“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.” -Romans 15:30-32
Don’t think to yourself that Paul would have addressed believers and said, “When you pray, just ask God to bless all the missionaries.” I have often thought that when we pray that, how are we going to know if the Lord does answer? How will we be able to thank Him?
Paul said, “I want you to strive with me in prayer.” When the apostle uses this term or another term that he sometimes uses, “laboring fervently in prayer”, he is reminding us that when we pray in the power of the Holy Spirit we are entering into the contest against the devil.
Paul asked to be prayed for in specific ways that addressed specific concerns he had regarding his ministry. He didn’t want undirected, haphazard prayer. He knew what he faced. He wanted prayer for the things that could hinder him from preaching the gospel or from doing the will of God.