This is our third day in Uganda. We are praising the Lord for all His mercies to us through Jesus Christ. We rejoice and give thanks to the Lord for the safe arrival of Elliot Khembo and Harold Juma from JTW Malawi. They arrived at 2:00 am on Thursday morning. My brother Timothy and I went to meet them at the bus depot using motorbike “taxi’s” commonly called boda boda here in Uganda. It was quite an experience. All the same we made it back to “home” safely.
In this post, I would like to share a few specific ways in which you can be praying for us. These have been taken and adapted from Paul’s plea for prayer in his epistle to the Romans in Romans 15:30-33 which reads:
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, that I may be delivered from the unbelievers in Judea, and that my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints, so that by God’s will I may come to you with joy and be refreshed in your company. May the God of peace be with you all. Amen.
The Sunday before we left to come here, I preached on this text and and gave our congregation some specific ways they can be praying for us while we are gone this summer. Here is a brief summary of what I shared with our congregation:
What Did Paul Ask the Roman Believers to Pray for Him? Three things: 1. That he may be delivered from the unbelieving Judeans, 2. That his service might be acceptable to the saints, 3. That by God’s will he may return to them and be refreshed in their company.
In a similar way, I ask that you please remember us and the JTW Team with us here that the Lord may protect us from those who may be hostile to the gospel. No doubt, we will mingle with many unbelievers as we go about the work that the Lord has called us to do here. Please pray that the Lord will go before us and protect us. In addition to that, please pray also that those who do not believe might come to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and find eternal life in Him.
I also ask that you please pray that our service here may be acceptable to the saints in this country. We are going to be mingling with a lot of Christians (pastors and laymen alike) in a number of the local churches while we are here. Please pray that our ministry to them may be tremendously blessed of the Lord and that it may be acceptable to them. Pray that their hearts (as well as ours) may be prepared to receive the Word of God with faith. Pray that our hearts might be good/fertile soil where the Word of God will thrive and bear fruit to the glory of God in Jesus Christ. Finally, please pray that by the will of God, we may all return home with joy. Please pray that the Lord may prosper His work through us here during the time that we are going to be here and that we will all be able to return home with great testimonies of the mighty works of God among His people here in Uganda according to His will.
Why Did Paul Ask Them to Pray for These Things?
First, it was for the sake/glory of the Lord Jesus Christ. We too desire that in all that happens through us here might be to the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ. Secondly, it was for the sake of love (i.e. as a demonstration of their love for him). We too ask you to pray for us as a demonstration and proof of the love that the Lord God by His Holy Spirit works in the lives of believers for Him and for one another. For these reasons, please pray for us brethren.
How Were They to Pray for Paul?
First, they were to strive in prayer for Paul. Paul’s appeal to them was that they put forth all that was within them in the duty of prayer on his behalf. They were to pray with focus, faith and fervency. They were to wrestle with God on his behalf and pray for him in their praying being assured that the effectual, fervent prayer of the righteous avails much (James 5:16).
Secondly, they were to strive in prayer together with Paul. When Paul begged the Roman believers to pray for him, he did not intend thereby to excuse his praying for himself. Quite the contrary! He had resolved to strive in prayer for himself too, daily wrestling with God and he invited them to join him in that endeavor. Although he was so separated from them by a great distance, he nevertheless invited them to join him in prayer. One commentator said, “those who are put far asunder by the disposal of God’s providence may yet meet together at the throne of His grace.” And, “those who beg the prayers of others must not neglect to pray for themselves. In the same way, we invite you brothers and sisters to strive together with us in prayer over these next few weeks. May it please the Lord to allow us to meet at His holy throne of grace daily where we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in time of need (Hebrews 4:16) through Jesus Christ and to His praise, glory and honor! Pray for us brethren even as we pray for ourselves and for you to the glory of God in Christ Jesus our Savior!