LOVE IN ACTION9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, 10 that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, 11 being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. (Philippians 1:9-11)
Oh that we too shall pray like the Apostle does here in verse 9! This is one of the most powerful prayers of the entire Scriptures, neatly hidden in plain sight! Here is what a man of God - Paul - writes from a prison cell:
- He prays that the Love we should have for our brethren in the Faith grows by leaps and bounds.
- He prays for us, (through the Church at Philippi) may growing in actual doctrine and theological knowledge of the Oracles and Word of God. The word oracles is used in Romans 3:2.
- He prays for us (since ALL Scripture was written THEN for us NOW, for our instruction ) to UNDERSTAND the knowledge we are learning.
- He prays that because of THAT understanding that we remain authentic and with as little sin as possible until Christ calls us home!
Should this prayer not be obvious to us Christians who believe and stand firmly on the Word of God? Yes it should, but is it put into action? In the west, we can hardly get preachers and teachers to remember and pray for our persecuted brethren in the middle east, Asia or elsewhere. Christianity is an "inside-the-four-walls" system in most churches. There may be an acknowledgment of the lost and hurting outside church walls, but little is done to change that downward spiral. But here is a real encouragement to our prayer lives, which can have a positive impact, that leads to proactive solutions.
As simple as this model prayer from Paul is, it behooves us to add its pattern to our prayer lives, in order than we may grow richer in grace and love while blessing others. This is imperative as we see in verse 11. By following the progression of this prayer, as Paul demonstrates in his many flow charts of the attributes we need for spiritual maturity, that we are lifting high the Name of Jesus and the Father.
He is saying in this prayer that Prayer, rich in love, growing into knowledge and understanding will certify us as authentic and whole, until we are home with Christ. Therefore a life, which reflects such a solid lifestyle, visible to all around us (fruits of righteousness) will lead many to see the Power of God visible in you, and all of us, who glorify Him by our actions and obvious Christian character!
This is transformation aglow! Oh, that we may be so worthy! May such active and repeatable prayer lead to many seek the peace, power and loving arms of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Amen.