Sermon: A Prayer for One Another

A Prayer for One Another
Philippians 1:9-11
January 5, 2020

One of the questions that the elders have been wrestling with (that you will hear more about in our state of the church meeting) is “how do we continue to shepherd well a growing church in a way that honors the Lord?”  There are things that, by God’s grace, we are doing well.  How do we continue to do those things?  And how do we address the areas where we are not doing as well as we might so that we can be more effective and honor the Lord in those areas as well?  We will care for each other well when we help each other with the spiritual disciplines.

This month, we are doing a short series on spiritual disciplines — five basics of the spiritual life.  Last week we began by looking at the role of Scripture in our lives (Ps. 119:113-120).  This week we address the spiritual discipline that is often paired with Scripture — prayer.   One area that has been of personal concern for me for years is the practice of prayer.  I know of no one who says, “I pray enough and I pray well.”  I also am in need of growth in prayer.  And our church is in need of growth in prayer.

We will care for each other well when we pray for each other.

I know of no better place to learn to pray than to go to the Scriptures and to go to some of the prayers that are given in Scripture.  We have looked previously at our Lord’s teaching on prayer in Matthew 6, so this morning we turn to one of the apostle Paul’s prayers — this one in Philippians 1:9-11.  And this prayer not only addresses our need to pray, but the focus of the prayer itself teaches us how to shepherd our people more effectively through prayer — it teaches us what to pray.  While the prayer is three verses long, Paul really has only one request for the Philippians — that they increase in the love they already have.  We do well to imitate that prayer, and also work towards what that prayer would produce in us.  We will shepherd one another well when we pray for one another and when we love.

When you pray for one another, pray for growing love.

In this prayer, the apostle points to six aspects of love for which we should pray:

  1. Pray for Abounding Love (v. 9a)
  2. Pray for Discerning Love (v. 9b)
  3. Pray for Vital Love (v. 10a)
  4. Pray for Enduring Love (v. 10b)
  5. Pray for Fruitful Love (v. 11a)
  6. Pray for God-Glorifying Love (v. 11b)

Download the rest of this sermon on Philippians 1:9-11.

The audio will be posted on the GBC website by tomorrow.

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