“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” (Philippians 1:9-11).
Love is an amazing force! God is love! Paul was praying for love so that the Philippians would grow in their discernment of what was best (God’s will and purposes) and that they would live pure and blameless lives. How can an increase of love bring about all of that – a deeper recognition of God’s purposes and a great desire and ability to live a life pleasing to Him? What would an increase of love in everyone do in your church? What would a deeper level of love do in your marriage and family?
Praying for love for yourself and others will have a profound effect on you or those you pray for – on how you view life, on how you handle circumstances, and on how you pray for others.
Father God, I thank You for Your great love for us. Thank You for the love that sent You to this earth to suffer and die to pay the penalty for our sins. Lord, I want to experience a deeper level of love in my own life – sacrificial love. Would you give me a greater understanding of what love is? Help me to pray with love when I pray for others. Give me a greater love for You, so my life would reflect the fruits of righteousness and bring glory to You.
–Adapted from Praying Like Paul (Learning to Pray the Kingdom for Those You Love) by Jonathan Graf. This resource is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount on the book.
Praise God as one who is perfect in power and judgment but also perfect in mercy and kindness. Give thanks for God’s mercy to you (Eph. 2:4-5). Confess your inability to show mercy as completely and graciously as your Father does. Commit yourself to living with a greater awareness of God’s mercy and kindness in your life (Eph. 1:7-8). Ask God to extend this grace to others who have irritated or hurt you.
Ask God to make his church worldwide a shining example of people who extend mercy and kindness even to their enemies (Mt. 5:44-45).
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