God’s answers to prayer are not always what we expect them to be. Paul prayed to spread the gospel in Rome, but it took him being sent there in chains in order for that prayer to be answered. This was not a deficient answer or a situation orchestrated by the Lord because a better option wasn’t available. Because of his circumstances as a prisoner, Paul had access to preaching Christ to the most powerful and influential in the Roman empire for two years. Elsewhere in Acts Paul expressed a desire to go to Spain, and while he didn’t see Spain in the flesh on his missionary journeys, the influence of Christianity in the Roman empire eventually extended into that territory as well. Let’s never limit the ways of God!

First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world. 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 if, by some means, now at last I may find a way in the will of God to come to you. For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established— that is, that I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.

Romans 1:8-12

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