Paul’s letter to the Philippians has been an important piece of Scripture, in my life.
“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joybecause of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 1:3-6)
“It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus. 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.” (1:7-11)
Paul’s statements in this passage, have always been convicting to me. We all have those reflective times, when we think back on past life-experiences and events. As we think back, we often consider the people who have shaped those experiences and events.
However, how often do we pray for those people when we ‘remember’ them? Personally, this is something that I neglect far too often! How different would my life and the lives of others be, if I consistently brought them to Lord in prayer whenever I remembered them?
Now, let’s look at the content of prayer that Paul lifts up for those he remembers. In verses 9 to 11, Paul writes, “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.“
This is perhaps, a key insight into how we should be praying for others when we remember them. Paul has no agenda here. His main concern is that these people strive forward in their relationship with Christ. By asking God to provide love, knowledge, depth of insight, discernment, purity and righteousness, Paul is asking God to pour down a blessing of a fruitful life onto these people.
Of course, I would love to have someone praying this for my life, yet I pray nothing of the sort for others. This is where the conviction really hits me! For those of you who are in the practice of following Paul’s example, I applaud you and encourage you to continue as you’re doing!
However, for those of us who lack in this area, perhaps now in the quiet of this morning, we should turn our thoughts to all those people who have shaped us and our past experiences. Let us bring them to God in prayer, moving past the typical prayers of health and wealth.
This morning, let us assist our friends and family in their relationship with our Lord, by truly petitioning for spiritually fruitful lives!
Originally posted at QuietMorningsWithHim.com by Jeremy Norton.