“And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ” (Phil 1:9-10).
We can talk to God about everything. However, meaningful prayers are more pleasing to God. apostle Paul gave wonderful examples of how he prayed for the Philippians who were dear in his heart (Phil 1:9-11) and for the Colossians whom he hadn’t met (Col 1:9-12). We can model his prayers to pray for ourselves, our loved ones, and fellow believers.
First, we can give thanks for our faith, changed lives, and loving labors. We can ask God to help us grow in spiritual knowledge and all discernment as our love grows. We can ask Him to help us so that our actions of love may conform to the principles of His word and are not misguidance or blind love. We can ask God to put those who need our intercessory prayers in our hearts, and help us know how to help them and remember them in our prayers.
We can ask God to help us understand His will and know what He wants us to choose or do. Being able to approve the things that are excellent means having the wisdom to weigh our choices. We often face situations where we have to choose among things that seem equally right and valid. Therefore, we need to have the discernment from God to always choose what is best.
We ask God to help us have a principle of watchful godly fear, a sensibility to sin, and a pain to feel it near within our hearts. We also ask that we may be sincere and without offense. Serving the Lord can become a burden and it loses its meaning if we serve with pride or wrong motives. We can ask God to guard and awaken our souls when sin is near, that the burden in our souls and the hardness of our hearts may be removed.
Paul’s prayers show us not only how we should be living, but also how we should be praying for ourselves and other Christians.