Exploring Bible Words – Sunanapausomai Be Refreshed

At the end of Romans 15, Paul asks the church in Rome to be praying for him. He specifically asks for four things.

  1. To be delivered from people in Judea who were disobedient.
  2. Prayer for the Jerusalem collection to be received/used well.
  3. That he would be allowed to come to Rome.
  4. A final request for refreshing rest.

In that final request, he uses the word συναναπαύσωμαι (Sunanapausomai). This is the only place in the New Testament that the word is used, and it is rarely used in secular Greek literature. KJV, ESV, and others translate it as “be refreshed.” In secular literature, it was occasionally used to mean a time of rest for a married couple after a time of great difficulty so that they might be refreshed. Paul uses it to indicate that he hoped to be able to be with the brethren in the Roman church so he could be refreshed with them.

As Christians, fighting for the cause, we all need times of refreshment, and there is no better way to do that than to be refreshed together.

As you prepare for worship on Sunday, get yourself in the right mindset to be refreshed by your brothers and sisters. Help worship be a time of renewal for you, as you praise the Almighty. Keep in mind also, that it is a two-way street. Yes, you are going to be refreshed, but as Paul says that he, “may with you be refreshed.” Paul knew that they would help renew his zeal and his spirit and that he, in turn, would renew theirs.

I’ve been working with Polishing the Pulpit (PTP) for 14 years now. Each year it gets bigger. It is not very refreshing for me or for the staff, but it is for the thousands of attendees each year. The motto has always been “Refresh, Renew, Recharge,” and I think that Romans 15:32 sums that up in a wonderful way. It is a wonderful time of fellowship. It is always shocking to go back into the world after spending a week surrounded by Christians. 

If you’ve never been before, or if it has been awhile since you have been, come and be refreshed. Even if you can’t make it, please pray for us as we head to Sevierville that we will, with each other, “be refreshed.”

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