‘I thank my God every time I remember you. 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’ (vv3–5) Philippians 1:1–6

We need to be encouraged to know we are not alone. Prayer puts a spring in our step as we present the gospel. Together we serve as ambassadors of hope to a vulnerable and often troubled, world. 

This message of hope was one demonstrated by Jesus. He revealed the heart of heaven as He came alongside individuals with a challenge to live God’s way in difficult circumstances (John 4:1–26). Jesus calls us to direct our attention to encouraging and supporting others. 

Sadly, throughout its long history, God’s Church has invested far too much time and energy in criticising others. The consequent and numerous church splits confirm that the love we speak of is so often only skin deep. It proves insufficiently resilient to ride out differences of perspective. One of the major criticisms of the Church remains its inability to express Christian solidarity.

Partnership means that I choose to encourage everyone to learn to live every day with Jesus. Disagreements will remain, but there will be a consensus around the life, death and resurrection of Christ. Without such, there can be no true transformation. With it, we can work together to change the world. Let’s agree to keep that as our primary aim.

RELATED SCRIPTURE TO CONSIDER: Luke 7:1–50; John 13:31–38; Acts 2:37–47.

A PRAYER TO MAKE: ‘Lord, help me to build up the body of Christ rather than tear it down with my criticism. Amen.’

Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.