In his letter to the Church at Philippi, Paul says, “And this is my prayer…” (Philippians 1:9).
First, notice the motivation for Paul’s prayer: thankfulness. He’s not skeptical nor cynical. He doesn’t browbeat them for any shortcomings. He doesn’t think, “Ministry would be great if it weren’t for these people.” No! He was full of thanks that bubbled up in joyful prayer for these precious people (vv. 3, 4).
Paul also had an attitude of confidence for this congregation. He believed they could carry out ministry responsibilities, and that in the process they could continue to mature in Christ (vv. 5, 6).
Paul had affection for this church: he really liked these people! It’s one thing to love someone (after all, Jesus commanded us to do that), but something entirely different when we like being around people. The King James Version says Paul greatly longed after these folks. The Greek is even better—it says he doted on them (v. 8).
With this in mind, look how Paul prayed for these precious folks on whom he doted. He prayed that…
- …their love might abound
- …they would increase in knowledge and insight
- …their level of spiritual discernment would help them always see the best
- …their purity and blamelessness would remain intact all the days of their life
- …they would be filled with God’s righteousness
- …they would bring glory to God
Pastor, this is a great prayer to pray over the precious people on whom you dote!