Bible Society of South Africa

A prayer of thanksgiving for my friends in faith – 9 October 2020

By Ewald Schmidt

Bible text(s)

Paul's Prayer for his Readers

3I thank my God for you every time I think of you; 4and every time I pray for you all, I pray with joy 5because of the way in which you have helped me in the work of the gospel from the very first day until now.

Philippians 1:3-5GNBOpen in Bible reader

There is one sentence from Robin Williams’ movie Dead Poet’s Society that has remained in my memory. “We read to know we are not alone …” Life can be difficult sometimes. But we experience it as even more challenging when we are feeling alone. It is much more bearable when we have the comfort of knowing that other people really care for us, and that they are praying for us and helping to ease our burden in whatever way they can.

When Paul writes this letter, he is under house arrest in Rome. The authorities granted permission for Timothy and Epaphroditus to take care of him. In his daily prayers, he is grateful for his fellow believers and the compassion that he receives from them. Paul sees in them a group of people bound together by one vision – living and sharing the gospel of Christ to all. Bound by love, their faith was more than a personal experience, they truly became a community of believers. They cared for one another, and shared each other’s burdens. Their care extended to Paul in Rome, it is why they sent Epaphroditus to show their solidarity – Philippians 2 has more on this.

When we read of the example set by that early congregation in Philippi, may we again appreciate how important our love for one another is in the message we share. Our love and care for one another bear testimony to the love of Christ that changed our lives from self-centredness to community. May this verse inspire us to give prayers of thanks for the role other believers have played in the formation of our faith, and their care in sustaining us in difficult times. Some people really bless our lives by their love. May we, in return, choose to be a faithful friend, caring and loving others, that we may inspire prayers of thanks in their lives too …

Prayer:Lord, thank you so much that I am not alone on my path of faith through life. Thank you for fellow believers who have blessed my life through their love, and their compassion. Will you bless my faithful friends today, may they experience your grace and mercy in every need. And Lord, please help me to be a blessing to others, to inspire a prayer of thanks in their lives today. Amen

Bible Society of South Africav.4.18.9
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