Philippians 1:4,5- In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.
Sometimes to make a point a writer will use repetition. Paul does so here; “all my prayers.” “all of you,” “I always pray.” I wondered if this was just a trick of translation but it is not. The “alls” are the same word in the original language and stand out just as much. Paul was consumed with these folks and what they were doing in God. I get consumed in a good book sometimes, or a movie, or a football game. They are a source of joy and become the focus of my attention even when I’m not actively engaged with them. So Paul comes back to this little community in his prayers time and again with joy because they are partners together in what God is doing. Many people lack joy in their lives. Maybe it is because they don’t have a group of people who share in the deepest things together, partners in good news. What is your life all about and who are your partners? Even in an age where people have hundreds of internet contacts and Facebook friends, it is possible to be without purpose and meaningful relationships. What is the gospel, the good news, the reason to be, the plan of God, in your life this week? Who shares it with you? Purpose and community are gifts from God that lead us to prayer, “prayer with joy!” For whom do you always pray?