By Evangelist Paul Dodson
Read Philippians 1:1-6
"Always in every prayer"
Paul now moves from introductions and salutations to thanksgiving. Notice that he directs his thanksgiving to "God". Paul understands that all good things come from God.. not luck, not chance, but God.
Notice also that Paul thanks God upon every rememberance of them, in every prayer. This brings up an important question: "When should one pray?" The Biblical answer to this would be "always". Understand that prayer is not some formal recital of words or some type of magical speech. Prayer is your heart talking to God. Prayer is communicating with God. This is something that should take place all day, every day. We should always be in a constant state of prayer with our Heavenly Father.
Ok, I know what you are thinking, "how can I go through my day with my head bowed and my eyes closed praying?" Well the answer is, you don't. A Biblical study of prayer would reveal that godly men and women prayed in many different ways, many different times, and in many different fashions. Of course there is a time to kneel on your knees and bow your head, and talk to God. Of course there is a time when praying standing up in from of others is called for, as well as a time to pray while alone. But by and far the largest amount of time praying should be as you go throughout your day. You don't have to close your eyes or bow your head. While driving down the road, working on your job, doing work around the house, or fishing on the lake, every moment is a good opportunity to seek God's wisdom, direction, help, and strength. Simply, from your heart, just talk to God as you would someone sitting right next to you. Share with Him your worries, your thoughts, your desires, your need for help, and yes, as Paul did, you feelings of others.
Paul said that he thanked God for them upon every rememberance of them, always in every prayer. Paul was a man that prayed all the time. He thanked God for those in his life, and he made request for them as well. Notice that he also did it with "joy". Paul could do this because he had confidence in the God of his prayers. He had faith when he prayed. He trusted God and knew that He would answer. The thoughts of his friends in faith, and the faith he had in his God brought him great joy.
Paul goes on to remember all the great fellowship that he had with them in verses five and six. There is great joy in fellowshipping with other believers. This is why God tells us to not forsake the assembling of ourselves together (Hebrews 10:25), and even more as we see God's return approaching. We draw strength from each other...we encourage each other...we teach and learn from each other...and we grow closer to God through our fellowship with each other.
Finally notice that Paul was confident that they would continue to walk with God. However, notice who his confidence was in.... God. Paul understood that the Christians in Philippians’ were only humans, they would fail, but God would not. He knew that God was the one who was working in them. It was not their strength, or spiritual maturity that would get them through. It was God, and God alone that would continue to work in their life and bring them to the point God wanted them. A Christian who is walking and ministering in their own strength is a Christian about to fall. We must always remember that it is God who is doing the good work through us. Notice also that God is doing this work every single day, and will continue to do so until He returns for us, or He brings us home to be with Him. That’s right fellow Christian, if you allow God to do what He wants in your life, you will be in spiritual school until the very last day. Don't every think you have arrived, or that you are as spiritually mature as you will ever be. God's is not finished with us yet, and I thank God in every prayer that He is the one in control.
(1) Who does Paul Thank for the Philippians’?
(2) How often does Paul pray?
(3) What does Paul receive for praying for them?
(4) Who is Paul’s confidence in regarding the Philippians spiritual growth?
(5) Who is it that is working a good work in the Philippians life?
(6) How long will God continue this good work?