I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, because I hear about your love for all his holy people and your faith in the Lord Jesus. I pray that your partnership with us in the faith may be effective in deepening your understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ.(Philemon 1:4-6 NIV)
Paul prayed for his old friend, Philemon, on a regular basis. In this case, Paul is writing to make a request of him based on their relationship. He knows Philemon and he is confident that his faith and love, as well as his appreciation for their shared mission, will prompt him to grant this request. Praying for people, by name, over time strengthens our spiritual ties.
His description of how he prayed gives us some great ideas on how to pray for others in our own church fellowship:
- Give thanks for their love and faith. No matter where you congregate, there are people there whose lives reflect love and faith. It is entirely appropriate to give thanks for them.
- Pray that the relationship you share with them through connection to the local body will bring about a deeper understanding of all the good things, both benefits and responsibilities, that you share as part of the Body of Christ.
As we head for church today, I give thanks for you and your faithfulness. I pray that our connection to the local body of believers will deepen our understanding of all the good things we share in our relationship to one another as we serve Jesus together. Have a great Sunday.