Shelby G. Floyd
Christian people should pray for others with joy. In order to do this we must create in others a good memory of our work in Christ. Then when other Christians remember us they will thank God and pray for us with joy. The church at Philippi created a good memory of their work for Christ in the mind of Paul. When he penned a letter to them he said,
I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you,
I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.
The reason Paul remembered them with joy was because of their partnership in the gospel from the first day until the time he wrote the letter. Their partnership in the gospel began with the conversion of Lydia and her household. This included water baptism for the remission of sins:
On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there. One of those listening was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home.
After Lydia was baptized, she immediately started doing things that Christians should do. After she invited them into her home she said, “If you consider me a believer in the Lord, come and stay at my house. And she persuaded us” (Acts 16:15). Also the conversion of the jailor presented another member to fellowship Paul in his evangelistic work (Acts 16:29-34). Both Lydia and the Jailor showed hospitality to Paul and supported his evangelistic work. This all Christians should do.
When Paul left Macedonia, Philippi was the only church that shared with Paul in the partnership of giving and receiving. They sent him aid again and again (Philippians 4:4-16). No wonder that Paul could remember them with thanks and joy when he prayed to God.
May God help all of us to find the joy that is found in Christ Jesus and the way of life we are to live? Remember, “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). Again, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! (Philippians 4:4). Let us all live and pray in the joy of the Lord.
Copyright © 2014 Shelby Floyd All Rights Reserved
Shelby G. Floyd
Heartland Church of Christ
1693 West Main Street