Scripture: Philippians 1:3-5
I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now.
Insights: The second aspect to this particular sign post to restore your joy is to pray for your family. Remember, at this point I am still talking about your spiritual family, those who have received the free gift of eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. The first part of this truth regarding prayer is to thank God for your family. To get a better grasp of this thanksgiving in all of Paul’s remembrances, one ought to go to Acts chapter sixteen and read about Paul’s encounter at Philippi. They were not all pleasant, but God has transformed them in Paul’s mind so he can rightly say he is thankful for them all. The second part of this truth regarding prayer is to pray for the joy of the family to be full. Friction has a way of destroying the joy of the family. Friction is caused in one of two ways. If one member of the family refuses to move (in essence says, “I have done my job, now it is time for someone else to step up,”) and at the same time the rest of the body is attempting to move toward a specific direction God has ordained, then friction is caused. The second way friction is caused is if one family member says, “I don’t think that is the way we ought to be going,” and actively resists the direction of the rest of the body, then friction is caused. The only way to restore joy and have no friction is for the entire body to be moving in the same direction. This movement only happens when we are totally surrendered to the Lord. The final part of this truth regarding prayer is to pray for clarity regarding your participation in the work of the family. Paul tells us directly in the fifth verse that his family at Philippi was participants in the gospel. We are also called to spread the gospel. It is for this reason I challenge you to write down five names of those who do not know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and begin praying for them. Pray also for the Lord to give you opportunity to share the gospel with them. Pray for God to give you courage to do this very thing. You will be amazed at how quickly your joy will be restored.
- Do you have some experiences with your family that are less than desirable?
- Are you, like Paul, willing through prayer to change those memories into those of joy?
Prayer: Father, thank You again for the family You have given to me. May You bring joy and direction of purpose to us in order for the gospel to advance and You to be glorified. Amen.