And This Is My Prayer

Biblical scholars agree that when Paul wrote to his friends in Phillipi, he was imprisoned; however, the location of his imprisonment is harder to determine. Several scholars point to evidence that he was in Rome, and for the two years he awaited his trial, he was on house arrest.

Paul was subject to remain in his home for an extended period of time and was surrounded by those who thought he was responsible for bitter dissension, but the prayer that he prayed and the message that he shared was one of genuine sincerity. There was lots of love between Paul and the Philippians, they had a longstanding relationship. The "love" ascribed to them was not simply a feeling of affection. It was an active, lived-out love. And when Paul considered who he was writing to, he didn’t hesitate to pray that their love, knowledge and depth of insight would overflow.

True, biblical love requires knowledge. We grow in love and are able to fully love others when we learn more about God's love for us. This type of love includes discernment. Discernment helps us love better by allowing us to focus on God's unconditional love, taking the focus off of ourselves and our feelings.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a

Paul could have chosen a different focus as he sat in his home, unable to leave, his friends far away and with uncertainty before him. He could have chosen to focus on himself and worry about his future. He could have asked for encouragement instead of giving it. Paul could have chosen to point to all that was wrong with the world around him. Yet Paul knew, with an unwavering faith, that despite what things looked like, he was in the Will of the Father.

Paul was able to pray a prayer of abundant love, knowledge and good judgement because once he committed his life to Christ, he committed to living a life of abundant love, knowledge and good judgment. And even during a time of separation from all that he had come to know and love, he placed his focus on the good news of Christ and encouraged those that he had great influence over to do the same.

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

by Danielle Boardley
Danielle, along with her husband Dominic and children, moved to NJ in April 2014 and began attending Kingsway shortly thereafter. Quickly accepting the invitation to go through Growth Track, they learned more about the church, their spiritual strengths, and landed on the Worship Arts team. Danielle values spending quality time with her family and finding ways to express herself creatively. Joining the Kingsway blog team was yet another exciting opportunity to serve through creative expression. Her love of writing began in her youth when she was introduced to the works of Maya Angelou. Inspired by her prose, Danielle published a book of poetry in 2007.