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Praying Through the Scriptures - Philemon
Father, thank you for the grace you have extended to me through your Son, Jesus Christ. Thank you for the peace you have given me, also through Jesus. Help me, Father, to point other people to the Way, to help them to know how they, too, can experience the grace and peace that you offer through Jesus.
Father, help me to be more consistent in my prayer life. Help me to do a better job of praying for people who have asked me for prayers, people who are on the church prayer list, and people I just know need prayers. Help me, Father, to follow Paul's instruction and pray without ceasing. Help me to have a constant attitude of prayer.
Father, let the love and faith that I have toward Jesus and all the saints be such that other people observe it and know that this love and faith comes only through Jesus, that it is because of him: because of what he has done for me. Let the sharing of my faith become effective. Help me to acknowledge that every good thing that is in me is because of Jesus Christ in me.
God, you know that I want to be the person that you want me to be. I have a hard time always doing what you want me to do. Sometimes thoughts come to mind that should not. Not murderous thoughts, but still they are thoughts that I know you don't want me to have, and I don't want to have. I do things sometimes that I know you don't want me to do. I do not mean to. True, there are times when I do things that I have a suspicion are wrong. Sometimes I just do things without thinking about whether it is right to do those things. Then, the thought comes to mind that maybe I should not have done that. Help me, Father, to think before I act and to refrain from doing the things you do not want me to do.
Help me, Father, to so live my life that people will see Jesus living in me, that they will be pointed to him, to the Cross of Calvary, and that they will see through my life the wonder and joy there is in serving you, the Creator of the universe; the all-wise, all-powerful, and all-knowing God. To think that the day is coming when I will get to live with you foreverthank you, God!
Thank you, Father, for the Philemons in my life who have not only refreshed the hearts of others, but have refreshed my heart as well. I take great joy and comfort in their love. I ask you, Father, to help me to also be one of those who refreshes the hearts of the saints.
Help me, Father, to receive people as my brothers and sisters who indeed are my brothers and sisters. Help me to treat them as such; to love, honor, and respect them as such; to work with them; to bless them; and to help them.
Help me always to forgive those who have wronged me. Help me to be sensitive to other people when the situation is delicate. Help me to know how to act, what to say, and how to say it or do it. Help me, God, to have the proper attitude, to be a peacemaker, not a warmonger.
Thank you, Father, for this record of Paul's faith in you, as he trusted that through the prayers of Philemon and the church that met in his house, he would be restored to them. Thank you for Epaphras, Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, Luke, Timothy, and the others who were with Paul and helped him to proclaim the Gospel throughout the known world. Help me, Father, to give willingly of myself to help others. I do not seek to do the things that you have not called me to do, but to do that to which you have called me. Help me, Father, to serve where you want me to serve. The only reward I want is to hear Jesus say is, "Welcome. Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Master." Oh, how I want to hear those words!
Let the grace of Jesus Christ be with my spirit and the spirit of all those with whom I come into contact. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Star Ferdinand is the author of The Prayerful Bible Study Series of study guides, numerous devotionals, and other Christian writings. You can read more of her writings at starferdinand.wordpress.com.
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