Prayer- It’s a new day, Heavenly Father. So much to thank you for. Everything good we have comes from you, including the people in our lives. Help me learn to pray thankful prayers with joy because… through Jesus, Amen.
Scripture- 3 I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now…
So much here, so much to learn about how to pray, even for folks that are fussing. Paul will address their lack of unity later throughout the letter, but that’s not where he starts.
- I thank my God- that makes it prayer, right? Grateful prayer- for what? Grateful every time he remembers his brothers and sisters in Philippi. Who are you grateful for TODAY? Is there somebody you are NOT grateful for today? Paul says “EVERY time I remember you.” Even on the “bad days,” when other people are being stinkers, Paul thanks God for them.
- But then it gets even tougher-
“In ALL my prayers for ALL of you.”
I can pray for people I like, some of the time. But Paul prays for all of them all the time. Or is it that WHEN he prays for them, he “always prays with joy?” I always pray with joy BECAUSE…
Yesterday, I asked you to make a list of people God wanted you to greet or communicate with. Today I’m asking you to make a new list, of those who you can pray for with joy. But then add those who make you crazy, who are harder for you to pray for with joy, but are part of the “in all my prayers for ALL of you…”
For each person on your now-expanded list, next to their name, come up with at least one thing that you can pray a prayer of thanks to God for that person. Yes but… No “yes buts.” If that person is a brother or sister in Christ, then they are a partner in the gospel with you. God made them family- you didn’t, they didn’t. Together we are partners IN the gospel, and partners SHARING the gospel- you your way, and me mine. But I can thankfully pray with joy for you because… (because I need prayer, too? Ummm, could be.)
Prayer- In the same way that I need grace from you, Father, I need to extend grace through grateful, joyous prayer- for all the brothers and sisters that I interact with. Help me to focus on the good parts, not the parts that drive me crazy, in the name of my savior Jesus, Amen.