“And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so 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.” (Philippians 1:9–11, ESV)
These verses outline the purpose for which Philippians was written. In Paul’s fondness for the people of this church, he wants even more for them. His prayer for them is it that:
- Their love may abound more and more.
- That they would grow in knowledge and discernment.
- That they would experience the fruit of righteousness.
- It would all be for the glory and praise of God.
These are not prayer requests for the Philippians alone. They are prayer requests for us as well. We would do well to regularly pray these petitions. These are four benefits to pray for ourselves and for others.
Breaking these request down further:
To abound in love
We pray for more than gushy feelings. We pray that we would love by serving God and others in a more selfless way. We pray we would make commitments that are not self-centered, but other-centered! We pray that we would love better.
To grow in knowledge and discernment
We pray we would become more knowledgeable of the things and the ways of God. Reading the Scriptures! Studying the Scriptures! Memorizing the Scriptures! Teaching the Scriptures!
But we pray for more than knowledge. We pray for discernment. Another word for this is wisdom. I can be knowledgeable but not wise. Wisdom is the ability to use the knowledge we have to be able to do the right thing and make good choices. We pray we would live out our faith in ways that are wise.
That they would experience the fruit of righteousness
We pray to be free from worry and anxiety. That we would have peace in our hearts and joy in our souls. Even though life may be crazy, we pray that we would be content and confident in God.
That it would all be for the glory and praise of God
We pray that others would see Jesus in us and through us. We pray that heaven would be bigger because of the witness and the testimony that we gave. It’s not to us, but to his name be the glory.