Friday, 24 May 2019
But I especially urge you to do this, that I may be restored to you the sooner. Hebrews 13:19
The author now explains why he said in the previous verse, “Pray for us; for we are confident that we have a good conscience, in all things desiring to live honorably.” He is asking for prayers to be submitted more abundantly (as the Greek word implies) because something was hindering him from coming to them. As he says, “that I may be restored to you the sooner.” It is reflective of the words of Paul in Philemon 1:22 –
“But, meanwhile, also prepare a guest room for me, for I trust that through your prayers I shall be granted to you.”
Whether the author is Paul, and whether he is speaking of being imprisoned personally, or whether he was limited in some other way, he is asking for prayers in order that he might be restored to those he is writing to once again. What is possible, but which is only speculation, is that if it is Paul, he is hindered because of his own disability which is evident in the book of Acts and in portions of his epistles.
He was conducted wherever he was led, traveling with others, and implying that he could not travel alone. This would fit well with Hebrews 13:23 which says, “Know that our brother Timothy has been set free, with whom I shall see you if he comes shortly.” With Timothy in prison, Paul would have been without his help in getting around. Now that Timothy was released, if he came to Paul, they could then travel together. Again, it is speculation, but it fits the character and needs of Paul well.
No matter what, the author is confident of the power of prayer, and he requests it for this specific purpose. Again, it is reminiscent of Paul’s writings –
“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.” Romans 15:30
Life application: In this verse, the author lets us know something we have not had a clue about to this point. After all the beautiful analysis of the work of Christ, His superiority, His greatness, and His splendor – and after admonishing us to live proper lives in submission to our leaders – after all these things and so many others, only then does he finally get to his own needs.
He waited until he had put forth that which was of most importance to him before mentioning his own difficulty. It is a good lesson for all of us to consider. We may have needs, but are they the most important issue at the moment? In the author’s case, he didn’t think so.
Thank You Lord that no matter what happens to us here, we are safe in eternity with You. May it be our pleasure and honor to suffer for You should the time come. And may You receive all the glory You are due in the judgment of those who persecute Your people, or in their turning to You through watching and desiring to emulate our conduct as we suffer for You. Amen.