Learning to Pray from Paul (Sept 29)

 

From Open Up Your Heart by Jeff Syverson

From Open Up Your Heart by Jeff Syverson

September 29
Learning to Pray from Paul

Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalms 107:10-16 | Isaiah 57:14-59:21 | Philippians 1:1-26 | Proverbs 24:9-10

Today’s Scripture Focus: Philippians 1:1-26

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, [10] so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, [11] filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ–to the glory and praise of God. (Philippians 1:9-11 NIV)

Do you ever pray the prayers of Paul? Let me encourage you to do that. Pray them for yourself, and everyone else on your prayer list. Pray them for your pastor and church. Almost every one of the epistles of Paul has at least one prayer. They are all gems. You can learn a lot about prayer through them.

We often focus on the immediate needs. Paul prays for the big things, the overarching things. Instead of a quick fix for the moment, Paul prays for that which will make the biggest impact in the big picture of things. Rather than focusing only on the present need, Paul’s prayers impact the here and now by focusing on the eternal. There is so much to learn from his prayers.

The prayer of Paul for the Philippians is a great starting place:

I pray 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. (Philippians 1:9-11)

We all need a daily overflowing dose of God’s love. We all need the wisdom and discernment to not only know what is good, but even what is best. We all need Christ’s fruit of righteousness manifest in our lives that we would bring him praise and glory. We all need God’s grace and the Holy Spirit’s empowering if we are going to be pure and blameless until the coming of Christ. It’s a great prayer.

Some time ago, I printed out the prayers of Paul and began making them a regular part of my prayer life. I applied them to myself, to my congregation, to others I knew. It had a powerful impact in my life. I encourage you to do the same.

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About pastorjeffsneighborhood

Born and raised in Minnesota, I have served in churches in Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon and California. I am a graduate of Crown College (MN) and George Fox Evangelical Seminary (OR). I have also done additional graduate studies in New Testament Studies at the Center for Advanced Theological Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary (CA). I am also a graduate of the College of Prayer. Having served as the Academic Dean and Program Director at Horizon Institute of Los Angeles for several years, I have returned to the pastorate and serve as Pastor of Big Trees Community Bible Church in Arnold, CA.
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