TEXT: Philippians 1:1-10
1 Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:
2 Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,
4 Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy,
5 For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now;
6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
7 Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace.
8 For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ.
9 And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;
10 That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ.
We are in a series of messages titled “Praying Through the Bible: A Series on Every Passage and Verse Regarding Prayer in the Bible.” The purpose of this series is to encourage and motivate you to pray to the God of the Bible. We highlighted each of these over 500 verses and passages in the Prayer Motivator Devotional Bible. So far, we have completed 305 messages in this series.
This is message #306 titled, The Power of Remembering, Thanksgiving, and Praying, Part 5.
The Bible Knowledge Commentary says, “None of the believers was excluded from Paul’s prayers. Coming from a prisoner, this is especially significant. It was with joy that the apostle also besought God on their behalf. Paul’s hardships made him better, not bitter. They always do one or the other to a child of God.”
The Bible Knowledge Commentary also says, “The apostle assured the saints that he prayed regularly for them. Now here he reported what it was he prayed for. It was Paul’s prayer that the Philippians’ love for other believers would abound, run over as a cup or a river overflows. But that love should be more than sentimental; it should be knowledgeable and discerning. Having genuine spiritual knowledge (epignosis) of God and depth of insight into His ways enables Christians to love God and others more. Paul stated two purposes for his prayer. The first is a near purpose: to discern what is best; and the second is a remote one: to be pure and blameless until the day of Christ. The idea of testing is clearly in view in the Greek word dokimazō, translated “discern.” The testing is with a view to approving. The word was used in testing metals and coins, to determine whether they met the specified standards.
“Pure” is the translation of a Greek word used only here and in 2 Peter 3:1. It is eilikrineis, which comes from the words for “sun” and “to judge,” thus indicating purity that is tested by the light of the sun. Paul wanted his readers to be rightly related to God and in fellowship with Him. Paul also was concerned that their relationships with others be what God would have them to be. The word aproskopoi, translated “blameless,” also appears in 1 Corinthians 10:32 where the same writer urged, “Do not cause anyone to stumble.” Paul’s desire for his friends at Philippi ought to be the concern of all believers—to be morally pure, not causing others to stumble.”
From our time spent in this passage, we have seen how Paul sets an example of being a concerned prayer warrior for the people whose spiritual well-being is under his care. He led the Philippian believers to the Lord He established the church in their town; and now, even though he is in bonds, he is praying for them faithfully — with joy and remembrance.
Paul’s prayers for the Philippians are an extension of his shepherd’s heart for them. He writes, “How greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Christ.” For the Hebrews, the bowels were the seat of the emotions. Today, we would speak of having someone in our “hearts.” Paul’s heart for the Philippians was expressed through his prayers for them.
Dr. Warren Wiersbe said, “Paul found joy in his memories of the friends at Philippi and in his growing love for them. He also found joy in remembering them before the throne of grace in prayer. He carried the people in his heart in love. Perhaps the deepest Christian fellowship and joy we can experience in this life is at the throne of grace, praying with and for one another. [Paul’s prayer for the Philippians] is a prayer for maturity, and Paul began with love. After all, if our Christian love is what it ought to be, everything else should follow. He prayed that they might experience abounding love and discerning love. Christian love is not blind! The heart and mind work together so that we have discerning love and loving discernment.”
How often could we have been delivered from troublesome people and troubling situations if only we had the spirit of discernment in love? How many people do you know who could have been delivered from trouble if only they had discernment in love? That is something we ought to pray for for ourselves and for others. Perhaps the greatest service you can do for another believer is to pray for their spiritual growth and maturity. You don’t have to be there to instruct them or command them about. You can simply pray for them out of a heart of loving concern. And God will hear that prayer.
The church would be stronger today if we followed Paul’s example and prayed for each other with a heart of thanksgiving and gratitude instead of griping, complaining, criticizing, and gossiping. The strongest bond that we have with other believers is the bond forged in our hearts through prayer. As John Fawcett wrote:
Blest be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Christian love;
The fellowship of kindred minds
Is like to that above.
Before our Father’s throne,
We pour our ardent prayers;
Our fears, our hopes, our aims are one,
Our comforts, and our cares.
We share our mutual woes,
Our mutual burdens bear;
And often for each other flows
The sympathizing tear.
When we asunder part,
It gives us inward pain;
But we shall still be joined in heart,
And hope to meet again.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Now, if you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your first prayer needs to be what we call the Sinner’s Prayer. First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.