In his letters, Paul often speaks of his prayer and thankfulness for others. In verse twelve he writes of the mutual strength and encouragement he both offers and longs to receive from the believers in Rome. Paul was not looking forward to just talking about the Bengals or politics or the weather although he had plenty of experiences with the weather and loved sports. He was looking for something deeper in his interactions with the Romans.
“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17
This morning I received an email from a friend who lives quite a distance away. His faith encourages me in my walk with God I always look forward to meeting with him when the opportunity presents itself.
Over the years, he has been the kind of friend who has not always agreed with me on every view. (No one is perfect) We have a relationship that allows differences of opinion. Because I confident in his friendship, I am able to respond in a positive manner when he challenges me to grow in my faith. We have been able to share some mutually difficult experiences over the years.
As you read the verses in this passage, think about your personal relationships. Do you have a friend you look forward to seeing who goes beyond a surface relationship? How does it make you feel to think that there is someone who prays for you? Do you have a list of people you pray for consistently?
Take a few minutes and make a list of people you will commit to pray for regularly. Go outside your family. Seek out friendships that have the potential to be “mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.”