always in my prayers, asking that somehow by God's will I may now at last succeed in coming to you. (ESV)
Have you ever had that situation where you talk to someone and they begin to tell you their current list of troubles? You patiently listen and then you tell them, "I'll be praying for you." A few weeks go by and you run into that same person. They begin to share how God worked in their life and answered all their troubles. They are so thankful and say, "Thank you for praying!"
There's only one problem. You never prayed for them. Oh, you meant to. In fact, you had the greatest intentions of praying for them. You were deeply moved by their situation. You pictured yourself in their shoes and you knew that you would not have handled their struggles well. You meant to pray. But you forgot.
The Apostle Paul does not seem to suffer from the problem of forgetting to pray. I hope you don't feel bad if you identified too well with my "story." We have all been there. Paul has these believers in the church at Rome always in his prayers. We know that he was thankful for their faith. As a skilled teacher he wanted to meet them face to face and share more of God's truth with them.
Paul seeks God's will in his trip to Rome. This is such an important point. Paul knows that God is ultimately in charge of where he goes and when he goes there. While Paul waits for God's go-ahead to go to Rome he is content to send this masterpiece of a letter. Paul eventually made it to Rome. He went as a prisoner. He was martyred there. It's interesting how God answers prayers.
Paul was faithful in prayer. He is a great example to us. One of the ways for us to remember specific prayers is to be "always in prayer." Begin talking to the Lord in the morning. Don't stop until you rest your eyes at night. Ask him to help direct your scattered thoughts. He will help you.