“Now I beg you, brethren, through the Lord Jesus Christ, and through the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with me in prayers to God for me” (Rom 15:30).
The word “strive,” when Anglicized, becomes agonize and literally means “to struggle in competing for a prize, or figuratively, to contend with an adversary.” This isn’t “just a little talk with Jesus,” as the popular song puts it. It would be hard to turn down such a request as what Paul writes: “I beg you.” But when he adds “through the Lord Jesus Christ, and through the love of the Spirit,” we feel the weight of it on our souls.
How often we see in a letter from missionaries the plaintive quotation, “Brethren, pray for us” (1 Thess 5:25; 2 Thess 3:1). Does it burden us as we should feel it? But wait! What of the promise the Lord made to us that His yoke is easy and His burden light? Ah, there’s the secret! The burden to pray is actually the call of God to release you of your burden by casting all your care on Him (see 1 Pet 5:7).