens of lion. God can also deliver people around you from the lion’s den in our contemporary time. Do something for others this year.
TO BE SURROUNDED BY PRAYERS
(1). Surround others with your own prayer. He who cannot pray for others, cannot receive the grace of prayers from others. You will reap only what you sow. Gal. 6:7.
(2). Ask others for prayers. Paul requested for others to pray for him. Rom. 15:30.
(3). Behave in a manner that attract prayer from other involuntarily. King Darius noticed Daniel’s behaviour and went home praying for him without Daniel’s request. Dan. 6:19-23.
(4). Make God your own trust. It is possible to be encircled with prayer when we trust only the living God – Psalm 125:2.
(5). Avoid strange object that obstruct the workings of the prayers of the saints.
WHY PAUL REQUESTED FOR PRAYERS
It is necessary to learn the reasons for the request of prayer from Apostle Paul.
Our request for prayer must be with good intentions.
- Paul requested for prayers so that he may be delivered from unbelievers. Likewise we all need deliverance from life challenges. So, we must request prayers from believers.
- Another reason was that his service may be acceptable to the people. What we do for God must be acceptable to the people. What we do for God must be acceptable to the saints. This can only be done through prayers.
- He requested for joy in ministry. Like any other person, we need the joy of the Lord in all we do for therein lies our strength. Neh.8:10.
- That he may be refreshed together with the saints. The joy of fellowshipping with other believers here on earth and the world beyond provides us with a special refreshing which demand prayers from others and ourselves.
CONCLUSION: God desire to bless us when we pray for others. It is a right attitude to surround others with your prayers. Do not waste the grace of God on you. Begin to pray for yourself and others and you will see God responding.