In Philippians 1:3-5 the Apostle Paul wrote to the church at Philippi and said, “I thank God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now.” That word fellowship there in the original Greek means, the close association between persons, emphasizing what is common between them; by extension, participation, sharing, contribution, and gift.  It is the outcome of such a close relationship that it manifests itself in distribution, communication, and communion.  This word can be translated partnership.  It describes a covenant relationship between two parties who have common interests.  The purpose of their relationship is to accomplish something that neither of them could do alone.  Biblical partnership is not about what you can do for me or what I can do for you.  Biblical partnership is about doing whatever each of us has to do to accomplish the vision or goal that we have set out to accomplish.  Each one of us has a part to play in this partnership.  The Apostle Paul had partners with his ministry.  He knew that he could not minister the gospel alone and neither could the Philippians.  It took all of them together to accomplish this great assignment.

In verses 19 and 20 of that same chapter Paul writes, “For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or death.” The Apostle Paul is acknowledging that without the prayers of his partners and the supply of the Holy Spirit he would be ashamed and fall short of what God had called him to do.  He’s acknowledging the importance of his partners’ prayers in his ministry.  Remember earlier he said that he always thanks God for his partners and makes requests for his partners with great joy.  In other words there is a prayer cycle going on here where Paul is praying for his partners daily and they are praying for him.

The Apostle Paul also addresses this in Ephesians 6:18-20.  He wrote, “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;  And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,  For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.  We think of the Apostle Paul as a very bold and courageous man, and he was.  However, he attributes his boldness to declare the Word of God to the prayers of his partners.  He is acknowledging that the prayers of his partners have everything to do with his anointing to declare the Word of God with great boldness.  Paul expected his partners to pray and with their prayers he fully expected that the Holy Spirit would supply him with the boldness necessary to preach the Word of God.  The actual boldness came from the Spirit of God, but the prayers by his partners helped take his boldness to another level spiritually.

Even when Jesus came to the Earth to fulfill his ministry he looked for people who were willing to become partners with him in preaching the gospel of the Kingdom.  He started with twelve disciples who partnered with him.  Jesus needed their prayers.  In Matthew 26 he told his disciples to watch and pray while he went up to pray with the Father.  At that moment he was under great attack and needed the prayers and support of his partners.  In perhaps his greatest hour of need, Jesus looked to his partners for support.

Partner, I want to let you know that God has called this ministry to do some big things that no one man can do alone.  Notice, not even the Apostle Paul or Jesus trounced around with their chest out saying, “I’ve been gifted and anointed by God and I can do this all by myself.” No, they needed partners.  They needed people who God called to partner with them.  If Jesus needed the prayers and support of his partners and the Apostle Paul needed the prayers and support of his partners, then we certainly need your prayers and support to complete what God has called us to do.  Deuteronomy 32:20, says “How should one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, except their Rock had sold them, and the Lord had shut them up?”  Partner, I want to let you know there’s power in numbers, and when we come into partnership with one another we can accomplish much greater things together than we ever could as individuals.