( Romans 15:30-33 )
Prayer changes circumstances! Can you imagine how the Apostle Paul must have felt going to Jerusalem knowing that the people there intended to take his life? This did not sway him from going as he entreated the Romans to join with him in prayer, knowing that the unity of their intercession would change the outcome of his journey.
Paul wrote earlier in this letter, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose" (Romans 8:28). This verse comes immediately on the heels of the criteria of this statement, "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will" ( Romans 8:26-27 ). Paul knew that God was capable of bringing about good in every circumstance when His people join together in prayer. This is because the Holy Spirit partners with us and prays in accordance with God's will. Good comes from it because God is able to work in the midst of our intercession. So as we pray we can be confident knowing that all things will work out for our good when we are united together with God in His purpose and will.
This is why Paul was not afraid to go to Jerusalem even though he was walking into hostile territory. He was tasked with taking the offering to the believers there. One can only imagine that he also desired to go and preach Christ among the Jews one more time, hoping to sway them into believing that Christ was the Messiah. This is why he asked the Romans to join with him in praying for safety and protection while in Jerusalem. What a marvelous vote of confidence that Paul had in this church who he had never met. He had heard about their faith ( Romans 1:8 ) and knew that these believers would join in his struggle, interceding for him in accordance with God's will.
How exciting it is to know that our prayers are answered. What a great reminder today that we can join with the Holy Spirit in praying in accordance with the will of God knowing that it will change the outcome. Just as Paul wrote, may the "God of peace be with you all", may our Lord Jesus Christ give you heart peace today as you intercede and pray with the Holy Spirit as your helper. Be confident that your circumstances will change because God is able to work all things out for your good when you come to him in prayer.