“Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christs sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me;” —Romans 15:30
First, here is a request to the people of God for prayer in general. He asks it for himself— “that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me.” He knew his own weakness, he knew the difficulty of the work to which he had been called, he knew that if he failed in his enterprise it would be a sad failure, injurious through coming ages to the entire church. He cried, “Agonize for me,” because he felt that much depended upon him. It is like a man who is willing to lead the forlorn hope; but he says to his comrades, “You will support me.” It is like one who is willing to go into a far country, bearing his life in his hands; but he plaintively exclaims, “You won’t forget me, will you? Though you stay at home, you will think of me!” It reminds us of Carey, who says, when he goes to India, “I will go down into the pit, but brother Fuller and the rest of you must hold the rope.” Can we refuse the request? Would it not be treachery? It is not according to the heart of true yoke-fellows, it is not according to the instincts of our common humanity, that we should desert any man whom we set in the front of the battle. If we choose a man to be our representative in the service of our God, we will not desert him. A man cannot be charged with egotism if he begs for personal support when he is engaged in labours for others, and is not seeking himself but the success of the great cause. Under heavy responsibilities he does well to enlist the sympathies and prayers of those whom he is serving; and he has a right to have them. Beloved friends, if you are with me in the great battle for God and truth, and if you count me worthy to bear the brunt of this war, I beseech you for Christ’s sake support me by your importunate wrestlings at the throne of grace. Pray for all ministers and workers, but pray also for me. I am of all men the most miserable if you deny me this.
—Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)
Delivered Sunday Morning, February 21, 1886 at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington
Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Vol. 32 Sermon No. 1887, “Pleading for Prayer”