top of page

Divine Delays and Kingdom Priorities (Romans 15:22-33)

Romans 15:22–33 - 22 For this reason I have often been prevented from coming to you; 23 but now, with no further place for me in these regions, and since I have had for many years a longing to come to you 24 whenever I go to Spain—for I hope to see you in passing, and to be helped on my way there by you, when I have first enjoyed your company for a while— 25 but now, I am going to Jerusalem serving the saints. 26 For Macedonia and Achaia have been pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem. 27 Yes, they were pleased to do so, and they are indebted to them. For if the Gentiles have shared in their spiritual things, they are indebted to minister to them also in material things. 28 Therefore, when I have finished this, and have put my seal on this fruit of theirs, I will go on by way of you to Spain. 29 I know that when I come to you, I will come in the fullness of the blessing of Christ. 30 Now I urge you, brethren, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God for me, 31 that I may be rescued from those who are disobedient in Judea, and that my service for Jerusalem may prove acceptable to the saints; 32 so that I may come to you in joy by the will of God and find refreshing rest in your company. 33 Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen. 

What does today’s passage say?

In today’s passage, Paul shares that he has not yet been able to visit the church at Rome even though he planned to (v. 22). He explains that spreading the gospel in new regions has currently demanded his focus and prevented his travel plans (vv. 23-24). However, Paul now intends to journey to Jerusalem, delivering financial help collected from some Gentile churches to assist the poor Jewish believers there (vv. 25-27). Once Paul completes this vital relief effort, he tells the Roman Christians of his eagerness to visit their church on his way to share the gospel as far as Spain (vv. 28-29). But first, Paul urges these fellow believers to pray continuously for his protection against those who are hostile to the faith in Judea (v. 31). He also asks for prayer that the generous offering might abundantly supply the needs of suffering saints in Jerusalem (v. 32). Additionally, Paul requests prayer that he will be refreshed and blessed among the Roman Christians once this present assignment concludes (v. 32).


How can I apply Romans 15:22-23 to my life?

Paul shares transparently regarding his ministry plans and two key prayer requests. Though an apostle used mightily by God, Paul faced frequent obstacles and oppositions. This passage reminds us that following Christ requires embracing divine delays, shifting priorities to reach the lost, bearing each other’s burdens, and relying utterly on prayer. Even spiritual giants like Paul desperately depended on God’s enabling to fulfill their calling. As modern believers, we too need Scripture’s guidance and wisdom to walk out our faith effectively. When our plans hit barriers, we can wait peacefully on God’s timing. When tempted toward complacency, we can revive our passion for the lost. When fellow Christians suffer lack, we can generously meet pressing needs. When encountering spiritual attack, we can rest in prayer’s power to shield and sustain us. Here are some basic principles from this passage that we should apply to our lives:

1.    Embrace God’s Plan for Your Life, Even When It’s Delayed (v. 22): Paul says that he has been hindered from visiting the believers in Rome up to this point. Even though spreading the gospel is his calling and his heart's desire, God's timing has not yet allowed for this visit. When we walk with Christ, we too may experience delays or redirections in our plans and hopes. Yet we can take encouragement from Paul's example of embracing God's larger plan for our lives, timing and purposes. As believers, we are called to yield our agendas to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. This means trusting in faith that His plans for our lives, though possibly different from ours, are perfectly guided by His wisdom and love. Waiting on God's timing without growing resentful takes spiritual maturity. But the Lord promises that as we commit our works to Him, He will establish our plans according to His will. Therefore, we can release our tight grip on personal timetables and expectations. Through prayer, patience and obedience we can walk in step with Holy Spirit, content in God's timeline for our lives. When delays or hindrances arrive, we should first examine if these resulted from disobeying God's leading in some area. If so, repentance is needed to get back on the right path. However, if we have earnestly sought God's will, any postponements to our hopes likely reflect His higher purposes at work. Though initially disappointing, these can strengthen our trust in God's sovereign plan as we lean into Him. His delays are not denials. As we embrace His timing, we will experience profound growth in Christ-like humility and perseverance. The Lord promises to complete His good work in us as we surrender our agendas to His perfect will and wisdom (Jeremiah 29:11; Psalm 31:14-15; Isaiah 40:31).

Food for Thought: What expectations or plans might you need to release to God concerning His timing in your life? In what ways can you grow in patience and contentment while awaiting God's promised blessings?

2. Strive to Spread the Gospel Where Christ is Not Known (vv. 23-24): Paul explains his ambition to preach the gospel in places where people have never heard the name of Christ. He understands that unbelievers can only be saved if Christians first tell them the good news regarding Jesus' atoning sacrifice. Though Paul has ministered fruitfully in many regions, his passion remains unchanged - to proclaim Christ wherever people lack access to the gospel. As modern-day believers, we too must prioritize spreading the message of salvation to those who have no knowledge of the truth. While ministering locally is important, we cannot ignore Jesus' command to make disciples of all nations. Most of the world still lacks an adequate Christian witness and presence. Are we willing to adjust our lifestyles and priorities in order to rectify this? Paul teaches that those who have received spiritual blessings from God are obligated to share the same with others. Missions efforts require sacrificial giving, fervent praying, and some leaving comfortable lives to reach distant lands. But the eternal stakes could not be higher. May we strive to play our individual parts in bringing the hope of Jesus to the nations still waiting in darkness. As we catch Paul's passion for remote places lacking a gospel witness, our perspectives will shift. We will see the transient nature of earthly comforts and possessions. Our life purpose will narrow to what truly counts for eternity - introducing lost souls to their Savior. Though we may not be called overseas, each of us can contribute through financial support, prayer backing, or direct involvement with missionary ministries (Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8; 2 Corinthians 5:20).

Food for Thought:  Do you regularly pray for missionaries and for the salvation of unbelievers in foreign countries? What part can you play in spreading the gospel to people groups who lack access to it?

3.    Recognize the Importance of Supporting Fellow Believers (vv. 25-27): After discussing his ambitions to preach Christ in Spain, Paul mentions his upcoming trip to Jerusalem. He is delivering a monetary gift collected from Macedonian and Achaian believers to help relieve the poverty of the Jerusalem church. Paul stresses the mutual obligation that Christians have to meet each other's needs. Just as spiritual blessings have been shared across regions through gospel preaching, so too material blessings should be willingly distributed. All believers comprise the unified body of Christ. We cannot remain indifferent when part of the body suffers lack while another part experiences abundance. Like the first century churches, we must maintain an others-focused mentality concerning fellow Christians in need. In today's economically unequal world, numerous impoverished congregations struggle to adequately shelter, feed and minister to their members. When one section of God’s global church lacks necessary resources, the remaining sections should share responsibly. As the Holy Spirit guides, we can contribute financially to poverty-relief ministries serving destitute churches overseas. Additionally, we might prayerfully consider short-term mission trips focused on serving struggling congregations in tangible ways. When believers strengthen ties through giving and receiving across communities, the witness of Christ is magnified. Just as Paul delivered a gift hundreds of miles to uplift the Jerusalem church, let us also seek ways to support fellow Christians, especially those enduring hardship or deprivation (Romans 12:13; Galatians 6:10; James 2:14-17; 1 John 3:17-18).

Food for Thought: What specific actions can you take to contribute toward meeting needs among impoverished Christian communities? Are there ways to personally encourage fellow believers who are facing difficulties?

4.    Pray for Protection and Success in Ministry (vv. 30-33): As Paul concludes this passage, he shares several prayer requests with the Roman believers. Specifically, he asks them to strive together in prayer that he may be protected from unbelievers in Judea, and that the financial gift he is delivering may bless the saints in Jerusalem. Additionally, he requests prayer for opportunities to refresh and prosper in the will of God following this assignment. Every believer involved in ministry faces opposition requiring prayer cover. Whether serving locally or on distant fields, we need the Lord to guard us against spiritual attack and disruptions. Like Paul, we should enlist trusted friends to intercede for our protection, safety and resilience. Additionally, we must pray for open doors and receptivity when sharing the gospel or delivering aid. While only God can produce spiritual fruit and changed hearts, He often blesses and empowers the means through earnest prayer. When our work for God’s kingdom seems to slow or falter, we should examine if our underlying prayer support has waned. Spiritual victories are won on our knees long before we see results. If we want our ministry efforts to excel, progress and transform lives, consistent prayer must undergird them. Along with praying privately, it helps when others who grasp the challenges we face cry out regularly before God’s throne on our behalf. May we form such prayer partnerships to uphold the scope of ministry God has called us to. As we faithfully sow through service and declarations of faith, we trust that ultimately a harvest will come (Matthew 9:38; Ephesians 6:18-20; 1 Thessalonians 5:25).

Food for Thought: Do you have others earnestly praying for your spiritual protection and ministry endeavors? Who might you ask to support your kingdom work through regular prayer?

Paul teaches us an important life principle today: when God’s timing differs from ours, we can relinquish personal agendas, trusting His supreme wisdom and sovereignty. The world’s extensive darkness compels us to keep gospel proclamation central, however uncomfortable leaving our bubbles may feel initially. Supporting the global body of Christ through sacrifices mirrors the very heartbeat of the gospel we preach. In both good times and threats, prayer remains the indispensable lifeline keeping us anchored in God’s indomitable strength. We should let the Holy Spirit embed these principles deeply in our hearts, rekindling our devotion to Christ’s cause on earth. Where we have grown slack or self-focused, let God use these verses to reignite selfless love and holy urgency within us. As we apply Paul’s exhortations to our daily walk, we will shine as lights pushing back the shadows, living as the hands, feet, and voice of Jesus in every relationship and community the Lord entrusts to us.



Dear Heavenly Father,

I pray that You would give me patience to embrace Your timing when my plans get delayed or hindered. Help me refrain from frustration when Your purposes differ from mine, remembering that Your ways are higher. I ask that You keep first things first in my life, giving me passion to spread the gospel, especially to places without access to it. Lead me to play my role in completing the Great Commission, whether through praying, giving or going. Father, make me compassionate towards struggling believers worldwide, willing to generously meet pressing needs among my spiritual family. For times when I face spiritual warfare, trials or exhaustion, I pray for prayer supporters to lift my arms when they grow weak. Attune my heart to trust Your strength when mine runs out. I offer You my limited abilities to work through powerfully.

I pray these things in the most precious name of Jesus, Amen.


Romans 15:30 – “Now I urge you, brethren, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God for me.”



With His Blessings,

Pastor Corby

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page