Praying Scripture: Philippians 1&2

And this is my prayer … Philippians 1:9

As I may have mentioned, I love to pray Scripture. I know Scripture is true (correctly translated and in context!), and in rightly handling the Word of God, we can pray powerfully.

One morning I was reviewing the book of Philippians, which I had memorized some years ago during the Scripture memory season of my life. (How that came about is another story for another day.) Today I was off to a late start, thanks to a distractible mind and lack of discipline on my part. (Not unusual – thank God for grace.) Torn between reading my Bible and praying (I didn’t have a lot of time to do both.), ever the multitasker (*eye roll*), I found myself doing both.

Making my way through the first two chapters of Philippians, this was my prayer:

Lord, I come to You as Your servant through Jesus Christ. Thank You for Your grace and peace. I know that You have begun a good work in me, and I’m confident that You will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ.

Thank You for those who have been partners with me in the gospel from the first day until now, who have shared in Your grace with me and given me so much joy. May our love abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that we may discern what is right 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 You.

Whatever happens to me, I pray that it will serve to advance the gospel. Even in suffering, let it be clear that my suffering is for You. May those who love You be encouraged through me to be more courageous and fearless as they speak Your Word.

It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of good will. Thank You for the latter, who do so in love. As for those who preach out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, Lord, You are the Judge. Even if their intention is to stir up trouble, help me still to rejoice that Your Word is being preached!

Help me to believe that everything that happens to me will turn out for my deliverance, with the help of Your Spirit and the prayers of others. May I in no way be ashamed, but have sufficient courage, so that now and always, Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. Thank You for reminding me that to live is Christ, and to die is gain! If I continue on in this body, let my labor be fruitful. I confess I am torn between the two. I desire to depart and be with You, which is (will be) better by far. But if it is necessary for others that I remain and continue with them for their progress and joy in the faith, I know that I will remain. May others’ joy in Christ Jesus overflow on account of me!

Thank You for the encouragement from being united with Christ, the comfort of His love, the fellowship of the Spirit, and the tenderness and compassion of Your people. May we always be like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.

Whatever happens, help me to conduct myself in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Help all of us to stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel, without being frightened in any way by those who oppose us. Let that be a sign to them that they are going to be destroyed (and may they repent!), but that we will be saved by You. I know it has been granted to us on behalf of Christ not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for Him, since what we go through has been experienced by other saints who have gone before us.

Help me to do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but to consider others better than myself. Help me not to look only to my own interests but also the interests of others. Give me the attitude of Christ Jesus, who did not grasp His divinity but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant in human likeness. Let me be inspired by His humility and obedience, even to death on a cross! Keep me mindful that His is the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess that He is Lord. To Him and to You, Father, be glory!

Help me to continue to work out my salvation with fear and trembling, knowing it is You at work in me to will and to act according to Your good purpose. Help me to do everything without complaining or arguing, so that I may become blameless and pure, a child of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation. Let all of Your people shine like stars in the universe as we hold out the word of life! Even if we are poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of our faith, may we rejoice and be glad, in Jesus’ name.

Amen

[The rest of chapter 2 is a personal message relating to Timothy and Epaphroditus, two of Paul’s fellow workers who seem to fit the earlier description a good servant of Christ. My only prayer as I read that passage is, “Lord, may I be like them.”]

   

22 thoughts on “Praying Scripture: Philippians 1&2

  1. You can’t go wrong in quoting Scripture while in prayer. I’ve often said short prayers while reading Scripture, but where you have it memorized, and make it your own, that’s even better! Blessings, Annie!

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  2. Love the prayer Ann. Have been trying to delve more into Praying scripture. I find it very powerful. Have not done it for the last couple of weeks even though my intention was to spend more time doing it. Your post was a reminder and an encouragement. Thank you Ann.

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  3. Oh Annie, this is beautiful. Thank you. You remind me of how Scripture came alive for me when I prayed itβ€”It was like one long, one on one walk with the Lord as I moved along through the pages and the Spirit interpreted so I could see and come to know Jesus. And morning by morning, I was so overwhelmed by it all, I wrote down everything I heard and discovered my passion for writing! ❀️

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  4. Annie, for the past six months, I’ve been hand-writing different books of the Bible and I’m currently near the completion of Philippians. I started with Proverbs, and have finished Jonah, Haggai, and Titus. It’s been an interesting discipline to try. It slows my mind enough to note things I might otherwise glide past. The practice has enriched Bible study.

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    1. Nanette, I was just thinking the other day about how the monks used to hand copy the Scriptures before there were printing presses, and I wondered what it was like to do that for hours and hours. As you say, it does allow for more attention to things you don’t notice when rushing through.

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