Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. ~Romans 10:1
The Lord Jesus Christ said, “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” The desires of our heart are the people or things we are most passionate about. They are what occupies our thoughts. It is that which we wish to impact through our efforts. Paul laid bare his heart to his friends at Rome in letting them know how much he loved the souls of the people of Israel. He teaches us a powerful lesson about passionate praying.
We see the aspiration.
Paul’s aspiration was for the salvation of the nation of Israel. This was a strong desire on his part because of the relationship. He was a Jew. There is a camaraderie, a closeness, and identity about reaching people who are ethnically the same. The customs, foods, language spoken, and traditions strike a moving in our heart for our kinsmen. He had this strong desire because of their religion. Paul understood very well the strong loyalty the Jews had for the law, Moses, the ceremonies, and sacrifices. He wanted them to know that the law pointed them to God, but the law could not save. Paul’s identification with the Jews burdened his heart for them to be saved.
We see the asking.
Paul had more than a burden. It was his constant and daily prayer that Israel might be saved. First, he prayed to God. That sounds so elementary, but how much of our prying is at God and not to God? He had faith that God could save Israel. Second, his prayer was specific for Israel ethnically. He knew that Jews were scattered everywhere throughout the world, and in his praying, he wanted Jews everywhere to get saved. Third, in his praying, he had a vision of every Jew hearing the gospel at least one time. Fourth, his praying included asking for God’s strategy for reaching the Jews. He asked God to advance the gospel by every means in reaching the Jews. He asked God many times every day for the salvation of the Jews.
We see the association.
His prayer was for Israel to be saved. Paul prayed for prominent, individual Jews to be saved. Paul prayed for cities and provinces where Jews lived to be reached. Paul prayed that he would be given a large audience in the synagogues or wherever he could draw a crowd of people to preach to them that Jesus saves. Paul could envision churches filled with Jewish converts. I believe that Paul envisioned a full-scale and sweeping conversion of the Jews. He could see Jews and Gentiles worshipping and serving the Lord together. Even as the Jews persecuted him, Paul’s burden became more intense for their salvation.
We see the action.
In his praying, Paul obeyed the Lord’s leading in preaching the gospel wherever he could draw crowd of Jews to hear the gospel. For Paul, he did more than pray: he allowed God to use him. As we read in the book of Acts, through the expansion of the church through church planting, Paul conducted his outreach in large, highly populated cities that had a colony of Jews and synagogues. He was able to give the gospel to large groups of Jews at one time. The more he prayed, the more he went to action. Passionate praying translates our prayers into submission to God’s will being done in earth, as it is in Heaven. We must have a passion for nations, cities, and communities as Paul did for the Jews. May it be said that your heart’s desire and prayer to God every day is for families, cities, counties, states, and nations to be saved.
Have a soul-conscious God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Joshua 9-11