PRAY: Lord, I am growing in you. Thank you for continuing to work in me. Help me partner with you in the work ahead.
Thursday – Day 9
Approaching God – Do we realize God is thankful for us? Don’t skip over that—he is thankful for YOU! Then ponder this, he considers us his partners in ministry. We are all unique, essential and vital parts of his kingdom plan. It is tempting to let that intimidate you. Don’t let it, because you know who your partner is. And then ponder that he has an active plan to continue the good work he has begun in us through everything that happens to us—the good, bad, ugly and wonderful. How amazing is that? Read the passage below slowly, listen for these truths and pause to give thanks for each one.
“Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy, for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now. And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” (Philippians 1:3-6)
Listening to God – As you listen to Paul’s words to the Philippians realize they are God’s inspired words about you. Listen for his heart that is for you. Ponder the “prisons” you find yourself in and ask him to show you what he is doing in and through your life in them.
“So it is right that I should feel as I do about all of you, for you have a special place in my heart. You share with me the special favor of God, both in my imprisonment and in defending and confirming the truth of the Good News. God knows how much I love you and long for you with the tender compassion of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:7-8)
Talking to God – After you are done listening, ponder that God has that same heart for others around you. Ask God to bring people to mind who he wants to know his gratitude, importance and plan for them. Ask him to show you the people you have a hard time being grateful for; confess it and ask his help to see them as he sees them. As he brings them to mind, pray for them.
Ministering in God’s Name – Now that you have heard God show you his gratitude, value and plan for you, pray for the three people God brought to your mind. Pray this prayer that Paul prays for the Philippians.
“I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return. May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ—for this will bring much glory and praise to God.” (Philippians 1:9-11)
Surrendering to God – Ask God to help you remember how important you and others are to him. Commit to being open to his plan for your life and to trusting that it is bringing about completion of his work even when it is hard to understand.
By Bob Boersma
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