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 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
What images come to your mind when you hear the term, “Prayer warrior?” I personally think of some sort of Rambo-like person with steely-eyed resolve, eye black on, who fearlessly runs before the Lord on behalf of another. It’s a funny image, but I don’t know if it is all that far from the truth on a spiritual level. Though I realize the greatest prayer warriors are just ordinary people on their knees before God, this image reminds me of the intentionality they have when they pray for others.
I am honored and humbled by the fact that some of my friends view me as a prayer warrior. They know, no matter what time of day it is, that they can send me a prayer request, and I will be on my knees for them immediately. Honestly, this is a deep privilege and joy for me. I can think of no better way to love those in my circles then to stand beside them before our Father in prayer. I think this is not only the mark of a good friend, but Biblical as we “rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep,” and to “bear each other’s burdens.”
Paul’s love for the Philippian church abounded through his prayers. In verses 9-11 of chapter 1, Paul pours out his heart before the Father on behalf of Philippi. This was not a distracted or wimpy sort of prayer, but one that had teeth. It petitioned the Father for spiritual growth, deep understanding, a desire to see them live blameless lives, and for them to live a life that pleased God through the development of righteous character in their lives. Paul prayed this way because his love and appreciation for Philippi was deep, rooted, and sure.
In our circles, how does our love manifest itself? How does our love abound for those in need? Do we pray for those we love? Are those prayers detailed and intentional, or more passive? There is no shame here, only an opportunity to grow in our love of God and others.
This week, though you may not feel your prayers are polished—that’s okay, choose one person to intentionally lift before the Lord daily. Check in with this person, if possible, and see how God has been working in them. Make special note of how this discipline also transforms you.
By Sheila Rennau