August 11, 2022 – Thursday
Philippians 1:7 NIV
7 It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me.
Comments – part 2
Yesterday I gave four different translations of the above verse noting the similarities and the differences. At the end, in the concluding paragraph, I stated I thought Barnes’ Notes (commentary) was best as it shows we have a need as partakers of God’s grace, to live as Christians and in doing so to defend the gospel and find a way to support those who persecuted for doing the same thing. To do this we might support various missionaries or when questioned about our ‘good deeds’ let people know they are the result of the grace we have received.
Then I mentioned that “There is also The Voice of the Martyrs, real modern-day martyrs for Christ and Far Reaching Ministrieswho train chaplains in war torn, heavily persecuted areas. Those are two among many others where we have the opportunity to support our brothers and sisters who are standing firm in the faith while in the midst of great trials and tribulations.”
With all that said, I neglected to mention the one thing we can do each and every day for the persecuted and to help our fellow believers and missionaries, and that is to pray for them. The first example for this is Jesus’ prayer for all believers (including us) in John 17:20, My prayer is not for them (His disciples) alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message. In Acts 12, James the brother of John was arrested and put to death by the order of Herod; Peter was also arrested, and Herod intended to bring him to trial after Passover, but in verse five we read, So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him. Read the following verses to see how God arranged Peter’s rescue.
In Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians, after acknowledging God’s help he adds in 1:10, [A]s you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many. Then Paul in his letter to the Colossians gave us a great example on how we might pray for others when he wrote in 1:9-12, 9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, 10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.
There are many more examples within the New Testament. I hope from these few examples you can see how important your prayers are for the persecuted as well as many others. Your prayers are able to provide help. Bottom Line: Never, ever, sell your prayers short. They are not simply important, but critical to our support of others.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Help us to pray and to pray unceasingly for our brothers and sisters throughout the world as well as for ourselves. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton