Let the Apostle Paul Pray for You
by Violet Nesdoly (reprinted with permission)
“And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ to the glory and praise of God” (Philippians 1:9-11 NIV).
Don’t you just love it when someone prays over you, and for you, the kind of prayer quoted Philippians 1:9-11? This kind of prayer lifts our sights from our concerns to how we fit into God’s big picture. It casts a vision of what we strive toward. It reminds us that we’re part of something big, glorious, and eternal.
Wes Campbell in the Introduction to the “Apostolic Prayers” chapter of Praying the Bible: The Book of Prayers says:
“Have you ever listened to a father earnestly pray for his child? In the Apostolic Prayers you find the apostles—the early fathers of the church—praying for their spiritual children. Most of the Apostolic Prayers in the Bible were written by the Apostle Paul” – p. 187.
Philippians 1:9-11 make up one of those prayers prayed by Paul over the Christians in Philippi. Campbell notes the characteristics commonly found in such prayers. He observes that Apostolic prayers are:
- “Fatherly prayers. They express what a father wants for those he has birthed and is raising in the Lord.
- Foundational prayers. As founders of the church, the apostles were setting things in order.
- God-focused prayers. They are, in fact, so God-focused that they virtually ignore the demonic host.
- Positive prayers…. Apostolic Prayers are not focused on fixing what we aren’t, but rather on fulfilling what we can be.
- Prayers for the church. They bring before God the concern of the saved whether individuals, churches or regions”
How can we make the most of these rich prayers?
“When praying these prayers for yourself, personalize them by changing the pronouns and ask that God would do these things in your own life. Then pray the exact same words over your friends and family, putting their names into the text. Do the same for your church and the other churches throughout your city or region. When you do this, you will be praying like the apostles prayed. You can even expect the same results!” – all quotes above from Wes Campbell, Praying the Bible: The Book of Prayers, pp. 187-191.
Dear God, may my love overflow more and more and may I keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. For I want to understand what really matters, so that I may live a pure and blameless life until the day of Christ’s return. May I always be filled with the fruit of my salvation—the righteous character produced in my life by Jesus Christ—for this will bring much glory and praise to God. Amen. (Philippians 1:9-11 personalized from the NLT version.)
- Learning to “Let go and let God…” (sharperthanatwoedgedsword.wordpress.com)
- Apostolic Prayers Violet Nesdoly
Violet freelances in several genres and has been published in a variety of print and online publications. Her articles, stories, and activities have appeared in Keys for Kids, Devotions for Girls, Devotions for Boys, Clubhouse, Guide, Primary Treasure, Partners, Pockets and others. She has also published two books of poetry and is an avid blogger. She is a member of Inscribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship and a professional member of The Word Guild.