What To Pray For
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. Philippians 1:9-10
When Paul prays for his friends in the town of Philippi, he prays that they would know what is best. That's because there are a lot of options. That's because Paul knows that some options are better than others. And that's because Paul, I suspect, also knew that virtually all paths forward have downsides; he prayed for the best option, not for the perfect option after all.
What interests me most about Paul's prayer is that he doesn't just pray for knowledge about what to choose. Instead, he grounds his prayer in something utterly different: that our love would abound. I think he's writing about experiencing God's love and then living out of that love - that's the path to true clarity in our lives. I wonder if that's because Paul knew that whatever path we take will always be filled with pitfalls and deadness and conflicts - so if we wait till the end of the road to love, then we will have missed out on the "life that is truly life" (1 Tm 6:19).
On this Thanksgiving week, as you face the complicated relationships and situations that come with the holidays, ask God to fill you first with love, and then with clarity about how to manage everything that comes your way. And if you only have time for one prayer, pray for love!