Paul prayed for Philemon: “I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ” (Philemon 1:6).
What in the world was the connection between being active in sharing his faith (the context of this passage is sharing faith with believers—not witnessing to unbelievers) and Philemon understanding all he had in Christ? When we share with others what Christ is doing in our lives (or when we hear others share the same with us) three things happen:
- Our faith grows. We gain a deeper desire to love and serve the One who is doing all these powerful things. We gain more faith and experience more of Jesus Christ’s reality. We also keep our eyes open for things to share.
- The more we share or hear others share, the more we learn about God’s attributes. We come to know Him as our Provider, our Rock, our Comforter, our Peace-Giver, our Protector, our Strong Tower, our Deliverer. We learn exactly what Paul wanted Philemon to learn—what he had in Christ.
- When we regularly share, thus giving glory to Jesus Christ, I believe that God works overtime in our lives. He wants to give us more to share, so we give more glory and fame to His Son. So it is a cycle. See God work; learn something about God; share it; see God work more; understand more of God’s nature.
Father, please work mightily in ____________________’s situation. Reveal more of Your nature and character to her (or him). Father, I pray that ____________________ would understand all she has in Jesus Christ: the depth of His love; the comfort, power, and enablement of Your Holy Spirit. Let Your Spirit bubble up in her so it would overflow into others. I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.
–Adapted from Praying like Paul (Learning to Pray the Kingdom for Those You Love) by Jonathan Graf. This resource is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount on the book.
Praise God that even though you were once an enemy of God, he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death (Col. 1:21-22). Give thanks that you are now alive with Christ, without blemish and free from accusation (Col. 2:13). Confess your failure to live up to that holiness, praying, “God, have mercy on me, a sinner” (Lk. 18:13). Commit yourself to rejoicing when you are called to share in the suffering of Christ (1 Pet. 4:13-14). Ask God to help you see the victory you are given in Jesus as you trust the Holy Spirit to guide you in being his image-bearer (1 Cor. 15:57).
All churches experience the pain of divorce, broken homes, and death. Pray that those who have overcome such difficult experiences as these may effectively reach out to others in similar situations.
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