I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:3-6
When you think of your son, what is your primary response? Situations may vary and create many different emotions including anxiousness,, but appropriately, when we remember our sons there is almost always thankfulness (I thank God in all my remembrance of you v. 3). In that way we share the response that Paul has as he remembers the Philippians. Paul’s thankfulness goes beyond himself and drives him to pray with thankfulness. As we pray for our children, we need to begin with thanks. Beginning with joyful thankfulness to God turns our hearts toward Him and draws us away from merely focusing on ourselves or our children.
In Philippians 4:6-7, Paul reminds us of the importance of thanksgiving in our prayer when he writes, “(D)o not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” When we are tempted to be anxious in our thoughts we are charged to present our requests to God with thanksgiving. Do you see the result of this? It’s peace that will guard our hearts and minds! In the midst of all things concerning our sons, we can be thankful and experience God’s peace.
One of the primary motivations for Paul’s thankfulness is the Philippians’ partnership with him in the gospel (because of your partnership in the gospel v. 4). A partnership is a shared desire for a specific outcome. In this case that outcome is the living out of the gospel. One great joy as parents is to see our children live in ways so that Jesus is seen in them. Even with our sons away from home, we continue to partner with them for this great purpose through prayer. As we pray for our sons’ relationships with Jesus, we do one of the most powerful and important things that we can possibly do. Do you pray regularly for your son to grow in Christ and to have an impact on the world?
Paul demonstrates tremendous confidence in the work of God through the Philippians (And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ v. 6). He is also certain of the completion of that work by God in and through the church. It is exciting to know that God is not at rest, but continues to do great things and invites us to join Him. Can you begin to imagine what God would like to do through the Taylor football team? He has brought these young men together for such a time as this and has a purpose to accomplish in the players, yes, but also through the players.
As families of this group of Trojans, let’s take the time to thank God for this team and the individuals on the team. Let’s partner with this team for the sake of the gospel and be diligent to ask God to grow the relationships of these players with him so that Jesus may be seen in them. Let’s have confidence in God’s intention to accomplish something of eternal significance with this team. Our prayers can confidently ask God to show the team where He is working and how He wants to work through them.