Before you begin, take a few moments to quiet your mind and prepare your heart to receive God’s Word. Read the following passage at least twice, and then pray through the points below.
30 I appeal to you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf, 31 that I may be delivered from the unbelievers in Judea, and that my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints, 32 so that by God's will I may come to you with joy and be refreshed in your company. 33 May the God of peace be with you all. Amen.
1 I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant of the church at Cenchreae, 2 that you may welcome her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints, and help her in whatever she may need from you, for she has been a patron of many and of myself as well. 3 Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, 4 who risked their necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks but all the churches of the Gentiles give thanks as well.
5 Greet also the church in their house. Greet my beloved Epaenetus, who was the first convert to Christ in Asia. 6 Greet Mary, who has worked hard for you. 7 Greet Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners. They are well known to the apostles, and they were in Christ before me. 8 Greet Ampliatus, my beloved in the Lord. 9 Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker in Christ, and my beloved Stachys. 10 Greet Apelles, who is approved in Christ. Greet those who belong to the family of Aristobulus. 11 Greet my kinsman Herodion. Greet those in the Lord who belong to the family of Narcissus. 12 Greet those workers in the Lord, Tryphaena and Tryphosa. Greet the beloved Persis, who has worked hard in the Lord. 13 Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord; also his mother, who has been a mother to me as well. 14 Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas, and the brothers who are with them. 15 Greet Philologus, Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints who are with them. 16 Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you.
Notice how Paul lists the encouragement and provision of specific saints. Take a few moments to reflect on the specific ways you have been encouraged or provided for by people in our church. Pray that God would bless those people today. Ask Him to show each of us clear opportunities to provide for and encourage each man, woman, and child serving among the unreached.
Paul desires to come to the Roman church for refreshment (15:32). Pray that our church would be a refreshment to those who have gone to the nations and are weary. Ask God to give our church wisdom and creativity in providing environments that refresh and restore goers.
Just as Paul was intentional about fostering unity among the churches in the New Testament, this cooperative should be intentional about creating unity. We want to grow together in a God-honoring way, so we can fulfill the Great Commission by whatever means God provides. Pray for a distinct unity among the cooperative churches that can only be explained by the Spirit of God moving in us and through us. Pray that we would humble ourselves to serve one another, just as Christ first humbled Himself for us. Pray that the leadership would clearly see how to move forward together and share resources to most effectively bring the gospel to the nations.