IN reading the Epistles of St. Paul we cannot but observe how earnestly he presses upon those to whom he was writing, the duty of praying for a blessing on himself and his ministry. We not only find his request contained in general terms (1 Thess. v. 25.), “Brethren, pray for us;” but when he feels he stands in need of any particular support, he mentions it as an especial subject of prayer for the Churches. For instance, in writing to the Romans, at a time when he was looking forward to trouble from Jewish unbelievers, he says to them, (c. xv. 30.) “Strive together with me in your prayers to GOD for me, that I may be delivered from them that do not believe in Judaea;” and in Phil. i. l9. he expresses a confidence that the very opposition he was meeting with would, through the intercession of the Saints, be turned into a good to himself. “I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer.” It is the same when he has any object at heart, which he desires to see accomplished. He longs much for the spread of the Gospel, and therefore, in 2 Thess. iii. 1. he says, “Finally, Brethren, pray for us, that the word of GOD may have free course and be glorified.” And feeling his own weakness to discharge the sacred trust committed to him, he asks the Ephesians (c. vi. 15. 19.) to make supplication in his behalf, “that utterance might be given unto him, that he might open his mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the Gospel.” I shall mention but one passage more, that in 2 Cor. i. 11.; for here not only the duty of praying for their Apostle is pressed upon the people, but they are bidden to do so for the express purpose that they might also join in expressing thanks that their prayer had been graciously heard. “Ye also helping together by prayer for us, that, for the gift bestowed on us by the means of many persons, thanks may be given by many on our behalf” (Compare Col. ii. 4. Heb. xiii. 19. Philem. 22.) CONTINUE READING