Prayer of Joy and Encouragement
“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:3-6
Paul is praying this little prayer at the beginning of his letter to the Philippians. The Philippians were a group that got behind Paul’s ministry at the very beginning, therefore there was an instant bond between them and Paul. They did not wait to see if his ministry would succeed before they believed in and encouraged his ministry. Paul held them in high regard because of their support to him. He starts this prayer remembering them with joy because of their partnership with him.
He then moves on to encourage them in their ministry. God was obviously working through the Philippians in their ministry as well. Paul is encouraging them that he knows that God is working through them and that He will bring their work to completion.
Can’t we all use that kind of encouragement when we are partnering in ministry? We can always know this, if we are in authentic ministry for Jesus, this verse will hold true for us and He will see us through to the completion of that ministry. I also have prayed this verse over my children as well as people I know and see in ministry. I have also seen it. I have seen saints here on earth who ministered right up until the day they saw Jesus face to face. Oh to be found in him until the day I see Jesus face to face. That would be my hope and my prayer for myself as well as for my children and others.
Another thing that is so special about this prayer is that Paul is in prison when he writes this letter about having joy. Paul never seemed to let his circumstances get in the way of his joy and encouragement to others. I wonder how many times I let my circumstances define my joy instead of allowing Jesus to define my joy. It’s hard to do humanly speaking when the circumstances aren’t what I wish them to be, but something I remind myself of all the time is that Paul was just a man. A man made of flesh and blood like you and me. God used him in a mighty way that is for sure, but if Paul could find joy from a Roman prison then surely I can find joy in my every day circumstances too.
Who can you encourage today with this prayer? I challenge you to think of someone you know who is in ministry and let them know that you are praying for them. Or maybe just someone you know who needs encouragement to stay on the path, maybe someone who you know who is trying to turn their life around and live for Jesus when maybe they haven’t been. I challenge you to send them a verse, maybe this one, or maybe ask the Lord if there is another more specific for them and send it to them and let them know that you are partnering in prayer with them for their ministry, and for their life.
I know I thank God for each of you and the encouragement you give me when you like, share and comment on this post. I make my prayer with joy knowing that God is working through you and me.