March 18th Devotion

Delivered by Prayer – Alistair Begg

I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance. Philippians 1:19

Are there people in your life for whom you don’t pray because you think they don’t need it? With our limited human perspective, it can be easy to overlook those who appear on the outside to have it all together. But the truth is, we all need and benefit from the prayers of others.

When the apostle Paul was in prison, he wrote to the Philippian church and said that he knew his deliverance would be the result not only of the Holy Spirit’s help but also of the prayers of God’s people. Whether he meant deliverance from his immediate hardships or the ultimate deliverance that would bring him into Christ’s presence, Paul wanted his Christian friends in Philippi to know that he was dependent on others’ prayers to sustain him during his ministry.

This was not unique to this congregation. When Paul wrote to the Christians at Rome, he said the same thing: “I appeal to you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf, that I may be delivered” (Romans 15:30-31). He longed for them to strive together and be refreshed. He desired that his service would be helpful to the saints. He wanted to be delivered. And all of this, he told them, could be accomplished through their prayers! As the great Victorian preacher C.H. Spurgeon once said, prayer is the rope that rings the bell in the belfry of God. Under God’s providence, it unleashes His pattern and plan and power.

Cry out to God—that is what Paul is urging us to do. If we want to see the Spirit of God move in a way that can only be described as supernatural, we must first be willing to earnestly, humbly, and continually pray. Paul’s words tell us that as we rally with other saints, we can support them in their weaknesses. We can ask that they be granted courage. We can play a role in their deliverance.

So, who do you know who does need your prayers? Will you pray for them—diligently, boldly, and persistently? And who do you know who does not appear to need your prayers? Well, they do! Will you pray for them in just the same way?
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