I saw references to the book of Philippians in Love’s Blog. I selected verses 1 to 10 because they seemed to deal with how you should pray, something I was never good at, at least as far as I could tell.
Philippians 1 verses 1 to 10 (King james version)
1 Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with all the bishops and deacons:
2 Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and form Lord Jesus Christ.
3 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,
4 Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy.
5 For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now;
6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath began a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
7 Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both of my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace.
8 For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ.
9 And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgement;
10 That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ.
My google research indicates this book is a letter by Paul to the Chrsitians of Philippi.
verses 1 to 5 talks about giving thanks to God in every prayer and “always offering prayer with joy.”
With my Christian friends I can see they give thanks to God for all they have. I am not sure that prayer is always offered “in joy”.
My perception is that prayer may often be done to reach out to God for understanding more than to simply express joy in being with him. Joy may be more often the by product of prayer rather than the reason for it.
That was certainly the case with me. I did not feel joy when praying. Joy wasn’t an emotion I had much experience with as a teenager.
I can understand that prayer should be to simply express joy with God, and thankfulness for what he has given us, not asking something of him. Joyful prayer is purely an expression of love of God.
verse 6 – Paul is confident that God “who began a good work in you” will perfect it.
All that is being asked is to love God. All that is needed is to trust God. It isn’t necessary that you understand his guidance only that you show your love of him in following it.
verses 7 &8 – Even though Paul has been imprisoned he holds his jailers in his heart. “You all are partakers of grace with me.” “As God is my witness, how I long for you all with the affections of Christ Jesus.”
I think a good test of your faith in God is can you love your jailers. To me Paul is saying that if you can, than in time your jailers will find love in their hearts for you.
verses 9& 10 – Paul prays that “your love may abound” “in real knowledge and discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless.”
The dictionary says discernment means – “the quality of being able to grasp and comprehend what is obscure.”
Some knowledgeable Christian will have to explain to me what discernment means in this context. I am also not clear on what blameless means in “in order to be sincere and blameless.”
EDIT – I see that when I prepared my post I got my bible versions mixed up. My question about the meaning of “blameless” and “discernment” comes from the New International version:
“9And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ,”