There is something uniquely encouraging and powerful about the prayers Christ and the Apostles prayed for the church and followers of Christ. Those prayers don’t have a shelf life and to realize in the eternal church of God these prayers apply to you and I in the present day.
One of the most notable of these prayers is the “High Priestly Prayer” of Jesus found in John 17:1-25 but as I’ve been reading Philippians I keep returning to the Apostle Paul’s powerful prayer at the beginning of this letter written from prison,
“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
That your love may abound more and more
Which love is he referring to? All of them. If we speak about love for one another then we are also speaking of our love for Jesus, for our sincere expressions of brotherly (horizontal) love are born only thru authentic love for our Redeemer (vertical). But it is also true that for me to have love abound I have to feel loved.
For me personally, this is where I often interrupt this cycle. I too easily focus on my own failures and listen to the whispers of the Evil One, “you are unlovable.” I feel unworthy and unacceptable and the fruit is frustration and lack of fellowship (vertical and horizontal, again these are always connected). To combat lies you must expose them to truth. The truth is
"but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
When I’m convinced that I’m unlovable then I’m wrongly denying the power of Christ. I’m unworthy of love but being loved is based on who He is, not who I am.
If my love should abound more and more then:
- I need to return mindfully to the Cross of Christ and see his love demonstrated to me. His life, his willing sacrifice, his resurrection, and ongoing involvement in my life are proof that I am loved.
- Next I need to repent of the sin that is choking my fellowship with him and ask for a fresh view of Christ. When you see Him as he is you cannot help but confess, worship, and obey. Just ask Isaiah – Isaiah 6:1-8
- Lastly, when I’m walking in the center of His love and daily worshipping and seeking Christ (note that this ability and desire are both a gift of God, not something we conjure up out of our own ability) then I will naturally love those around me.
It’s a beautiful circle of love abounding more and more. From Him to me, from me to Him, and through me to others.
For from him and through him and for him are all things.
To him be the glory forever! Amen. Romans 11:36
Lord help my love abound for you. Remind me how much you love me. Forgive me for my doubting and help my unbelief. Wash me so I can simply sit in the midst of your love and return it to you and then pass it on.