Verse of the day - Philippians 1:4-5

  • 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.  Philippians 1:4-5

    Paul extends the thanks he began in verse 3. Specifically, he thanks God constantly, in every prayer, for what the Philippian church has been able to do. His expression of thanksgiving is all inclusive, using "always," "every" and "all". Again, prayer is key, mentioned twice in this verse. This thanks is not only based in the success of the gospel in Philippi, but also in the generosity shown by the church in their support of Paul (Philippians 1:5).

    In addition, Paul prays "with joy." Paul's focus on joy in this letter is clearly seen. Philippians 1:25 notes, "I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith." He will again mention joy in Philippians 2:2, 29 and 4:1. Joy comes to Paul from the Philippians in this verse as well as in Philippians 2:2 and 4:1; his work gives them joy in the faith (Philippians 1:25) and they are to receive Epaphroditus with joy (2:29).

    Verse 4 notes the joy Paul receives from the Philippian church. In verse 5, he refers to the major source of this joy: "partnership." These believers had been helping Paul to spread the gospel since they first became believers. This letter was written some 12 years after the founding of the Philippian church in approximately AD 49. This partnership included prayer, people, resources, and finances. This is why Paul does not specifically mention money here.

    Their partnership was "in the gospel." They supported his missionary work to reach more people for Christ and start new churches. Paul started at least 20 local churches throughout his ministry and likely more. The Philippian church helped fund some of these congregations, making them one of the first "sending" churches, along with Jerusalem (Acts 2) and Antioch (Acts 13). The church at Philippi seemed to understand the importance of spreading the word as far and wide as possible.

    Father in heaven, I pray that your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Please bless and empower the spread of your Kingdom. Protect and strengthen those with whom our church is partnered wherever they may be. Bless them with greater resources, maturity, and character. Help me to recognize and to do the things that I can do to support and encourage them. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.