....WITH ALL JOY....3 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, 4 always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, 5 for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ; 7 just as it is right for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart, inasmuch as both in my chains and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers with me of grace. (Philippians 1:3-7)
Keep in mind, as we read this prayer, that this man - the Apostle Paul - is in prison for preaching the Gospel of Christ! Still, note how he is praying for the saints:
- With all of His Heart (vs 7)
- With all Joy (vs 4)
- With Confidence (vs 7)
However the Confidence which he exudes is not for him but for encouragement of the church at Philippi. Thus, as Paul has written so many times, direct from the Oracles of Heaven - everything written in Scriptures are given as instructions for us NOW. That includes ALL Scripture, "Old and New" Testament.
It is my humble theory that this prayer can therefore be appropriated by us, in these last days, to pray for the encouragement for the hurting and hope for the hopeless. We should do this, even when we do not feel like it! What can be more challenging for a man than to be so confident of this positional salvation in the Kingdom so much so that he exhorts many to do the same. He proposes they also engage in Apologetics.
The greatest impact we can have on the life of another is to love them to Jesus, when we are in the valley ourselves. By taking ourselves from under the circumstances and lifting another up to Him, in prayer, we exhibit a form of grace upon grace, which testifies to the Love He embedded in us at the point of conversion.
Many Christians have a problems in the recent past few decades with defending even what they claim they believe. We are specifically instructed, in the passage above, to engage in not just the "defense" (Apologetics) of the Christian Faith but to confirm the Good News of the Gospel. That is, we are to testify by a consistent daily lifestyle and by words, the truth of what Christ has done for us.....the Grace He has given us and the new life included, therein.
By this, we affirm, confirm and make firm the prescient precious words of the Great Apostle Peter "but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence (1 Peter 3:15).