Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12
Diane listened as the others in the group asked for prayers for their family members and friends facing challenges or illness. She had a family member who had been struggling with an addiction for years. But Diane kept her request silent. She couldn’t bear to see the looks on people’s faces or hear the questions or advice that often followed whenever she spoke the words aloud. She felt that this request was usually better left unspoken. Others simply didn’t understand how her loved one could be a believer in Jesus and still struggle daily.
Although Diane didn’t share her request with that group, she did have a few trusted friends she asked to pray with her. Together they asked God to set her loved one free from the very real bondage of addiction that he might experience freedom in Christ—and that God would give Diane the peace and patience she needed. As she prayed, she found comfort and strength from her relationship with Him.
Many of us have earnest, persistent prayers that seem to go unanswered. But we can be assured that God does care and He does hear all our requests. He urges us to continue to walk closely with Him, being “joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” (Romans 12:12). We can lean on Him.
Lord, Your Word urges us to pray continually. Help us to be persistent in prayer, and enable us to be faithful partners in prayer with others.
In Romans 12, Paul builds on his theological teaching from chapters 1–11 and now begins to provide practical application for a gospel-based life. Salvation produces internal results with external impact. In response to our salvation, we are to offer ourselves as “living sacrifices” (12:1–2). The internal results are a proper sense of self-awareness (v. 3) and spiritual enablement (vv. 4–8) producing the external impact of service in Christ’s kingdom (vv. 9–13, 15–16) and to the world in which we live (vv. 14, 17–21). Paul’s clear message to the followers of Christ in Rome is that what we believe should have a profound influence on how we live.
For more on Paul’s letter to the church at Rome, check out Knowing God Through Romans at discoveryseries.org/sb221.