LifeLink Devotions (Click for Audio Blog)
Thursday, January 27, 2022
Prayer has been described as a place of praise. I suggest that it is also the producer of praise. Here’s what the Apostle Paul says in Philippians 1 starting in verse 19.
“Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.”
Paul states that the prayers of people on his behalf cause him to rejoice, because he knows they are working for his deliverance. He defines deliverance as either release from prison to be able to visit them or release from this life to be able to be with Christ forever. In fact, he says that the choice between the two options is a tough one. He longs to be with Jesus as we all do, but he also longs to be in this body.
But look at his reason for wanting that option – it’s to be a servant to the people he loves in the church. It is not for selfish reasons in any way. He does not want a new car, or a new job, or a new wife, or a new baby, or a summer vacation, or any other thing that the world might offer as an alternative to desiring heaven. He wants to be a part of the body of Christ on the earth and see its progress and growth. He clearly states that the fellowship he will have with them brings them joy because it will be God’s miraculous work that makes it possible.
All of this sharing of joy begins at the altar of prayer. It is through prayer that the power of the Holy Spirit is released to do mighty and God-magnifying things – Paul will be released. It is through prayer that God’s plan is both revealed and implemented – Paul knows that he will remain in the body for God’s purpose in the church. It is through prayer that peace comes because God’s purpose is understood – Paul said his labor will be fruitful.
Are you short on joy? Maybe you’re short on prayer. Are you lacking peace? Maybe your prayers are lacking the power of surrender to God’s purpose. You see, there is no power in prayer unless there is surrender to God’s power in prayer. Prayer has no power of its own, but when we hear God’s purpose and surrender to His plan the power of God is released. Therefore, when we surrender and God supplies, we will rejoice.
So start praying. Start praising. Start listening. Start obeying. It’s time for joy to begin.