A Prayer to Grow in Christ
By Kristine Brown
“I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding.” (Philippians 1:9 NLT)
A nuisance plant in my backyard became so overgrown that it stood between the sun and the withering grass. I couldn’t put off the task any longer; I needed to do something. So I had the huge plant cut down to the ground and covered with dirt, hoping the surrounding grass would grow over where the plant once stood. I wanted the plant to be a distant memory. But before I knew it, small shoots of leaves reached up from that spot. I just could not keep the plant from growing!
It amazes me how resilient some plants can be. Once they get the nutrients needed to sustain life, they will continue growing, even in the most drastic conditions. Even if they’ve been reduced to nothing, the strong roots give them the strength to come back.
In Paul’s letter to the Philippian church, he encouraged believers to keep on growing with these words, “I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding.” (Philippians 1:9 NLT)
Much like my persistent plant, Paul knew what it took to thrive in the worst conditions. He wrote to the believers in Philippi from a prison cell. He showed them how to rely on the hope of Jesus in difficult times. He also knew they needed to keep developing strong roots by learning more about their Savior and living according to his ways.
Paul continued in verse 11 with this hope, “May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ—for this will bring much glory and praise to God.”
Our all-knowing God foresaw the adversity we would face and the suffering we would endure. So he gave us Holy Spirit-inspired words to help us grow. Paul’s letters instructed the church back then, and they still hold true for us today. Our growth matters to God.
Are difficult circumstances in life making you feel dried up and weak? Is something or someone trying to cut you down? Let’s allow today’s key verse to propel us upward. Let’s keep praying, keep reading God’s Word, and keep growing.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for giving me everything I need to grow strong in my relationship with my Savior, Jesus Christ. Without Jesus, I feel weak and withered, but I know according to your Word, “...I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13)
Forgive me for striving to do things on my own. I want my life to glorify you and point others toward your son, Jesus. The more I spend time with you, the more I will grow in knowledge and understanding of your will and your ways. Thank you for your holy Word. It is the instruction you give me for living a life that honors you. Proverbs 12:3 says, “Wickedness never brings stability, but the godly have deep roots.”
Lord, help me continue growing in Christ, so that I may develop deep roots to sustain me, even through any difficulty I face. Help me gain understanding through your Holy Spirit as I apply the truth of Scripture to my life.
In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
Photo credit: ©SalemDesign/BethanyPyle
For more spiritual growth resources, check out the 5-day email study Walking with Rahab by today’s devotion writer, Kristine Brown. You’ll find weekly encouragement to help you “become more than yourself through God’s Word” at her website, kristinebrown.net. Kristine is the author of the book, Cinched: Living with Unwavering Trust in an Unfailing God, and the companion workbook.
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Originally published Friday, 05 August 2022.