Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Praying for Others

Last night we finished looking at Philppians 1:1-11 and there was some emphasis on the need to pray for others.  I am thinking that I may (emphasis on may) start posting more about Philippians throughout the week, but for now I want to talk about a lesson we (Christians) should learn from Paul.  In verses 3-11 Paul talks about his joyful prayer on behalf of all the Christians at Philippi.  In verses 3-4 Paul says, "I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy."  So we noticed last week that Paul remembers the believers at Philippi and offers up thanksgiving to his God (notice the personal relationship of Paul with his God) and that he prays for them with joy.  And then in verse 5 he gives the reason for why he remembers them and thanks God for them, "because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now."  His joyful prayers of thanksgiving on behalf of those at Philippi are because they are partners with him in the gospel.  This is Biblical fellowship.  It is deeply rooted in and around the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
In verse 6 Paul deals with the fact that God began a good work in Philippi and will complete what He began.  In Acts 16 the Holy Spirit forbade Paul and the others to go into Asia Minor to preach the gospel because God was going to do a work in Macedonia, and particularly in Philippi.  God opened Lydia's heart, He freed a demon possessed woman, and He saved a jailor and his family.  God also used the Philippian church to minister to Paul by sending gifts out of poverty and great tribulation (2 Corinthians 8:1-2).
Last night we noticed that Paul had a deep yearning affection for them.  In fact, it was rooted in his walk with Christ.  His affection is described in verse 8 as the affection of Christ Jesus.  Wow!  We should all pray that we walk so closely with the Lord that His affection working through us will be aimed at others.  That is why Paul can pray for them with joy.  He loves the church.  He has confidence in God.  And so He prays that God will help them abound in love more and more.  This is a prayer for every church.  May we learn to pray for others within our local churches, and others within the church around the world.  May we learn to pray for others and yearn for them with the affection of Jesus Christ.  May we learn to pray that others will be filled with knowledge and discernment so that they will be pure and blameless before God.  May we pray for others that they will be filled with fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ.  May our prayers be such that we want others to live in such a way that God receives glory and praise through their lives.  Let's learn to pray for others the way Paul prayed for those in Philippi.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting on the study. I hope you do that more. I also hope that Beth and I can begin to pray for others with the same fervor Paul does here. And more specifically, I liked the call from you to us to pray for the ones attending the bible study.

I will miss next Tuesday night though I hope you and Shannon have a great anniversary.