I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, because I hear about your love for all his holy people and your faith in the Lord Jesus. I pray that your partnership with us in the faith may be effective in deepening your understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ. Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people.
High school yearbooks. Just thinking about them brings a groan or a smile. Remember the things people used to write? And not just, “I’m writing in your crack” along the binding. Here’s another one: “Don’t change.” Change is part of life, so how am I supposed to prevent that? I think it was meant as a compliment without having to be specific. At least, that’s the way I’ll take it.
What I remember is that for at least one year, I signed Philemon 4-7 under my name. Verse 7 is a favorite, “Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people.” These days, we can all use a bit more joy, encouragement, and refreshment. Yet you can’t have verse 7 without verse 6.
Verse 6 is the one that I pray for those who support ministries I’m part of, “I pray that your partnership with us in the faith may be effective in deepening your understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ.” It struck me recently that donors are in partnership with us, and the people we serve are in partnership with us.
Ideally, clients become volunteers who become staff who become board members. This progression means the board would be filled with people who get it, as opposed to people who may just want a board member title on their resume.
It makes me think it’s so important to pray for the people we serve, that they are also becoming more joyful, encouraged, and refreshed. By doing so, I’m praying for future and potential volunteers, staff, and board members. In whatever current role I’m in, especially if I don’t daily interact with clients, I might not have a lot of detail on what to pray for in their lives. But, I do know how to pray; I’ll use Philemon 4-7 as a base. And, I’ll even tack on that they do change, for the sake of Christ.
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© 2022, Mollie Bond. All rights reserved. Originally published at www.molliebond.org.