28 Days of Prayer
- Pray this prayer over others
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 (Philippians 1:9-10)
What a great prayer! As wonderful as it is to have Jesus teach us to pray through the Lord’s Prayer, here we have the Apostle Paul teach us how to pray for one-another. You may remember that in several of his other letters to the churches (Eph. 1:17–23; 3:14–21; Col. 1:9–14), Paul writes in similar ways, praying for the fullness of mature faith in Jesus to be developed in the heart of each follower. Paul’s heartbeat is his desire for your spiritual development and maturity.
This passage here in Philippians, like the other passages mentioned above, instructs us to pray for one another. We probably shouldn’t need this reminder from Paul. After all, brotherly affection among the people of God should almost make this reminder unnecessary. Of course, we’ll pray for each other! Yet, how many times have I forgotten to pray for someone who needed prayer. So, I’m glad for the reminder. God’s love toward us should overflow into our concern for one-another’s well-being.
Taken as a whole, Paul in his letters encourages us to pray that we would all abound in wisdom, knowledge, power, endurance, longsuffering, joy, gratitude, and love. These are the virtues bestowed upon us by Jesus and are the natural fruit of our life with God.
In this particular passage, love is the focus of Paul’s prayer. Love is the pinnacle of the virtues Paul prays to see in the lives of all those he disciples. The source of that love is ultimately God, for God’s love energizes every good thing that flows from our life. Paul prays that God’s love may rise to its fullest height, overflow its banks, and abound more and more.
However, fully developed love never travels alone. It is accompanied by all the other virtues. It functions in beautiful harmony with knowledge and discernment. Love needs knowledge, particularly real, full spiritual knowledge. Love, in other words, should be wise. A wisdom that allows the mind and the heart to separate not only the good from the bad, but also the important from the unimportant, in each case choosing what’s best.
The purpose and outcome of a life overflowing with God’s love is that we’ll stand before God pure and blameless. Remember what Peter wrote in 1 Peter 4:8, “Love covers over a multitude of sins.” The love we express in our lives, both knowledgeable and discerning, produces fruit that precedes us in heaven. And so, like Paul, let’s pray this prayer over each other, over the people we love, over our spouse and our friends, over new disciples and old ones, over children and over their parents.
Dear Father, I pray today for _______, that your love may overflow more and more in their heart, and that their love would be wise and discerning, so that they may understand exactly how you want to use them in showing your love to the world. Protect them from the enemy and from sin, until the day of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Read Philippians 1:9-10 again. What are you asking for when you pray this prayer over someone?
Give a note card to each member of your family then, all of you, will write down Paul’s prayer found in Philippians 1:9-10. Keep the notecard in a place you will see it daily: in your Bible, on the bathroom mirror, or your backpack.
Each day pray Philippians 1:9-10 over a family member.