"And this I pray..."
Text: Philippians 1:9
ANOTHER MENTION OF PRAYER
Prayer was never just a religious routine exercise for the apostle Paul. Prayer was a very real and personal activity that he engaged in with the deepest sense of joy and love. Philippians 1:9-11 contains the things that Paul prayed about as he entered into intercession for the Philippians.
“And this I pray, that your love may abound still
more and more in knowledge and all discernment.”
1. “And this I pray”
a) Prayer complements the hard work that Paul put in.
b) Prayer and work go together very closely.
c) Prayer begins and opens a new dimension when the work has reached its limits.
2. “That your love may abound still more and more”
a) Paul can teach the Philippians about love (Greek “agape”).
b) He can even express a deep love for the Philippians.
c) But he cannot generate love in their hearts.
d) He certainly cannot cause their love to abound more and more.
e) Prayer is an appeal to God to do a good work in the hearts of the Philippians.
i) Only God can cause love to abound.
ii) Only He can cause this love to abound “still more and more”.
3. “In knowledge and all discernment”
a) Love is not blind contrary to popular sentimental thoughts.
b) The love that God generates within the heart has two very special qualities:-
i) Love and knowledge go together.
ii) Love and discernment go together too.
iii) Love, knowledge and discernment should never be separated.
c) These two qualities help us to spot a love that is false.
i) False love may just be mere feelings.
ii) It is superficial and lacking in depth.
iii) False love is deceptive and therefore dangerous.