Praying Through Prison Bars

November 29th, 2010


Philippians 1:1-18

Paul spent a night as a prisoner in Philippi (Acts 16). During that experience, God sent an earthquake. It opened the prison doors and even shook loose the prisoners’ chains. Years later, he wrote from a Roman prison to the Philippian believers, but there would be no miraculous intervention for Paul in Rome. Tradition says he was executed there.

Prisoners’ letters can be self-absorbed: “I didn’t do it! Get me a good lawyer.” Philippians is Paul’s most upbeat letter, and it was written through prison bars! What was Paul’s secret?

Prayer may be part of the answer. Paul said, “In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy” (v. 4). He prayed with joy because, by faith, he saw God at work bringing to completion the good work he had started in the Philippians’ lives. Even Paul’s own chains had resulted in fearless proclamation of the word of God (v. 14).

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