Summary: Sermon on Paul’s prayer
AN APOSTLES PRAYER
Today we will continue our look into the book of Philippians. If you recall this was a very personal letter from the apostle to those saints in Philippi. As with many of the letters which Paul writes he begins the letters with a greeting and then lets the people know that he is praying for them. Many times as with this letter, as well as other letters, Colossians, Ephesians, Romans, for example, Paul shares with his readers what exactly he is thanking God for, as well as what he is praying for.
Paul is a great believer in intercessory prayers. Looking at the books of the New Testament authored by Paul this becomes quite clear. I think there is a great example to follow in the prayer life of Paul. What we also need to realize is that we see God at work in mighty way in that first century, we see him at work in these church’s which Paul founded. I firmly believe that the reason these church grew as they did in that time was because of the prayer which was going up to God on their behalf. I also firmly the reason this church here at Milford Center as seen growth as it has over the past year is because of the prayer which has gone up on it’s behalf. Not only for within this local body of believers, but also from Christians in other areas. We have people praying for us in Maryland, Maine, Florida, Conn., Penn. all over.
My point is that if we all learned to Pray as Paul prayed, we would see the church grow just as it did in the first century. We would see God working in such a way what would be in awe. In looking at the prayers Paul prayed for these churches, you see how he took time to learn their needs, to know of their situations, to know of the weaknesses, and give thanks for the strengths. Paul is specific when he prays for these churches. And we to need to be specific in our prayers.
I think I may be getting a little ahead of myself here. Today we will look at the beginning of one of those prayers which Paul prays for the church at Philippi. Please turn with me to Phil. chapter 1 verses 3 through 5;
Paul writes; "I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now,"
There are several interesting thing in which Paul notes here. In verse three Paul thanks the Lord whenever he remembers these people. As I stated in the introduction Paul remembers those who he brought to the Lord. He does not win someone over for Christ, and then leave and forget about them, something that is so common in our society, no Paul remembers his converts, he prays for his converts. I think in scripture we can see three reasons why Paul prays for his converts. And these three reason are the same reason why we should be as Paul and pray for other believers, not only here, but in church’s which are far away, churches and areas where are missionaries serve for example.
The first reason we see why Paul is so adamant about lifting up these churches in prayer is because he really cares about. He has a deep concern for these people. I think of how sometimes we pray, and I know I am guilty of this very thing, like when we pray for Dorothy Kircher. We pray that God would use her to win people the Christ. But do we really care in our hearts if any one in Brazil is won for Christ. I know we say we do, but do we really. We month the words in our prayers but do we really care. And can we see we care about the people in Brazil when we really don’t care if the guy next door, whom we know very personally, goes to hell or not. What I am getting at is do we really care about people as Paul cared about people, do we care about people as Jesus did.