As I read this verse recently, I was struck by the phrase, “strive together with me in your prayers.” This doesn’t sound passive. It actually sounds like work, as though effort needs to be put forth.
For many people, me included at times, prayer can be much too passive. “Let’s have a prayer” is a common phrase in many churches. It’s like the difference between “Let’s have a meal” and “Let’s eat!” One is passive; the other is active. One sounds as though it will just happen. The other requires involvement on our part.
Actually, in the Greek, the words “strive together with” are all one word. The word literally means “to struggle in company with.” Let’s work at this together. Let us, in unity, put forth the necessary effort. Not simply a passive hoping for as we mouth some words, but an honest striving together in asking God to move on our behalf.
Sometimes prayer can be work. It can take effort. It is, however—especially when we strive together—well worth that effort.