That we may be mutually comforted ...
First of all, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed throughout the whole world. For God, whom I serve in my spirit by preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness that I continually remember you and I always ask in my prayers, if perhaps now at last I may succeed in visiting you according to the will of God. For I long to see you, so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you, that is, that we may be mutually comforted by one another’s faith, both yours and mine. -Romans 1:8-12 NLT
Many times Paul opens his letters saying that he prays for his readers. Do you ever wonder what the prayers of the apostle looked like? I wonder how detailed and specific his prayers were. It begs the question of how we too should pray. Should our prayers include a laundry list of our needs and wants? Or should they more embody a deep trust in the One to whom we pray? Perhaps our focus on specific needs reflects worry more than faith and thanksgiving?
The words "that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you" speaks to me about the heart of a spiritual parent. I love the way that Paul writes about mutually comforting each other. These words reminds me that we are members of God's family. We so need the comfort of family when times are rough and their joy in our successes. Life is not meant to be lived in solitude. God comes to us in the form of others. We are His gifts of love to each other.
Bind us together Lord. Teach us to pray for each other. Help us to be Jesus to each other and to the world.