(From Phillippians 1)
3 I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 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.
7 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, all of you share in God’s grace with me. 8 God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.
9 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.
Can you say a little prayer for us Vicar?
Would you mind if I said a little prayer for you?
I don’t want to pray a LITTLE prayer, as though we lack confidence in Gods power to transform lives and circumstances… I want to be like Paul praying big hairy audacious prayers rendering heaven on behalf of the Saints he is urging to remain faithful and full of zeal for the Gospel and Kingdom of Christ.
I’ve been thinking too often we have dumbed down our language and expectations of prayer. On one occasion when I was praying for someone to be healed and they were I was more shocked than they were, which led me to have an interesting discussion with myself afterwards.
I was talking to another minister type mate who and said about supporting him, he said “I don’t want people to support me, I want people to partner with me”.
It’s so true, the word SUPPORT conjours up images of sitting there with a sympathetic and slighty constipated look, offering milky coffee and making polite noises for a few minutes until the conversation returns to something less uncomfortable and more superficial.
Whereas the word PARTNERSHIP conjours up both people investing heavily in something, standing shoulder to shoulder, battling together amid blood, tears and sweat.
Paul wasn’t after support from his fellow Christians, he didn’t want “Oh Bless him” platitudes, he wants the disciples partnering with him to carry on fighting for the Kingdom cause as fearlessly as he did when he was on his missionary endevours -especially as now he is in prison, in chains, for talking about Christ.
Paul’s prayer shows his aspiration for his team, Is this the kind if thing we pray for ourselves? Our Churches? Our homegroup?
Or do we pray that God would just “help” them or “bless” them…
Over the next few days I’d urge us to grow our intersessions vocabulary, and realise that as we pray we are doing something bigger more amazing, more powerful and beautifully supernatural..
So let’s rediscover afresh the awesome power of prayer, connecting us with the awesome power that comes from almighty God.