Pray for all

 

1 Timothy 2:1 ESV: “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people.”

 

Paul’s instruction here is simple, pray for everyone, everywhere. Not forgetting about our neighbours as we draw close to God in our prayers.

 

The verse is followed soon after with 1 Timothy 2:3-4 which states “This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.“.

 

Do you have any blind spots in your prayers? It can be difficult to identify things we are missing when we pray alone, and finding a partner to pray with can be helpful in finding our blind spots.

 

Paul calls us to pray for all. Today can think of something or someone you haven’t prayed for in a while and bring it to God.

 

 

Preparation and prayer

 

Ephesians 6:17–18: “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.”

 

Spiritual warfare is a very real part of our Christian lives. This battle fought spiritually, is naturally fought with spiritual weapons. Previously in Ephesians 6, Paul details various parts of armour and attaches spiritual values to each one. (Ephesians 6:10-16)

In the end, he concludes with the word of God and prayer, every Christian’s most powerful resources.

 

Prayer is to become a permanent fixture in every Christian’s lives, as emphasised by Ephesians 6:18 “praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.”

 

When going into battle, we need to be as prepared as possible, and Paul’s advice here is that prayer is one of the best ways to prepare our hearts and mind for spiritual warfare. Are you ready?

Joyfulness in every circumstance

 

Being joyful may be seen by some as being happy only within positive circumstances. Joyfulness in the Bible, on the other hand, is seen as a state of rest or peace that results from a deep trust in Jesus that prevails through varied circumstances, even negative ones.

We highlight two Bible verses which show this understanding of joy: Hebrews 12:2 stated: “looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Likewise, James 1:2-3 note: “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.”

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God’s Strength and Provision

 

Paul’s letter to the Philippians is about living the Christian life. In Chapter 4:10-20 specifically, Paul speaks of God’s provision. He thanks the Philippians for their concern, but expresses that it was not needed. Paul has everything he needs when he has Christ. He is content no matter his situation, through Christ who strengthens him.

 

Do not take the verse out of context. Paul is not saying that God will empower all believers to accomplish anything they desire. God’s strength enables us to endure hardship and persecution, as Paul himself was experiencing at the time. Trust in the Lord’s timing and provision in everything we go through, so we can be content and not be consumed by greed and materialism.

 

That is Paul’s secret to contentment and the key takeaway from this part of his letter. Trust God, so much so that you can say: “Through Him, I can endure all difficulties no matter how seemingly insurmountable they may seem.”

Love One Another

 

In this letter, Peter writes to 5 regions in the Roman empire, and he addresses his audience as exiles who have been dispersed. 1 Peter 1:1 “To those who are elect exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia.”

 

It can be surmised that he is writing to groups of Christians facing persecution and or trials. Peter goes on to remind them of the truth of who they are: children of God who have been born again through Christ’s resurrection from the dead. As such they should rejoice, for whatever trials they are currently facing, God has kept an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, in heaven for them.

 

Therefore, his audience is also reminded of their call to be holy and leave their ignorant ways behind, 1 Peter 1:14-15 “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct.”

 

Part of this call to obedience is to love wholeheartedly, sacrificially and selflessly.

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