I want to share a pastor’s prayer for his people:
And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. (Philippians 1: 9-11)
Saint Paul was, I believe, under house arrest in Rome because he had, as a Roman citizen, asked for Caesar’s final opinion concerning charges laid against him by his enemies. These enemies were opposed to the proclamation of the good news of Jesus Christ. Knowing the history of the Romans and the Jewish leadership, his outcome was not uncertain: he would eventually die. So Paul’s prayer for the Christians of Philippi was ironic, heartfelt, and probably comforting to his readers.
As a pastor, I can understand how he must have felt. He wanted the best for his congregants. He wanted them to be strong, certain, and well-equipped for any challenges. He wanted his parishioners to know and experience the strength only Jesus can supply!
All this hope, confidence, power, and love is centered on and built upon the fact that God so loved the world that He gave His one-and-only Son Jesus Christ to redeem sinners from Satan’s clutches. This is purest GOOD NEWS – GOSPLE! Equipped with this faith and this faith-filled understanding, Christ’s followers will be filled with the strength and confidence necessary to face any challenge.
We pray: Lord God Almighty, may the strength and courage demonstrated by Saint Paul and many other Christians fill our hearts and minds as we face the challenges that lie before us! In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.