“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.” Phil. 1:9-11 (NIV)
One important element of prayer that we must not neglect is prayer for others. The Apostle Paul gives us wonderful instruction here on how to pray for others as he records his prayer for the Philippian church.
First, he wants their love to grow in knowledge and insight so that they will be able to discern what is best for them.
Paul doesn’t pray simply for greater knowledge and insight for the Philippians.
He prays for their love to grow in knowledge and insight.
We become more like Christ as we learn to love right things rightly.
Intellectual knowledge and theological insight do not make us more like Christ.
Love enhanced by knowledge and insight makes us more like Christ.
But Paul’s prayer doesn’t end with the request for their love to abound more in knowledge and insight. He builds toward an overall goal for this prayer.
Paul prays that the Philippians love will grow in knowledge and depth of insight…so that they will be able to discern what is best.
Our prayer for others should be for knowledge and insight built on love so that they can discern how to best use their time, talents and treasure.
But Paul doesn’t stop there.
He prays that the love of these believers will grow in knowledge and insight… so that they will be enabled to discern how to best live their lives… so that they will be increasingly pure and blameless, filled with fruit of righteousness…so that they will bring glory and praise to God.
Knowledge and insight built on love leads to discernment, which leads to living righteous lives, which brings glory and praise to God.
Now that’s how we should be praying for others…and for ourselves!
Prayer: Lord help my love grow in knowledge and insight so that I may best discern how to live a righteous life that brings glory to You.