Praying for the Church (Philippians 1:9-11)
I have made it my practice in recent years to pray for people when they come to mind. There is no better time to pray than when you are thinking of someone. I also receive many text messages, emails, and phone calls with prayer requests. It is too easy to say that you will pray and then forget about the person or issue. I have made it my practice to stop what I am doing and pray for that person as soon as I hear the request. Not only do I pray for individuals when I think of them or receive a prayer request, but I also pray for our church as often as I think to pray. I cannot give you all of the content of my prayers for the church, but I can say that I thank the Lord for all of you; I thank Him for our leadership; I thank Him for those who serve here; I thank Him for your generosity; I also pray that He would continue to bless us; I ask that He would make us to grow in our knowledge of Him; I ask that He would give us a fruitful ministry, loving hearts, unity, and a continued willingness to minister to the nations with the Good News of Christ. These are just some of the things that I continually pray for our church. Let me ask you: Do you pray for us? What is the content of your prayers for the church here in Rural Hall?
After stating the context of his prayers for the Philippians and the reasons for thanksgiving, Paul gives us the content of his prayers for the Philippian church. Maybe we can be encouraged by this prayer, and we can take it as a model for how we can pray for our own congregation today:
"And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God."