The long list of final greetings from Paul shows that he was not a lone-wolf in the ministry. In fact, Paul is pleading for the assistance of prayer from the many fellow-laborers of the gospel. This is not a plea for a deliverance from the onslaught of oppression, but it is a desire for the strength of bold gospel proclamation in face of it.
Paul was a man who had faced time and time again the harshest attacks that spiritual warfare can give. He was a seasoned veteran, filled with the Holy Spirit to a measure that many of us may be jealous of, had been transformed from a harsh persecutor into the greatest evangelist, and saw and did wondrous things. If any man was suited for the task of facing opposition, one may think that it would have been Paul. Yet, he was still asking for assistance.
So, how often do you overestimate your spiritual ability?
You can’t go out in the world’s spiritual battlefield unaided and alone. The devil is likened to a lion prowling about, whose intention is to devour, and a single man cannot overpower a lion. But God does give strength through the grace of providential concurrence, or the divine coordination of ordinary events, one means of which is through the body of believers. No doubt when Paul was speaking about suffering with one another and bearing one another’s burdens in this epistle and in others, he was speaking with personal experience.