Continue to remember . . . those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.
In developing countries, collecting lifesustaining
drinking water strains the
bodies of the women and children who
retrieve and carry the water. Spinal and
neck damage is often widespread. To
solve this problem, entrepreneurs began
designing and distributing wheel-shaped
water containers that allow people to
move water without injury.
In Galatians, Paul instructs the church:
“Carry each other’s burdens, and
in this way you will fulfill the law of
Christ” (6:2). In today’s passage from
Philippians, he gives us a real-life
example of this burden bearing. Paul
begins by expressing his love for the
Philippian believers, his partners in the
gospel. Though some might think of
Paul as the New Testament’s tough
and brainy theologian, these verses
(vv. 3–8) reveal his tender affection.
Having begun to ease their burden by
reaffirming his love, Paul went on to tell
the believers exactly what he is praying
for them: love, discernment, purity,
fruitfulness, and God’s glory. This is
Paul’s regular practice. He also tells the
Ephesians (Eph. 1:15–23), the Colossians
(Col. 1:9–14), and the Thessalonians
(2 Thess. 1:11–12) the substance of his
intercession for them. In this way, he
reminds the churches that their specific
burdens are not forgotten, and he
encourages them to look expectantly
for God’s help.
The burden-bearing is not one-sided.
Paul reinforces their mutual love by
sharing his own burdens and affirming
the essential part that he believes the
prayers of the Philippians will play
in his release from prison. The great
apostle depended on these prayers
of intercession. Like those inventors
who create ergonomic water vessels,
we take up one another’s burdens in
prayer, lending each other a hand to
bring them to the Lord.
Apply the Word
In many places—Southeast Asia, the Middle East, North Africa—Christians face persecution. Hebrews tells us, “Continue to remember those who are in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering” (Heb. 13:3). In prayer, bear the burdens of fellow-Christians in chains.
Pray with Us
Continue in prayer for the Moody Publishers Fulfillment team. We are grateful for their attention to detail as they help Moody Publishers distribute quality, God-glorifying literature: James Tran, Junico Arroz, Matthew Tran, and Michael Alcazar.