I love the spiritual activity of prayer, especially when I am with other believers who also love to pray. We learn much through listening to believers opening their hearts to the Lord.
I think one of the greatest prayers found in Scripture is the one in John 17. There the Lord's heart is seen as He seeks grace from the Father for His people. The glimpse into Jesus' heart found in that prayer is magnificent and teaches us much concerning what we should seek from the Father for ourselves and other members of Christ's body.
Places like Ezra 9, Nehemiah 9, and Daniel 9 record great prayers that fill us with instruction in the grand art of holy praying.
As you read today's verses and see what Paul wanted so passionately for the Christians in Philippi are you able to say, "This is what I long for in my own life." Are you that kind of Christian who pursues the knowledge of God? Do you seek diligently to live the holy, Christ-like life? Is it your goal in life to bring glory to your Creator through the way you live life here in this broken world?
These things ought to be foremost in our minds on a daily basis. Yes, we need our daily bread and the Lord Jesus taught us to pray for it, we need forgiveness for our many sins no doubt. However, I think this prayer of Paul transcends all other petitions and gathers them up into what Paul refers to here.
Today seek to pray for the things in our verses and pray for them earnestly, knowing this is the desire of your heavenly Father's heart. Yes, listening to others pray is rich and instructive and the Bible has many prayers waiting for you to pray.
Try one from the Psalms such as Psalm 51 if you need to make special confession of sin. Or Psalm 121 if worship is the theme of your prayer. Psalm 91 is a great Psalm when you need to sense the Lord's power protecting you from your spiritual enemies. On it goes in the Bible as we seek out prayers to pray on various occasions.
Prayer is the breath of God in man, Returning whence it came;
Love is the sacred fire within, And prayer the rising flame.
It gives the burdened spirit ease, And soothes the troubled breast;
Yields comfort to the mourners here, And to the weary rest.
When God inclines the heart to pray, He hath an ear to hear;
To him there’s music in a groan, And beauty in a tear.
The humblest suppliant cannot fail To have his needs supplied,
Since He for sinners intercedes, Who once for sinners died.