November 19 and 20
As we think about and plan for the upcoming holiday and the theme of giving thanks, let’s look at Paul’s attitude towards the believers in Philippi.
Philippians 1:3-6 “I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 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.” Paul begins his letter to the Philippian Christians with a note of thanks. He is thankful every time he thinks of them because they are coworkers in telling others about the love and redemption they have through Christ’s death and resurrection. When was the last time you prayed with thanksgiving for those who work beside you at church, at work or at home who know the Lord and are seeking to tell others about Jesus? Whether they are near or far, it does not matter to God as He hears our prayers and knows our hearts. Living with an attitude of gratitude for those around us is essential to a fulfilling and abundant walk with the Lord.
Paul then continues as he seeks to lift these coworkers up in prayer. Consider his prayer in Philippians 1:9-11 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.“ Paul is praying for his friends to have abounding love, knowledge and insight into God and His ways so they can apply His truth to their lives. He wants them to be fruitful and fulfilled in their walk with the Lord. Who do you know this Thanksgiving season that you can pray this prayer for? You can put their name into the scripture and lift them up to Jesus. Here is my version, I pray it inspires you to pray for others.
Dear Lord, I am thankful every time I remember ___________. May his/her faith in Jesus be continually filled with joy. I am confident that You who started the good work of salvation in ______ will continue to do so until Jesus comes again or he/she joins you in heaven. Today I’m asking that _____________’s love for Jesus will continue and grow more and more. I pray _______”s knowledge of Jesus will expand so that __________ will be able to choose what is best in our world filled with temptations and distractions. Lord, I ask that ________ will show the fruits of the Spirit in his/her life so that others may be encouraged by his/her love, patience, kindness, peace, self-control, gentleness and joy. Amen.
A truth to claim with thanksgiving: I am a co-worker for Jesus. The letters in the New Testament all have verses that speak of the co-workers that are toiling with the Apostles. In 1 Corinthians 3:9 Paul says, “For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.” He affirms their working together for Christ. Paul also addresses the Thessalonians in 1 Thessalonians 3:2 about why they are sending Timothy to them. “We sent Timothy, who is our brother and co-worker in God’s service in spreading the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you in your faith,” Doing God’s work is serious business and appreciated by your fellow co-workers. Together we can encourage and pray for one another, so God’s work is accomplished just as He promises. We are a part of His work in the world! Praise God! He can use us even though we are weak. One of my favorite verses is 2 Corinthians 12:9, may it encourage you to keep on keeping on in Christ. “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.“
Blessings as you pray with thanksgiving and hope in your hearts for your fellow coworkers and those they are ministering to!