“For I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, this will turn out for my deliverance.” Philippians 1:19
The apostle Paul was in prison, but he wasn’t afraid. He had an assurance that there were faithful friends who were in constant prayer for him. He also knew that he was in the hands of the Lord, who had a perfect purpose and plan for his life. How was Paul able to be so steadfast in the light of his difficult circumstance? Rather than being discouraged and defeated, Paul says in verses 18 and 20 that he will “continue to rejoice,” and that it is his “eager expectation and hope that (he) will not be put to shame in any way..” Wow. I want this confidence too.
There’s a couple of things that I learned while reading this story in Philippians. First, Paul was doing God’s work and was in God’s will. There’s a reassurance that comes when you’re living in surrender to God’s will… laying your life down and choosing to serve God and live purely before Him. This isn’t to say that things won’t be difficult. They most definitely will be at times. Even though Paul was suffering in prison, it was not Paul’s wrong-doing that put him in that prison. Paul’s conscience was clear. So he was able to rejoice in knowing that no matter what people did to him and however they unjustly accused and judged him, he was right before God and that is a blessed place to be.
I also noticed, as I stated above, that Paul had faithful friends who were praying for him. We must not dismiss or overlook the significance of prayer. Paul's friends were committed to praying continually for him. We can see them in persistent prayer… petitioning God on their knees to sustain their friend while he was imprisoned. There is no doubt in my mind that prayer makes a difference. Sometimes, I think prayer makes all the difference. When we pray effective prayers, we are not just asking God to do something, we are instead, coming into agreement with the will of God and the Word of God. The potential in this agreement is limitless. God is looking for those on earth who would agree that His kingdom would come and His will would be done on earth just like it is in Heaven.
I am ashamed to say this, but there are more times than I would like to admit that I have told a friend “I’ll pray for you,” and then I forget. A couple of years ago, I was determined to stop doing this and I told myself that whenever someone brought up a need, instead of just saying “I’ll pray for you,” I would choose to say, “I’m going to pray for you right now,” and I would stop and pray in that moment. You don’t have to wait until you can get to a quiet place and you’ve gotten your checklist done to pray. You can pray right now!
I love that Paul says, “…through your prayers and the help of the Spirit…” Paul knew that it was the agreement that takes place in prayer that would bring about deliverance. He knew that he needed God’s help, but he also knew that he needed his friends' help too. We need godly people in our lives that we can go to with our requests. And we need to be that person who will pray for someone else. I want to encourage you today, that we at A Right Heart are here for you and we want to agree with you in prayer. Even if you don’t have someone that you can share your needs with, you can share with us, and we will lift up your request to the Lord. Visit www.arightheart.com/contact and submit your request today.
“‘Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father: “I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; surely I will heal you.” 2 Kings 20:5
He is the God who hears,
ARH Staff Writer