Evangelical Alliance Week Of Prayer 2021: Bible Engagement

Day 3 of 8 • This day’s reading

Devotional

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We invite you to start with reading Philippians 1:3-6.


Life is all about partnership nowadays, isn't it? It's a buzz word that gets used everywhere. Our marriages are partnerships, our teamwork is partnership, and our work with like-minded organisations is often privileged with the epithet of partnership too. Very often, as organisations giving the Bible to the last, the lost and the least, we might have an unwanted and unplanned tendency to see our financial and prayer partners as simply a wonderful resource and blessing. In fact, Paul shows that through their partnership with him, they are actually being transformed. Paul's focus is on this "good work" being carried to completion. The partnership in the gospel that the Philippians had with Paul is a manifestation of a commitment to Christ and a commitment to do their bit. If Paul had this balanced view, then so can we. We cheer our supporters on for doing their bit and equally we should praise God that their partnership is part of bringing the good work of God in their lives to completion. Here more than anywhere else in the Bible, the emphasis is on the joy and praise resulting from Paul's reflection on the fact that the Philippians are, indeed, playing their part through their generous financial support of his ministry. 


How often do we box supporters unwittingly into the "givers" section? How often does our language evince a sense to some degree that these individuals are in such a place spiritually that they can and would just keep giving? To assume that they don't have issues and concerns that perplex them or hold them back from attaining God's glory is both unrealistic and not very caring. We might even be tempted not to care about this as long as the money rolls in. It is interesting however that Paul's final thought in verse 6 reflects his confidence that for his support team, his partners in Philippi, God will complete the good work that He began in them.


Today, let's reflect with joy on the great cloud of supporters who give unstintingly, both financially and spiritually, and make the translating and giving of the Bible possible. Let's also reflect on the means within which this generosity and support is a sign of a good work being carried to completion by a sovereign, loving and proactive God.


PRAYER TOPICS


Thank you, heavenly Father:



  • For binding us together in love and unity as we work together in cooperation. As “iron sharpens iron” may we sharpen and encourage each other in Christ (Colossians 3:14, Proverbs 27:17). We pray for partnerships throughout Europe focused on giving people the Bible.

  • For filling us daily with the knowledge of your will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding. We want to walk in a manner worthy of you, to please you in all respects. Help us to bear fruit in every good work as together we increase in our knowledge of you (Colossians 1:9,10). May the work of Wycliffe Italy bear fruit as they focus on Bible translation in Russia.

  • That you do not withhold nor take back your gifts and calling. By your grace, may you continue to develop them within us as we partner together in the gospel. (Romans 11:29). Praise God for the partnership between Wycliffe Norway and the Raja* people of Southeast Asia.

  • That some of us are given the job of planting and some of us do the watering, but you, Father God, cause the growth. Thank you for assigning each of us our part in your kingdom plans and purposes. May we be faithful and diligent in fulfilling your mission (I Corinthians 3:6,7).

  • For all those who generously and sacrificially give to the work of the Gospel. May financial and prayer supporters know the gratitude of Bible translation organisations for providing “seed for the sower”. May there be an incredible harvest of righteousness to your glory and praise! (II Corinthians 9:10).


SUGGESTED PRAYER 


Dear Heavenly Father. What a joy and privilege it is to co-labour with You in your soon-coming kingdom. Thank you for the body of Christ around the world that You have called, equipped and trained to do your will. As we partner together in Bible translation and distribution, may we greatly impact the world for Christ. Lord, we submit ourselves afresh to you today. Please do a divine work in and through us that will have far reaching effects for the world’s good and for your glory. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.


REFLECTION


Consider joining with Wycliffe, Biblica, United Bible Societies and many other Bible agencies in the IllumiNations Alliance in making God’s Word accessible to all people by 2033. 






Authors: Stew Johnson, Great Britain, Leadership Development for Wycliffe Bible Translators in Europe; Barb Speck, Great Britian, Communications for Wycliffe in Europe.