Prayers and Thanksgiving
The book of Philippians is a personal letter from Paul to his friends that he loves. The letter begins with a salutation and Paul immediately tells the readers how thankful he is for them. Paul is the author of Philippians. Timothy was his companion on his journey and noted as it was in other books. Why was Timothy interested in the congregation at Philippi? Read Acts 16:11-40 to find out.
In verse 6, Paul glorifies God as the one who started the work in the congregation in Philippi. He recognized God as the one who converted them and brought them to the knowledge of Christ who saved them. Paul was confident in God, not the Philippians. However, it was their behavior that encouraged Paul to have assurance of their eternal destiny. Would Paul be confident of our eternal destiny?
In verse 7, we read of Paul’s fondness for the Philippians. He says, “I have you in my heart.” They were a constant help to Paul in his preaching mission. They even supported him when he was imprisoned. Paul genuinely loved the Philippians. Paul also realized their weakness – they needed more knowledge in the understanding of the mind of Christ. He wanted their knowledge to be as great as their abundant love. (Read verse 9)
In verse 10, Paul prays for them and challenges them to approve things that are excellent and reminds them that they must be sincere and free of offense in living the Christian life until Christ returns at the final judgment. Paul then tells them to do this by being filled with the fruits of righteousness from Christ and which are to glorify God. (Read verse 11)
Do you think this motivated them? Does this prayer and challenge motivate you?
Paul gives us an example of prayer. In verse 3, we read a list of things that Paul was thanking God for and not a list of things he needed to receive from God. Do we thank God more for all of the blessings we have received or do we simply pray to God with a to-do list of things we need or want?
Challenge for this week: Examine your prayers to God this week? Are you remembering to thank God for the blessings in your life? Are you sincere in the things you ask God for? Do your prayers follow Paul’s example?