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Partners in Prayer

Published: 8 months ago- 1 October 2023
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Let me introduce you to the writer … V1 tells Apostle Paul

  • zealous Jew .. pharisee .. hated Christians .. destroy embryonic church
  • converted on Damascus Rd – follower of Jesus
  • missionary … church planter … pastor … theologian … defender of faith
  • key figure in Acts and wrote 13/27 books of NT
  • disliked by many .. suffered tremendously … read 2 Cor 11
  • yet writes from prison a letter filled with joy and hope How did he do it? What sustained him?

I suggest prayer was a key element … he was a person of prayer … he had praying partners

  • Describes them as being in “partnership/fellowship in gospel” v 5
  • Whole church there had his back and he had theirs v 1-2

Learn a lot about priority of prayer from him .. glimpse of his prayer life .. key components

  1. JOY OF PRAYER (vs. 3-6)

Prayer was a priority for Paul .. not a last resort, not an afterthought … a priority

  • consistent at it … . something important … it mattered
  • needed to pray for gospel to go forth into his pagan world
  • prayer could not be neglected
    • it brought him joy!!!

We sense that in verses 3-4

The joy of praying for his gospel partners was very real

  • he planted the church in Philippi
  • they had stood with him from day 1 … his gospel partners
  • he was confident that they’d stick with him until the very end
  • no giving up no lack of prayer keep going until Jesus returned That’s clear from verses 5 and 6

Well Jesus didn’t return in their lifetime … He still hasn’t

  • doesn’t mean that God isn’t still at work
  • doesn’t mean that gospel partners aren’t needed
  • doesn’t mean that prayer is a waste of time and effort
  • doesn’t mean that we can’t find great joy in prayer
    • quite the opposite
    • prayer needed more than ever … especially finding joy of prayer
  1. LOVE IN PRAYER (vs. 7-8)

May be thinking “I don’t find joy in prayer … it’s hard for me to do, find time, give priority”

  • how did Paul do it?
  • because love was at the heart of his prayer life
  • he loved his prayer partners … right thing to pray for them
  • he knew about the sacrificial, unconditional, consistent love of Jesus See that in verses 7 and 8

Love motivated him to pray … love for them undergirded by his love for Jesus

  • God’s grace to Paul transformed his life can ours
  • when touched by God’s grace you will love Jesus .. love partners in gospel
  • your motivation will be changed … priorities changed
  • you will love to pray because you love Jesus … bring great joy
  • don’t stress about prayer love Jesus and joyful prayer will come naturally
    • need love in prayer … at its heart
  1. POWER FROM PRAYER (vs. 9-11)

This passage is one of few in NT reveals content of Paul’s prayers

  • “this is my prayer” v 9
  • content different to a lot of what we focus on in prayer
  • he prays for them to know more about love … rest of v 9

What love is he talking about?

  • clearly Christ’s love v 8
  • to know the depth of Christ’s love
  • love that is deep, wide, long, high and so vast it is hard to grasp
  • Expands more in a prayer in Eph 3:17-19
  • so amazing it surpasses knowledge … can’t plumb full depth

Love so sacrificial as to die for another

Love so profound that covers the multitude of our sins Love so unconditional that we are loved though sinners Love so persistent that it will seek and find us when lost Love that will NEVER LET GO OF US … . NEVER EVER!

There’s a reason Paul wants us to grasp the extent of Christ’s love verses 10-11

  • that’s what enables us to make right decisions think clearly
  • that’s what keeps us pure and blameless behave properly
  • results in righteousness in Jesus … .
    • Christ’s love, His death, His resurrection that makes us righteous
    • discern: it’s not our good deeds but God’s grace that saves us
    • filled with fruit of it … . the fruit of the Holy Spirit Gal 3:22 and 23

That’s a powerful result of prayer: – a fruitful, grace filled life … lived for Christ


What richness … what blessing …

  • what joy, love and power Paul shows us can come from prayer
  • it is such a wonderful privilege to be partners in gospel … prayer partners

Last few words reveal why Paul is so zealous for the gospel and prayer

  • it is not just to make us feel great
  • but rather brings glory and praise of God end of v 11

This is the real crux .. this is at the heart and core of the Christian life

  • this is purpose and mission of the Church
  • this is so very important to grasp … early form of Q and A helps

In the mid 1600’s was a gathering of church leaders

  • for 10 years they delved deeply into the Bible Westminster Assembly
  • they produced several important documents – 2 X catechisms Q and A
  • First question:
    • What’s the main purpose of our existence as human beings?
    • Answer: our main purpose is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever

That’s a great reason to be a partner in the gospel … a praying partner

  • to be immersed in the joy of prayer … the love in .. power of
  • so as to bring glory to God and to get to enjoy Him forever
  • Please join me in prayer

PRAYER: It is so easy Lord Jesus for us to lose our perspective on life, so easy to centre on ourselves and our own pleasure as the purpose of our existence. Thanks for reminding us that this isn’t our purpose. Help us Eternal God to live for your glory, help us to enjoy you .. to bask in your love and grace, to delight ourselves in your Word and in prayer. Please enrich our prayer lives with joy, love and power so that our purpose becomes your purpose and so that you receive all the glory and all the praise. In Jesus name, Amen.