Romans 1:9-12 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers;  Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you.  For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established;  That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.
Paul was a man of prayer. The first time after his conversion we see him praying (Acts 9:11) and the prayer continued throughout his life. That’s the secret of his victorious and fruitful life in Christ. He knelt before God, all his life so he was thankful in everything, careful for nothing and prayerful in everything. Prayer is a softening agent which made him humble and poor in spirit. Void of prayer makes one hard, proud and unloving. A heart of a praying man is sensitive, vigilant and wise. The Preacher, who kneels before God, makes the sinners stand before God. Paul always had the message of God to the people because he carried them in his heart and prayed earnestly for them that’s why his prayers were answered. God may not necessarily answer all our prayers with a YES but sometimes with NO’s too. A grandfather never declines his grandson’s request but a father might sometimes, likewise we don’t have a grandfather in heaven but we have a Father in Heaven. There are always blessings in God’s Yes and No’s so do not be discouraged. Today let’s see the secret of Paul’s prayer.
Prayer from a sanctified heart – For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son. If a person can say, God is my witness then how confident is he with the Almighty. Having clear conscience with God can give such confidence. Before God could hear something from our mouth, He sees the flowing of those words from our heart. A heart ceased from impurity, a heart sensitive to sin, a heart beating for holiness, a heart willing to do His will, a heart of love towards God and people. Such a heart can touch the heart of God and the words which flow from such hearts are answered by God, according to His Will. The secret of Paul’s prayer was it came from the sanctified heart. A heart sanctified by God, by Christ, through the Spirit, through the Word. By Faith sinners are justified by God and in Christ they are sanctified but this is the positional sanctification which every born again believer possess. He needs to grow from this positional sanctification and workout daily in it. He needs to die daily! He needs to run daily! He needs to fight daily! He needs to focus daily! He needs to go through the Word daily and He needs to Pray daily. Sanctification is the process that is exercise daily through the Power of God. A prayer from this sanctified heart pleases God.
Prayer without ceasing – A little laziness in prayer will make us worst sinners. If we stop our personal prayer, we will fall in secret. The root cause of people falling in public is that they fall in secret prayer. Paul prayed without ceasing because it is Christ’s command that we always pray (Luke 18:1). It is very important that we should separate quality time for our prayers and also praying relentlessly. Paul did not pray when it was necessary. Infact, He prayed because it was necessary. Lift up your head and see, surely you will find reasons for prayer. The things around the world, inside the church and in the sinners will make your face fall at the feet of the Almighty. Generations who suppress the truth of God, children that do not believe in God, Churches that loves the world; sinners who are dead are entertained by religious toy. Let us not lose our heart by all this but take it to the Lord in prayer. A man who talks to God cannot live a life of boredom because he always will have something to do.
Making request in prayer – Notice the prayer of Paul was a request to God, not a command or a wish. It was a supplication or a plea to God Almighty. A heart full of pride cannot request, it will command, it wants what it likes. However, a humble heart will cry, it will request because it is poor. Remember, Christ taught this pattern. ‘Give us, our daily bread’ that’s the request of the heart which is humble in spirit. We have to see our spiritual bankruptcy then only our prayers will be requests. Lord, told us two parables on prayer in Luke 18. A parable of a widow and a friend. A Widow pleaded because there was no one to help her; a friend knocked at his friend’s house in the midnight and requested for some bread because he did not have any. See in both the cases, one was weak and one did not have any resources so their prayers were not a command but it was request. We should understand our helplessness to make a request.
Subject of prayer – Can you imagine throwing the dart without a dart board? Exactly the same way many of us throw around our prayers, with no subject in it. We don’t know what we are praying for. Paul had a subject, he wanted a prosperous journey by the will of God, to meet the people whom he prayed and loved in Christ. The Roman believers were his subject; His journey to Rome was the subject. What is your subject? Take that subject before God, seek his will on that subject, hear him and seek his counsel on that subject. My two year old son speaks out but without a subject so I ask him, what he requires? What are you asking for? Are you also like him? Never think that God will answer if we keep on repeating things in our prayers and by the use of more words He will answer. Prayer without subject is like a sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. It will make a good noise but not directed to God’s ears.
Intention of prayer – I may have a subject but without substance in it. Some of you have prayer points but God sees the intention behind the subject, purpose behind the prayers. It should have substance that glorifies his Holy Name, His will and His Kingdom. It should not have things that bring confidence in flesh, and glorify man’s work. James 4:3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. What was the substance of Paul prayer? I may impart spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established; that is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me. Paul had a clear subject and valid substance to his subject. He was longing for spiritual fellowship. He was longing to impart spiritual gifts to the children of God so that they may be established and bear fruit for God. Not only the believers in Rome but also himself. He never taught like he attained everything but waited to receive the spiritual fruit from Roman believers too. Mutually growing in Christ. So Paul had a good reason for his subject. So what happened? God heard the prayer from a sanctified heart, which prayed without ceasing, made requests with proper subject and substance that glorifies his Holy name, His will and the establishment of His Kingdom. He answered the prayer of Paul by sending him to the Rome. It was God’s will.
May God bless you.