When we pray for our Christian brothers and sisters what do we ask God for on their behalf? Too often we are concerned that they prosper, have good health, and live a fulfilling life. God wants all of that for his children but above all of that, he urges us to seek first the kingdom of God (Matt.6:33). King Solomon, who, early in his reign as king of Israel, realised that his greatest need was for the acquisition of wisdom and understanding if he was to be successful in leading his people (2Chron.1:10). Instead of asking God to make him rich, he asked for wisdom. Paul, in his prayer for the Philippians followed a similar line of thought as did Solomon.
Paul in this prayer focused on spiritual things. Paul knew that the thing we cannot see are eternal and so he concentrated on those things that will last through eternity.
“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 until 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
Paul gave priority to these brothers’ spiritual well-being. He prayed that the brothers would
- have an ever- increasing love, knowledge and deeper insight to be able to discern what is best for them.
- Remain pure and blameless until the return of Christ
- Be filled with the fruit of righteousness
This prayer is a favourite of mine. I frequently pray it for my family, brothers and sisters and myself. The Bible contains many prayers like this one which we can use on a daily basis. God will hear and answer the prayer that truly comes from the heart of his people. This prayer of Paul for the Philippians was meant for us all. Let us pray without ceasing.