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Wednesday, December 05, 2018

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I encourage you to memorize Paul's prayer. As you use it to remember others in prayer, examine how the gospel transforms the tenor of your relationships.

When we pray for and with others, we exercise our trust that the One who has begun a good work among us will bring it to fulfillment. But that good work cannot be divorced from the profound communion (koinonia) that God's grace creates among us. God's compassion for us gives us a deep longing for one another. And as we hold others in our hearts, they too hold us in theirs.

In prayer, our love overflows. Not just an emotion, love gives us the knowledge and insight to discern what each of us uniquely has to offer. Rooted in one another's prayers, we can be authentic and sincere without causing offense. This is how a harvest of righteousness through Jesus is fulfilled in our lives.

Dear God, we bring to you all the people we hold in our hearts. Let your grace deepen the communion we share — that our love for one another will overflow with knowledge and insight. Amen.

Lois Malcolm, '89
Professor of Systematic Theology, Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minn.

Philippians 1:3-11 (NRSV)

3 I thank my God every time I remember you,
4 constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you,
5 because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now.
6 I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ.
7 It is right for me to think this way about all of you, because you hold me in your heart, for all of you share in God's grace with me, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel.
8 For God is my witness, how I long for all of you with the compassion of Christ Jesus.
9 And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight
10 to help you to determine what is best, so that in the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless,
11 having produced the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God.

This God Pause daily devotion is brought to you by the alumni of Luther Seminary.