9 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.

If you’ve ever questioned how you should pray for someone or even for yourself, here is a great template for our prayers. Paul lays it out for us.

First, pray that their love may abound more and more. Love is at the core of what it means to be a Christian. “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Cor. 13:13. “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Jhn 13:34-35. This love is not just a random love, it is a love that knows and understands, a love that has insight into other people’s condition and needs, it’s an others centered love.

Second, pray that they may be able to discern what is best. What more do we want for our friends than God’s best and that is what Paul is praying for here. Paul is asking that his friends won’t settle for average, that they won’t get fooled by the world into thinking the status quo is good enough. No, nothing but the best for those I love and not my best, God’s best!

Third, pray that they remain pure and blameless. We are to be in the world but not of the world. We are to live our lives in such a fashion that those who seek to discredit us will have nothing to grab hold of. Not to mention the confidence and peace that comes by living pure and blameless.

Fourth, pray that they will be filled with the fruit of righteousness. Our righteousness is not our own but we are clothed in the righteousness of Christ. Therefore, being filled with His righteousness only comes from continuing, ongoing, abiding, closeness with Christ. What a gift to pray for our loved ones. That their lives would be intertwined with Christ in daily communion with the Righteous One.

Finally, we are to pray that their lives would be lived for the glory and praise of God. That in the end, God get’s the glory for all they do and all they accomplish on this earth. By praying this for others, we are building His kingdom here on earth as well as praying for purpose and legacy for those we love.