“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.”
One keystone of the Apostle Paul’s ministry which we are made keenly aware of was his dedication to constantly and consistently pray for the people God placed in his sphere of influence. Within every letter he wrote, every church in which he spoke, he took opportunities to pray specifically with and for those individuals or groups regarding things he understood were necessary for their spiritual journey in Christ. Prayers on occasions could be warnings, on other occasions they could be words of encouragement, and yet other times, specific instructions for righteous living according to the law of God and the words of Christ.
Here on this occasion, we find Paul praying specifically for the people, “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 (meaning the fruits of the spirit) that comes through Jesus Christ.” He concludes with an emphasis on the purpose of it all, “to the glory and praise of God.” We can see not only Paul’s care and compassion for this people group, but also his desire to see them grow in their knowledge and relationship with Christ, their Savior and Lord, through a greater knowledge of Him, which would lead to lives lived in holiness evidenced by the Fruits of the Holy Spirit.
Spiritual discernment is one of the greatest virtues we can both practice and pray for on behalf of ourselves and others as there are so many conflicting world philosophies and false assumptions of truth which abound in our society. More than ever in this world, we as believers in Christ need true wisdom and direction that ultimately comes from the Lord through prayer, a greater depth in understanding by studying His word, and the wise counsel of others who also seek to know the will of God for our lives. It would serve us well along our spiritual journey, to follow the example of Paul, taking time to pray for this type of spiritual discernment for one another as we go about our daily lives. This practice is especially beneficial on days when our path is littered with the low-lying fog of anxiety, depression, or simply the heavy things of life which can cause us at times to be blinded more easily to the truth of God’s wisdom and His word.
Connecting Faith & Life:
Father, thank You for being our ultimate source of truth, knowledge, and wisdom in a world that desires to dismiss any form of absolutes. We pray today for a deepening “love of You that would abound more and more in true knowledge and depth of insight,” allowing us to discern what is best according to Your word and Your will for our lives. May our growing love for You along with a greater depth of knowledge and discernment, lead us to live more holy lives (pleasing to You) as we walk the path of life’s journey You have laid out for us. Lord, lead us and guide us through Your wisdom and by Your Spirit as we seek to follow You more closely. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.