When the Apostle Paul wrote his Letter to the Philippians, he was in jail. Even though he was fettered in chains, the grace and power of the Gospel was still being ministered through the Apostle. Palace guard officials were being witnessed to by the imprisoned Paul (Phil. 1:12,17). In addition, Christian brothers and sisters, outside the Palace prison, were being emboldened by Paul’s chains to proclaim the Gospel more faithfully (Phil. 1:14).
This is a testimony not only to the power of the risen Jesus Christ, who has been exalted to to the highest place by God the Father (Phil.2:9-11), but it is also a testimony to the powerful community that existed among Paul and his fellow Christians. A real partnership in the Gospel existed between the Philippian believers and their mentor Paul (Phil.1:3-5,8). Even metal chains and bars could not separate the knitted hearts of these Christians. In Phil. 1:7, we read these words of Paul: “It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart; for whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me.”
When we allow God’s grace to unite our hearts with the Lord Jesus and with each other, there is incredible blessing and spiritual power released in our lives. Nothing in the world can lock up or stop God’s work done in God’s way.
In Phil 1:9-11, Paul prays for the Philippians love to abound in knowledge and depth of insight so that they would:
1. discern what’s best.
2. be pure and blameless.
3. filled with the fruit of righteousness.
all to the praise and glory of God.
One of the ways this is realized is when we actively pray together as a community of faith. God’s gracious work in our lives and God’s kingly work in the world cannot go forward without this kind of praying community. Paul was a greatly gifted Apostle but he humbly realized that he was dependent on the Philippian Christians’ prayers for his deliverance (Phil. 1:19).
At Devonwood Community Church we make prayer an important part of our Sunday Morning service and small groups. We also have begun a prayer time at 9:30am before the start of our Sunday morning ministries. Our Church needs to continue to grow in praying for each other and for our surrounding community in order to see God’s power and purposes to be fully realized in our midst. Let us continue to love each other by actively praying for each other.
In Christ’s love & service, Pastor John