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 until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.
Do you pray for others during your prayer time? And is it just a quick, "Please heal Bob" or "Please convert Mary's grandson into a believer" or do you pray in depth for others? I have a bad habit of only praying for others as I hear about prayer needs (say on Facebook, in person or via prayer/update letters) and only brief and quick prayers at that. Not that we shouldn't pray that our friends and family would have improved health or find a job, or pray for them as we think about them, but I am challenged by the way Paul prays for fellow believers, which is a far cry from my method.
In this prayer for the church of Phillipi, Paul prays that the Phillipians would grow in love, knowledge and insight. He prays that they would be discerning in their faith and spiritually pure. He prays for them to be "filled with the fruit of righteousness" from Jesus and that they may glorify God.
Paul prays so much for the Phillipians in just two little verses! And what a godly and meaningful prayer, completely concerned with God's glory and the spiritual growth and wellbeing of the Phillipian church! His prayers for fellow believers is very deliberate and well thought out. Paul is really and truly concerned for God's glory and for the wellbeing of others, and it shows in his prayer life.
So perhaps we can take a leaf from Paul's book, so to speak, as we prepare for the start of the new year. Maybe you could make 2013 the year when you will start to really pray for others, not just off the cuff as I often do, to my shame. For those of you who are amazing prayer warriors, perhaps you could encourage others in their prayer life and share your tips and advice with them. Or you could spend 2013 studying the prayers of godly men and women in the Bible and learning from their example. How will you aim to improve your prayer life this coming year?