Encouraged By Paul’s Prayer

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Today we will look at Paul’s prayer in Philippians 1:9-11. His prayer comes after he told them how much he loves, is encouraged by and thankful for them and their participation with him in spreading the gospel. He reminds them (and us) that the salvation God began in their (our) lives, He will finish and perfect. God is the one that will bring it to completion and keeps them (us) eternally secure. (Philippians 1:3-8)

As we look at this prayer we see such rich truth and encouragement in what he is praying for them. I want this to be my heart’s desire and prayer, not only for myself but for the believers around us. As he delighted to pray for them, I too want to delight in praying for the church.

Paul longs for them with the affection of Jesus Christ (v. 8). This is the strongest Greek word to express compassionate love. It means bowels-, inward parts, our entire being. This is the part of the body that acts with intense emotion. This is the affection Jesus has for us, that Paul had for his followers and we too can have for our brothers and sisters in Christ. This is love that involves all of our being.

Paul then prays that their love– will abound more and more in real knowledge and discernment. This agape love- a love feast will grow by leaps and bounds and will result in people really caring about and taking care of each other. This love is not sentimental, but genuine and biblical knowledge of God and His word. This love will cause us to know Christ and others more. (v9)

The result of this knowledge and love will enable us to approve the excellent things, to be sincere and blameless (v.10). We will have the ability to distinguish what is right and wrong, what is really important and have right priorities.

To be sincere is “without wax”, literally tested by sunlight and judged genuine, pure. It is the picture of inferior pottery with the cracks filled with wax then glazed and painted over. It would only prove to be a fake when held up to the light. Have you ever seen the wax figures? It is hard to tell them from the real thing. The only way to see what is real or fake is through Jesus, the Light of the world, He brings us into relationship with him and makes us sincere. Oh, to be a genuine follower of Christ, not a waxy fake.

Our lives will be blameless and lived with integrity and we will not lead others or ourselves to stumble or sin.
Paul continues since we have been filled with the fruit of righteousness that only comes through Jesus, we will be transformed (v.11).

-We have the ability to love as Jesus loves in real knowledge and discernment with our whole being.
-We will have a biblical love that will grow by leaps and bounds.
-We will know and love Jesus and really know, love and take care of each other.
-We will be able to know right from wrong, what is really important and have the right priorities.
-We will live in a way to not cause others or ourselves to stumble or sin.
-We will be sincere, genuine, not a waxy fake.
-We will live our lives to the glory and praise of God.

Heavenly Father, as we are aware of and filled with your love, may our lives truly love, being filled with knowledge and all discernment. I pray our priorities will reflect you and what you say is excellent. I pray we will be sincere, genuine, the real thing-not “waxy”. Help us as we grow in relationship with you and those around us to be blameless and not stumble or sin or lead others to do the same. Thank you that we are made righteousness by Jesus. Thank you that you fill us up with yourself and enable us to live our lives for your glory and praise. Amen

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A Prayer

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“Lord help me to glorify You. I am poor-help me to glorify You through contentment. I am sick-help me to honor You through patience. I have talents-help me to praise You by using them for You. I have time, Lord-help me to redeem it by using it to serve You. I have a heart to feel-let me feel no love but Yours, and let my heart glow with no flame but my affection for You. I have a brain to think-help me to think of You. Lord You have put me in this world for a reason-show me what that is and help me work out my life purpose. I can’t do much, but as the widow put in her two mites-which was everything she had-I place my time and eternity into Your treasury. Lord, I am Yours-take me and enable me to glorify You now in everything I say, in everything I do, and with all I have.” Amen!(Charles Spurgeon)

Devote Yourself to Prayer

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 In thinking about the new year and what I want my life to look like…prayer is the first word that came to mind.

Following are some quotes from Charles Spurgeon in his Morning by Morning devotional that really hit home to me as I was reading from January 2.

“It is interesting to note the large portion of God’s sacred Word dedicated to the subject of prayer, either in delivering examples to follow, demanding obedience to its truth, or declaring promises regarding it.”

“We can be certain that whatever God has made so prominent in His Word, He intends to be conspicuously evident in our lives. If He says so much about prayer, it is because He knows how much we need it. Our needs are so deep that we must not cease to pray until we are in heaven.”

“Prayer is the breath, the password, the comfort, the strength and the privilege of a Christian. So if you are a child of God, you will seek your Father’s face and live in your Father’s love.”

“Pray this year you will be holy, humble, devoted and diligent; that you will be an example and a blessing to others, and that you will live more and more for the glory of your Master. May our motto this year be: Devote yourselves to prayer.”

Colossians 4:2 Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving

This year my goal and motto is to “devote myself to prayer”. Not just to pray more but to be devoted ,alert and thankful when I pray. To diligently pray, not just a quick prayer when I first wake up or go to sleep, when I hear of a need or when driving etc…  These are all good times to “pray without ceasing” but to have a plan and determined purpose to spend time with Him in prayer,seeking Him, praising Him, being thankful for who He is and what He has done…all for His glory.

Join me to live Inside Out by being devoted to prayer,

What is your goal or motto this year?