Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Come and get prayed for

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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Philippians 1:1-14

TO CHEW ON: “‘And this I pray…’”  Philippians 1:9

In our church we have a Sunday morning prayer time. It’s an interlude during congregational worship when people people can come to members of the prayer team and get prayed for.

I’m on the prayer team. When I take my place during prayer time I never know what it will bring. Sometimes no one comes. At other times I pray for two or three. The needs are as various as the people that come. I always pray beforehand that God will, by His Spirit, give me the thoughts and words to pray for each person so that what is really needed, even below the felt need, is exposed and brought to God.

Paul, in his prayer for the Philippians, prays with a broad brush. His would be a prayer to fit a lot of requests in the way it addresses the deep issues of heart and life.

  • He prays for the quality of their love (Philippians 1:9).
Doesn’t that need—for a growing, intelligent, discerning love—cover a lot of requests that have to do especially with relationships (marriage, family, friend, work, ministry). A list of what a growing, intelligent, discerning love would look like is found in 1 Corinthians 13:1-13.

  • He prays for their excellence (Philippians 1:10).
The NKJV expresses it: “… that you may approve the things that are excellent…” The Amplified Bible enlarges on that thought:
“So that you may surely sense what is vital, and approve and prize what is excellent and of real value—recognizing the highest and the best, and distinguishing the moral differences.”

Doesn’t that sound a lot like a prayer for wisdom? It reminds me of a list of excellent thought destinations Paul gives us later in Philippians  (“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things” - Philippians 4:8.)

  • He prays that their lives will produce good fruit - Philippians 1:11.
Doesn’t that sound a lot like a prayer for success—a success whose goal is God’s glory not ours (“… to the glory and praise of God” - Philippians 1:11b)? Another list comes to mind: the fruits of the Spirit: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law" - Galatians 5:22,23. 

What a great example of an all-encompassing prayer! Praying it for ourselves or for someone else brings to God a multitude of needs, many of which we’re aware of, others we may not even know we have.

PRAYER: Dear Father, I pray that my love will grow in knowledge and discernment, that I will dwell on and give expression to that which is excellent, and that my life will be filled with the fruits of righteousness today. May I bring glory to You. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked AMP are taken from the Amplified® Bible, Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission." (www.Lockman.org)

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