Have you ever stopped to consider all of the people that you encounter throughout the course of a typical day? It really is amazing at the number of people we meet, whose names and faces may cross our minds, and whose presence may cross our path. How often do you thank God for the people that He has placed in your life? Thoughts of others should provoke thanksgiving in our hearts. When you read the opening verses of Paul’s letters, you will usually find verses in which he expresses gratitude for those to whom he writes. He developed a habit of thankful recollection. Instead of remembering others with disappointment or bitterness, he chose to be thankful. He was truly grateful to God for the people the Lord brought into his life, and he remembered them in prayer.
Paul found joy in his memories of the believers in Philippi. He writes to them with tender words of affection. He also found joy in praying for them. Nothing produces love and gratitude in our hearts for others any more than praying for them on a regular basis. This is called ‘intercession.’ It is going to God on the behalf of others, bringing our petitions to Him. Much of our prayers deal with our own individual needs. However, nothing will transform your prayer life any more than when you begin to keep others in mind above yourself.
Love for other people is something that cannot be disguised or hidden. It will show up in words of gratitude, expressions of love and affection, and through your prayer life. God’s sanctifying work in our lives will result in a greater love for those around us. When we love others, we will pray for them.
For more, read Philippians 1:1-11