Delivered by Prayer
Are there people in your life for whom you don’t pray because you think they don’t need it? With our limited human perspective, it can be easy to overlook those who appear on the outside to have it all together. But the truth is, we all need and benefit from the prayers of others.
When the apostle Paul was in prison, he wrote to the Philippian church and said that he knew his deliverance would be the result not only of the Holy Spirit’s help but also of the prayers of God’s people. Whether he meant deliverance from his immediate hardships or the ultimate deliverance that would bring him into Christ’s presence, Paul wanted his Christian friends in Philippi to know that he was dependent on others’ prayers to sustain him during his ministry.
This was not unique to this congregation. When Paul wrote to the Christians at Rome, he said the same thing: “I appeal to you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf, that I may be delivered” (Romans 15:30-31). He longed for them to strive together and be refreshed. He desired that his service would be helpful to the saints. He wanted to be delivered. And all of this, he told them, could be accomplished through their prayers! As the great Victorian preacher C.H. Spurgeon once said, prayer is the rope that rings the bell in the belfry of God. Under God’s providence, it unleashes His pattern and plan and power.
Cry out to God—that is what Paul is urging us to do. If we want to see the Spirit of God move in a way that can only be described as supernatural, we must first be willing to earnestly, humbly, and continually pray. Paul’s words tell us that as we rally with other saints, we can support them in their weaknesses. We can ask that they be granted courage. We can play a role in their deliverance.
So, who do you know who does need your prayers? Will you pray for them—diligently, boldly, and persistently? And who do you know who does not appear to need your prayers? Well, they do! Will you pray for them in just the same way?
How is God calling me to think differently?
How is God reordering my heart’s affections — what I love?
What is God calling me to do as I go about my day today?
Thanksgiving and Prayer
3I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, 4always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, 5because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. 6And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. 7It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace,4 both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. 8For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. 9And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, 10so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
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