Today I was led during my prayer time to two passages of scripture that have to do with prayer. Both are in the book of Philippians. The first passage talks about thanksgiving in prayer.
I thank my God every time I remember you.
In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."I am so glad he promises to carry on the work he begins in us. There are times we find ourselves stuck in the rut of our old behaviors and mindset with out a clue about how to change ourselves or our situation. God it faithful and he is working. As a home school parent, particularly when my children were younger, I often planned educational activities that were interesting and fun and often they did not even know were were doing school. I think God work in us is often like that we don't even realize how the things we are engaged in are molding and shaping us to his plan. I would say the main thing to be is willing to change and be transformed into his likeness even if you don't know how to do it - he does.
Skip down now to verse 9 - 11 and you get a wonderful Apostolic prayer. A prayer prayed by Paul one of the apostles. We can echo this prayer as we pray for the people. Truly knowledge and depth of insight would be a good thing to pray that we would discern what is best for our lives and families and your church.
"And this is my prayer that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and my be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ - to the glory and praise of God"
I love the part about abounding more and more in knowledge and depth of insight. Did you notice it is your love needs to abound in knowledge and depth of insight. God's kind of love is so much richer and deeper than the whispy feelings we often call love. I read this quote in my friend Ryan Mahoney's blog written by Jeff Cook "I have long believed that without pain love is impossible, because real love requires sacrifice." Humm its no wonder I don't really understand love - I have worked so hard to avoid and stuff pain away to not have to feel it. I am beginning to realize that its ok to feel pain over the loss of a friend or a change in a relationship. It's a reminder that I have indeed loved and cared about that person. That quote is something to twist my brain around and stew on for a while. The idea of sacrifice and pain being intwined in a bigger something called love.
The other passage I was led to was Philippians 4:4-9 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Think about this and Rejoice! we do not have to worry - just take our concerns to God in prayer. I love it that prayer is not some drudgery or legalistic thing but an awesome privilege in being able to have an intimate relationship with God the Father because of Jesus. How cool is that? Written in the margin of my bible on this page is a really wonderful quote and I am sorry I did not write who said it. " The main thing about Christianity is not the work we do but the relationship we maintain and the atmosphere created by that relationship"
May your prayer time be blessed,