“My heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved” (Romans 10:1).
We’ve been studying the problems that hinder faith described in Paul’s letter to the Romans, chapter 10. Now we have a better understanding of why he prayed so diligently for the non-believing but religious Israelites.
His prayer, according to verse 1, was that they might be saved. It is implied, by referring to the Roman believers as “Brothers” that he was hoping they would join him in his prayers.
His was a desire driven prayer. He had a strong passion for the salvation of the Jews. We saw that in the opening verses of Romans 9.
Here in the opening verse of chapter 10, his prayer was also a confusion clarifying prayer. He wanted them to understand that their zeal for God was not based on knowledge. The word “knowledge” refers to a clear, full and experiential knowledge. Paul asks plaintively in verse 19, “Did Israel not understand?” In the quotes that follow he gives his answer as both “Yes” and “No.” Basically they didn’t want to know.
His prayer also was an obstacle overcoming prayer. The obstacles to be overcome would include pride, arrogance, independence, an unwillingness to see and hear, disobedience and being obstinate. They were unwilling to submit to God’s gracious and free provision of righteousness. They wanted to do it their own way!
Praying this kind of prayer is demanding. It can be discouraging as well. But without someone praying this way many unbelievers will never be reached with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Will you join others in praying as Paul did for the lost in our world?