The Privilege And Joy

Thursday, June 15, 2023
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "O Lord Of Heav'n And Earth And Sea"1 (Lyrics)

John 17:20-21 – My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. (NIV)

Amidst our recent preparations and travels, as my family and I relocated from the far north of British Columbia, Canada, to the next province, Alberta, I found myself humming or singing the wonderful song The Family of God, written by Bill and Gloria Gaither. This song reiterates how in Christ we are indeed one family, just as Christ prayed that we may be one in Him as He is one with the Father.

As a writer for the PresbyCan Daily Devotional, I have not had the chance to meet my readers, in person, face to face. However, the recent move that my family and I made revealed to me in a very real sense just how much the PresbyCan readership is its own little family within the larger scope of the family of God. Dozens of people sent emails letting me know that their thoughts and prayers were with me during both the packing process and the 2,000-kilometre journey down the Alaska Highway.

During the actual move, we encountered three forest fires, but we were able to outrun the wildfires, the road closures, and the evacuation orders that happened as little as an hour or two after our passing. We accomplished the trip without incident — a true answer to the prayers of God's children.

Matthew 18:19 – Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. (NIV)

We may not be a family of believers who can meet personally for prayer, but there is no doubt in my mind that when the hearts and minds of God's family come together as one, just as Jesus prayed for, no amount of distance can prevent our Father from answering those prayers. In fact, I have never felt the privilege and joy of being part of the family of God as much as I did as we travelled along those highways, knowing and feeling all the prayers that had gone and were going heavenward on our behalf.

Therefore, as part of the family of God, near or far away, let us continue steadfastly to raise one another up through encouragement and prayer — for indeed, God is listening.

Prayer: Father God, thank You that when we believe in the saving power of Christ, You gather us in to be part of Your wonderful family that has the privilege and joy to love and pray for one another any time, any place, anywhere. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Lynne Phipps <>
Tawatinaw, Alberta, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    We are so Blessed to have such a loving GOD.

    Thank you for your encouraging message.
    God be with you always.

    Our environment is on fire – we pray for those who are refugees because the fire threatens their home.

    Well said, Lynne. The few times I have written a devotional, I have been warmed at the response from all over.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Had never heard the music Family of God.
    It was beautiful and I’m from South Carolina.

    A beautiful message and reminder of God’s love available to us in prayer, everywhere! Many thanks and may God continue to bless you and your family, Lynne!

    We continue to pray for you and your family as you settle into your new small community.

    Dear Lynne….it is a ‘privilege and a joy’ to read your inspiring devotionals, and know you are safe and well in your new community! Blessing be yours.

    Thank you for sharing with us once again. I also have felt the prayers during hard times. Though we do not meet at a church building, our prayers are a delight to the Father as he listened to the precious Family of God.

    Dear Lynne…… I am so very happy to hear that your recent move went well.
    God bless your new home and lives as you and your family settle into your home.

    Hello Lynn, I too thought of you often in your travels. Happy you were surrounded by the joy and love only our Lord can provide.
    I’ve never written to a writer for PresbyCan but wanted you to know your readings touch me often.

    Dear Lynne,
    I have written to you before (along with many others), to say how much I enjoy your devotionals.
    I love how you relate your life to Bible references.

    Hi Lynne. Thanks for today’s message. I hope that God through Jesus was with you in your successful move. And I hope and trust that God was with those who were evicted from their homes, had them burn to the ground, and who lost everything. As in a war, God is on both sides.

    As we pray for all who have been evacuated; for the firefighters; for the volunteers;
    we thank God for your safety through the journey.
    Thank you for your contributions to our daily prayers.
    God bless and keep you safe.

    Good morning
    What a previous and comforting devotional, thank you. It is true, we belong to a great family through this, and the comfort people pray for each of us, and you can truly feel the prayer covering!!
    God bless you.

    Good morning!
    I do enjoy reading your contributions to the Presbyterian Daily Devotionals. I am so glad you made your move safely and pray that the forest fires are soon under control across Canada.

    Amen and Hallelujah Lynne. So pleased you were inspired to write this.
    It is true, we are all participating in the Lord’s church as we pray and worship and communicate in this forum.
    I hope and pray all continues as you hope for in your new home and life.

    Dear Lynne,
    Praise the LORD! It really is wonderful to be part of the family of God. Thanks for sharing how this Presbycan “family” was encouraging to you as you travelled so far to your new location. What a miracle that God answered our prayers in that you did not run into the wildfire areas. May He continue to keep those fires from spreading to your area.

    Hi Lynne,
    So glad to hear your move to Alberta went so smoothly and wish you many blessings as you settle into your new abode in Tawatinaw. Thank you for this lovely and comforting message today. The family of God is truly a wonderful thing and I’m so grateful for His provision and protection. We are one in Him.

    Thank you, Lynne, for another of your very special devotionals. Yes, we really do feel like family with others when we share our love of God together in communicative ways, even if we haven’t met each other in person. Through your writings, that are always so meaningful, I am sure you have touched numerous hearts and made special connections with devotional readers. The song you mentioned by the Gaithers is one I like too, and I always enjoy their program each Friday. Blessings as you continue your very mindful writings and know you are remembered and covered with prayer.

    Hi Lynn
    I’m glad your move was accomplished without calamity. I pray that as you settle into your new community and hope you are welcomed with open arms and hearts.
    I enjoy your writings and will miss having you in the ‘neighbourhood’, so to speak. I found it connecting to be able to visualize your little town as I read your devotionals.
    I’m in the process of trying to sell in order to move.
    I agree, we all are together a family in the Lord.

    Good morning, Lynne,
    I am grateful you added the link to the song “The Family of God”. I had not heard that song and really enjoyed its message.
    It is special when someone tells their story of how they feel supported by other believers in God and how special the family of PresbyCan readership and writers is.
    We are all blessed by the writers of devotionals who share their faith journey and personal experiences so generously to help us all grow in understanding and faith of the importance of Jesus in our lives. When they also share that they feel supported by the readers is very special. I loved that you used the word “Joy” in your title and shared the importance of prayer for others in our faith.
    Thank you for always sharing your faith journey and happy that God was with you and your family on your move to a new home and a new place to share your faith with others. Blessings.

    Thank you, Lynne. What a great blessing!

    I appreciate the way you share your close encounter with those fiery infernos. You felt yourself carried along by a community of praying believers.
    This reminds me that nothing can stop us from being the Church and functioning effectively by His Spirit.

    Good morning, Lynne,
    Thank you for your wonderful devotional. We are indeed part of a big family of faith. We found that in so many places as we moved around the country and parts of the world. In different countries and different languages. Such good words.
    Blessings in you new place, Lynne. You are right, we correspond with people we have never met.

    Glad you came safely through your trip! Thanks for sharing this encouraging devotional with us. Blessings.

    Amen. And so glad you made it safely. And felt God’s presence as that is the most wonderful feeling ever. And you deserve it. You help so many others in your devotionals. I know you have really helped me. Take care.
    And God Bess you.

    I reread this piece today. It is such a powerful example of God’s care. Thank you for sharing your gift of writing. Trusting your animals have settled into their new digs. Enjoy summer.

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