Philippians 1:7-8 “It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and WHETHER I AM IN CHAINS OR DEFENDING AND CONFIRMING THE GOSPEL [emphasis mine] all of you share in God’s grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with all the affection of Christ Jesus.”
Forgive me if I have mentioned this already to some of you, but these verses took on new meaning for me when I realised that Paul was writing in the ULTIMATE LOCKDOWN situation – prison! Verse 7 shows maybe something of Paul’s frustration that he was not out there “defending and confirming the gospel”, and I am beginning to understand a little of that since I have university missions lined up which now look to be all on Zoom.
Paul did not have Zoom, or even airmail, but he did have prayer. To Paul, this was no last resort. I am learning very very slowly that prayer for each other is not the thing you do when you cannot do the work of the Gospel, it IS the work of the Gospel!
Let’s follow his example, since we are still very restricted and turn our affection to one another into heart-felt longing prayer for one another. Let’s pick at least two people, one from each congregation perhaps so we are more united in prayer as a body, and pray all this week:
Lord Jesus, I pray for _ and _ with all the affection You give me, that they will grow deeply in Your love, that their walk with You will not suffer from our not being able to have church exactly as normal. Feed them with Your word and pour Your Holy Spirit upon them that they may know You more and more. Amen.