Years ago, one of my sisters in the Lord made a friendship bread recipe that she shared with me; well this recipe made several batches of yeast starter that was easily divided to share with others. Pretty soon the majority of the women at CC Livingwater were baking and exchanging friendship bread. I am not sure how many women made friends, but we all enjoyed talking about how smelly the yeast starter was and how delicious the bread tasted. So we were united in this one endeavor, friendship bread.
Recently the Lord reminded me of how I partake in the lives of my sisters in the Lord through prayer. First, I was given the opportunity to witness answered prayer through two women. I don’t know these women on an intimate basis, but they are my sisters in the Lord. I hadn’t seen them for many months until one day they came back to visit the church, my heart was overjoyed to see. When they shared what the Lord did in their lives– restored marriage, I was so happy and encouraged to know the Father heard my prayers.
Currently I am reading the 3 year “Reading through the Bible plan,” we are in the book of Philippians. This book is referred to as the missionary letter because the Philippians sent Paul an offering while he was in a Roman prison. Paul founded the church on his second missionary trip. Paul had not physically visited the church for three or four years, yet the Church of Phillippi sent an offering to Paul. Thus, this letter is Paul’s response to the offering.
This leads me back to the friendship bread. I can imagine that many new converts were attending the Philippian church. Some possibly had never met Paul or had a friendship with Paul yet they found themselves encouraged throughout the four chapters of Philippians. In the first chapter, verse 3-11 there is a prayer for them. Paul’s prayer consists of:
• Thankfulness (vs 3)- “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you.”
• Prayer – vs 4 always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy.
• Confident of God’s work in them – vs 5 being confident of this very thing that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.
• He has them in his heart – vs 7 just as it is right for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart, inasmuch as both in my chains and in defense and confirmation of the gospel.
• Partakers – vs 7 you all are partakers with me in grace.
• Prayed – v9 and this I pray,
o Love – that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment.
o Approve – approve the things that are excellent,
o Sincere – that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ
o Being filled – being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ.
Paul is our example of praying for the church. There are many women because of life circumstances (work, small children, care takers, illnesses) that don’t have close friendships or are in a different country that need our/your prayers. If you are thinking “I don’t know what to pray for,” Paul’s prayer serves as our example. I have so many friends that live in other countries, states and cities, yet through prayer I am connected to them. So my encouragement is don’t forget to pray for your sisters, you are a partaker in grace with your sisters in Christ.