A Prayer for Love

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.  Philippians 1:9-11.

A knowledgeable love, one which grows in depth and understanding.  To be able to love not only God but one another with an insight given by the Spirit of Truth.  This prayer might get dismissed or glossed over when we read it because it doesn’t say anything obviously profound about the nature of God to some minds.  But it is more profound in its simplicity than many of the seemingly “heavier” doctrinal statements put together.

Paul wants for them (and so us) to grow exponentially in knowledge and depth so that their love may become richer and based on a solid reality.  Once we accomplish this task, we can discern between what is best and what is misses the mark.  These three verses are densely packed.  Truth mixed together in such a way that without the other, the one would not survive or make sense.  Yet our growth in it takes us slowly through the steps of recognizing God in new and profound ways.  The whole enchilada doesn’t just plop itself down on our plate and we just get it all at once.  That’s why it’s called “growing.”

The only way to grow our love is through knowing more about the person we’ve become interested in and catching glimpses into who they are.  Our love and respect for God and trust in Him won’t grow by itself or “naturally” because these things only increase where we know more—as we know more and understand what it is we know (two different things, believe me) we have a more informed love.  The work it takes to get to this place is pretty simple—basically hang out in His Word, with His people and submit ourselves totally to the Holy Spirit’s presence.

Knowing stuff about someone is one thing, understanding them is another.  Unless we know the “why” of a person we might tend towards a mistaken judgment of them—in which case it wouldn’t matter if we made the error on the positive or negative side, we still don’t get them.  When we don’t grasp what makes a person tick in their personality we jump to conclusions without information to back it up, which informs our conclusions about who and why they are, which then forms a judgment.

Paul’s desire for the Philippians carried an incredible weight, for he longed for them to know God not only in the Savior facet of His being but in totality.  God is multifaceted and when we get hung up on one side of His character or personality to the exclusion of others, we miss out on an opportunity to increase our love.  These things grow in tandem not in isolation, though our grasp of one might grow faster than another, depending on our gifts.  It would be like a tree growing branches without very many roots.  The higher the tree, the deeper the roots have to be to support it.  The strongest trees, however, are found in a grove or forest where their root system can mingle together and hold onto one another for support in rough weather.  Without strong roots, however, a tree falls over at the first sign of a high wind.

Through this method of love alone we find the ability to discern what is best.  Think about it:  if our love for God abounds because we know His inner workings—or His mind, then we will be able to tell the difference between what is best or not good enough.  Once our minds take on the mind of Christ, we see things from His inner vision, creating a filter by which we judge between righteousness and sin.

Paul blesses the Philippians in his prayer beyond just merely speaking words, hungering for them to know God intimately.  This should be our prayer for one another as well.


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One Response to “A Prayer for Love”

  1. tlc4women Says:

    Lord, help me to love and not form judgment!

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