I thank my God always, making mention of you in my prayers,Philemon 1:4(NASB)
We are exhorted to pray; to keep on praying, to pray continuously, and to pray on many occasions. But as we look at the many places in Scripture that encourage us to pray, it is often prayer for brothers and sister in Christ. To pray joyfully and to give thanks that they have come to an understanding of the truth. To pray earnestly that they may grow in grace and in a knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. To praise God for the deep faith, generous love, and patient endurance that is exhibited by those who hope in the Lord, and to pray impassionedly for evangelistic doors to be opened so that the gospel of grace may be proclaimed far and wide, to those who do not yet know Him.
Paul is an example of a man that prayed often and earnestly for the saints, making mention of them always in His prayers and always giving thanks to God for the grace that had been bestowed on fellow believers. Paul demonstrated a deep desire for their spiritual growth and maturity, praying for opportunities for them to serve the Lord in the beauty of holiness.
Sadly, in the Body of Christ today, there is too often a critical spirit that may be rooted in envy or jealousy. And rather than thankful praise for the work that God is doing through others, and a dear desire that they mature in the faith, too often a bitter attitude toward fellow brothers and sisters in Christ is nurtured. This should not be. Let us seek to follow the example of Paul who prayed earnestly and continuously for all his fellow believers, thanking God for their lives and praying that they may grow in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Let us pray and keep on praying that our brothers and sisters in Christ would be used mightily by God in the work of the gospel, to the glory of His name, so that He who started a good work in their lives would complete it in the day of Christ Jesus.
Loving Heavenly Father, thank You for all my brothers and sisters in Christ who have come to faith in You. May each one grow in grace and become more and more like Jesus Christ. Thank You for their lives and for the love and faith they have in You. Open doors of opportunity so that they may share the good news of salvation with those that are lost. And I pray You will welcome them at last into Your everlasting kingdom with the words, "Well done good and faithful servant." In Jesus' name I pray, AMEN.
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