Philippians 1:3-11 (NRSV)

3 I thank my God every time I remember you, 4 constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, 5 because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now. 6 I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ. 7 It is right for me to think this way about all of you, because you hold me in your heart,  for all of you share in God’s grace  with me, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. 8 For God is my witness, how I long for all of you with the compassion of Christ Jesus. 9 And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight 10 to help you to determine what is best, so that in the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless, 11 having produced the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God.   

Colossians 1:9 (NRSV)

9 For this reason, since the day we heard it, we have not ceased praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of God’s  will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,

DEVOTION – Denise Loock (North Carolina)

Unfounded accusations at work, a rebellious teenager, and unpaid mortgage, nagging illness – the hardships my coworker was experiencing seemed overwhelming.  I listened without comment.  What could I say?  He surely didn’t need a lecture on how to endure hardship.  My heart ached for him.  My mind searched for a helpful response.  When he paused to take a drink of water, I said, “I’d love to solve even one of these problems for you, but I can’t.  But I can and I do pray for you.”  I picked up my Bible, opened it to Philippians I, and said, “Here’s what Paul prayed for the Philippians.  It’s what I’m praying for you:  that God will give you depth of insight so that you may be able to discern what is best, and that your behavior in each matter will bring glory to God.”
Just hearing those words comforted my friend.  He smiled and said, “You’re a good friend.  I’m praying for you, too.”

“I’m always willing to listen.  It helps me pray more often and more specifically for you,” I told him.

People don’t usually need advice.  Instead, God calls us to be listeners and intercessors.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:Who needs my attention and prayers today?

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, our great High Priest, bring someone across our path today who needs to be encouraged.  Amen.