“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” (Romans 15:30-32).
The power of prayer offered to the God who rules our world through His sovereignty and providence ought not be underestimated or doubted.
Numerous months prior to Paul’s actual arrival in Jerusalem with the Great Collection, he had begged his brethren in Rome to be striving together with him concerning his physical safety in this endeavor.
Though praying about events which would transpire in the future and occur almost 1,500 miles away from Rome, Paul—like James—was confident that the effective fervent prayer of the righteous would avail much (James 5:16). Like David and Peter, Paul knew that “the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers; but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil” (Psalm 34:15-16; 1 Peter 3:12). Thus, he entreated his beloved brethren to pray for his deliverance from the unbelievers in Judea so he could come to them in Rome thereafter.
Using several interlocking links of His providence over a five-year period of time (Acts 21:15-28:16), God ultimately granted the request of these prayer warriors. By the will of God, Paul did come to Rome with joy. When he saw the first cluster of brethren who met him about forty miles from the Imperial City, “he thanked God and took courage” (Acts 28:15).
Paul’s deliverance is another historical event which documents the truth that God hears and providentially answers the prayers of His people.