Recently, I have been looking at the prayers of the Apostle Paul.  One of my favorites is found in the book of Philippians:

“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.”  (Philippians 1:9-11)

I believe if we pray this prayer and ask God to make it so, there will be significant changes in our lives.  He prays that our love will abound more and more!  He is talking about Christlike love.  A love that moves beyond sentiment and emotion, a love that is built on the knowledge of God and His Kingdom.  I would call it an ‘informed love.’  Love that makes sense not because it is reasonable or rational but because it springs from a deep-rooted faith in God and His grace.  A love that reminds me I can love others because my Heavenly Father has greatly loved me.  God’s deep and abiding love helps me to discern what pleases Him.  I grow in the knowledge and spiritual insight I receive from His Word and through the ministry of the Holy Spirit.

God’s love assists me in living in a world that is filled with fear, frustration, failings, and fallible folks.  Often frustration is a result that comes when we feel we have been mistreated, and there is hurt when we are treated rudely by others. There are times when I am frustrated by the words and actions of others.  I have prayed this prayer of Paul’s every day for a month.  I do not just say it, I pray it.  Lord, may your love abound more and more in my life!  May I grow in knowledge and depth of insight! I need this Father so that I will be able to discern and know what is best in every situation and circumstance.  Father, I want to live a life that pleases you and be so filled with the fruit of righteousness that I will be a blessing and help to everyone I am in a relationship with and with whom I come in contact. The result is all the glory, praise, and honor belong to you and yours alone!

I believe this prayer can help; as you already know, everything does not go our way. If the things that we value are taken away, is our joy hindered? The reality is I am not my dreams, I am not my work, I am a child of God, and my Heavenly Father greatly loves me.  Therefore my joy, love, and identity come from Him and are in Him.  A part of prayer is a petition; usually, that part of our prayer list is quite full.  This month at the top of my petition for myself is the prayer from the heart of Paul in the first chapter of Philippians.

Perhaps you would like to join me and pray that your love may abound and grow more and more significantly in knowledge and depth of insight so that you can discern was is best!

I am finding that the more I work on myself, the better others seem to become!

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