Sunday, December 10, 2017

Brother's Keeper - Prayerful

Philemon 1:4 (NIV)
I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, - Emphasis mine

Philemon 1:4 (NLT)
I always thank my God when I pray for you, Philemon, - Emphasis mine

Philemon 1:4 (ESV)
I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers, - Emphasis mine

Philemon 1:4 (KJV)
I thank my God, making mention of thee always in my prayers, - Emphasis mine

When we take a closer look at the above scriptural references, we can agree that it was habitual for Paul to pray, and when he did, he prayed for Onesimus. So, “when he prayed” not “if he prayed”. Amen.

One way to be your Brother’s Keeper is to purposefully pray for them. Your prayers will go a long way where your physical strength cannot take you. Praying for another is an expression of selflessness on your part and also an example of a godly lifestyle.

In this case, Paul prayed a prayer of thanksgiving to the Lord for Philemon because he kept hearing about Philemon’s faith and his love for God’s people (Philemon 1:5 (NIV)). Paul further prayed that Philemon will put into action the generosity that comes from his (Philemon) faith as Philemon understands and experiences all the good things we have in Christ (Philemon 1:6 (NIV)).

Your situation might be different. You are surrounded by people you can pray for and depending on the situation you might pray a prayer of thanksgiving, intervention, that they should come to the knowledge of Christ and more - just based on the need.

The principle of “when you pray” is also recorded in Matthew 6:5-7 (NIV)

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.
Emphasis mine

Examine your prayer life. Prayer is communication with your heavenly Father – you have a relationship with Him. Maintain the bond through communication. Then, when you pray (communicate), always remember to pray for your fellow brothers and sisters. That is what Paul is teaching us through this Epistle to Philemon.

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