Prayer for Love and Discernment
“And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so 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
This prayer is actually a continuation of the one we studied yesterday. Paul was speaking to the Philippians, whom he loved and was proud of. He felt that the Philippians were doing a lot of things right in their love toward each other and their ministry. But Paul doesn’t want it to stop there. He prays that their love will abound more and more! This love Paul speaks of is Agape love!
Agape love is the highest form of love. It is the love God has for us and it is the love that we hopefully return to God. It is an unselfish love that is not self-seeking but only has another’s best interest in mind. Agape love will do the hard thing when it is the best thing for others. Agape love is love that is discerning. This is what Paul wanted for the Philippians. He wanted them to love each other with a knowledge and discernment to seek out the best in each other, to know and to discern what is best for each other, so that they “may approve what is excellent.” The NLT translation says “to understand what really matters.” That’s practical, isn’t it? When we are loving each other, when we are loving our spouses, children and fellow man, we should be discerning as to what really matters. Shouldn’t we? I have seen people who will love another to a fault. What I mean by that is they can’t say no to the other person even if the no would be better for the other person. I have been guilty of that myself I think. What Paul wants for the Philippians and for us, is to love each other with agape love, that is the purest kind of love there is, with knowledge and with discernment for what is best for them, and consequently for us as well.
Paul says that this love that will be “pure and blameless” or as the NKJV puts it “sincere and without offense”. When Paul says sincere or pure, he is talking about their inner righteousness or their character, and when he says without offense or blameless, it their outer righteousness or rather how they are living out what’s on the inside. In other words Paul wants them to be kind and loving but not just for the sake of being kind and loving, he wants that to be who they are, down deep.
Commentary that I read pointed out that the work of being pure and blameless is really God’s work within us. It can only happen if we are “filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus”! When you spend time with Him, when you fill yourself up with Him, is when your life will abound more and more in love for others, in the agape love for God and for others.
This is my prayer for me, this is my prayer for my children and my grandchildren, this is my prayer for you. I pray that your love and that my love will abound more and more. I pray that it will be with knowledge of what is best and able to discern what is best for each other. And I pray that we will feel it deep and that we will live it out so that others may see the love that we have for Jesus and for each other!