First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of in all the world. For God is my witness, whom I serve in my spirit in the gospel of His Son, how without ceasing I make mention of you always at my prayers, beseeching if by any means now at length I shall be blessed by the will of God to come to you. For I long to see you, that I may impart some spiritual gift to you, for the establishing of you; and this is to be comforted together among you, through the faith in one another, both yours and mine. But I do not wish you to be ignorant, brothers, that often I purposed to come to you, and was kept back until the present, that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among the other nations.Romans 1:8-13
Wow, did you catch that? Read it again. Get it that time? What an amazing statement! How many times have you said to people “Ï’m prayin’ for ya”? Did you do it? Or was it a flipped Christian comment off the cuff and you didn’t get around to it? Well read again what Paul said to the Romans. What an incredible statement. Oh to have people who pray for you like that!
“For God is my witness, whom I serve in my spirit in the gospel of His Son, how without ceasing I make mention of you always at my prayers.” (LITV)Romans 1:9
Let’s read that again and again:
- For God is my witness, whom I serve in my spirit in the gospel of his Son, how unceasingly I make mention of you, always in my prayers making request (ASV)
- For God is my witness, whose servant I am in spirit in the good news of his Son, that you are at all times in my memory and in my prayers, (BBE)
- God is my witness that what I say is true—the God whom I serve with all my heart by preaching the Good News about his Son. God knows that I remember you every time I pray. (GNB)
- I serve God by spreading the Good News about his Son. God is my witness that I always mention you every time I pray. (GW)
- For God, whom I serve in my spirit by preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I mention you in my prayers at all times (ISV)
- For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers; making request (KJV)
- And God, whom I so love to worship and serve by spreading the good news of his Son–the Message!–knows that every time I think of you in my prayers, which is practically all the time (MSG)
- God knows how often I pray for you. Day and night I bring you and your needs in prayer to God, whom I serve with all my heart by spreading the Good News about His Son. (NLT)
All of these versions are available to you on the Compare tab. (Depending if you have chosen to load them).
Notice the one I chose to begin with was the Literal Version. This gives you a sense of what is in the original Greek behind the scenes.
God is my witness how unceasingly I mention you in my prayers (with some tweaking on my part). I want prayer partners like that.
No wonder Paul is attached to the Romans if he prays for them like that. Notice Paul’s heart expressed in verses 11 and 12. he longs to meet them and share something to encourage them. What a heart toward people! No wonder he had lots of friends. I have no problem with Paul knowing lots of people in a church he had never visited. Some critics don’t understand and suspect Romans 16 is an addition from another source. I totally understand as it has happened to us. When you pray for someone with the kind of passion and fervour that Paul shares with the Romans then, although you may have never met, you are bonded together in God. Doing this work we have developed special friendships long before we ever met in person.
The best translation is when you translate the Word of God into your daily life. You ought to be a living Bible.Rick Warren