Philippians 1:9–11 ‘And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight…’ (v9)

When did you last pray that someone might be godly? Prayer requests typically concern work, health, relationships and finance. There’s nothing wrong with that, as we are encouraged to pray at all times with all kinds of requests (see 4:6).

However, when Paul prayed for the Philippian believers, he prays for their love and discernment, that they would live pure lives ahead of the return of Jesus – not a typical prayer request!

This is ultimately what we all need as we navigate life and the obstacles and blessings that come our way. It was C.H. Spurgeon who famously said that we should work as if it all depends on us and pray as if it all depends on God.

The Victorian Baptist preacher realised that there is a glorious balance between our work and God, and so receiving prayer is not the only thing that we do. Paul will later urge the believers in Philippi to ‘conduct themselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ’ (1:27); ‘Have the same mindset as Christ Jesus…’ (2:5); ‘continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling…’ (2:12).

Along with what you think you need in the day ahead, you also need the love and discernment that Paul prayed the Philippians would have. When someone next asks you what you need prayer for, this might be a good place to start. And until then, why not seek God for this yourself?


A Prayer To Make:
‘Thank You, Lord, that Your call is to a high standard and will enable us to grow into the image of Christ day by day. Amen.’

An Action To Take:
As you pray for someone in the way they have asked you to,
add the prayer that they may have discernment and know how to live.

Scripture To Consider:
Ps. 51; Neh. 1:4–11; Matt. 6:9–15; Eph. 3:14–21

Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.