Paul’s opening prayer in Philippians reflect what he hopes and confidently expects God to do in the lives of his readers and it introduces the main theme of his letter. From this short prayer, we can learn what we ought to most want for ourselves and for each other.
Paul’s message in Philippians is essentially the same as Moses in Deuteronomy 30:19-20: Choose life by loving the lord your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him. He opens the letter expressing his gratitude — not because the Philippians have sent him financial support. But rather he is grateful that the gospel was so important to the Philippians that they wanted to support it.
The message of Nehemiah is restoration. The book records how God moved Nehemiah to lead the people to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem in approximately 446 BC. As the story unfolds, we see God restore godly leadership to Israel, restore the walls of Jerusalem, restore the broken faith of the people, restore a sense of community and heritage as God’s people, and restore the people’s knowledge of the God’s word and their desire to love and obey Him.
How are we to understand these various Scripture verses that encourage us to persevere in prayer, continue to pray, pray without ceasing, and pray at all times. Can we fulfill them by setting an app on our smart phones to remind us to pray 15 minutes of every hour? If not number of minutes, what are the authors asking us to do?
The more I study the Lord’s Prayer, the more I conclude the prayer asks for one and only one thing: that God would make us completely righteous once and for all.