A Passionate, Persuasive Prayer

Fifth Reformed Church, Grand Rapids, MI

READ : Philippians 1:9-11

Paul’s prayer for the Philippians in these verses is truly a “pastoral prayer.” He prays that their love may be channeled in the right direction, that they might grow in knowledge, insight, and spiritual discernment, and that their lives might reflect the life of Jesus Christ within them. His prayer reflects the fact that his letter is a pastoral letter more than a theological treatise.

The “pastoral prayer,” which is often a part of a congregation’s order of worship, includes the needs of the people. I have sometimes heard this prayer referred to as the “long” prayer. A good reminder that we pastors need to resist the temptation to go on and on in our prayers.

I used to visit a retired minister during my college years. Someone shared with me that while he was the pastor of a particular church, he once got so wrapped up in his pastoral prayer, that when he said “Amen,” his back was to the people and he was facing the choir loft. I can’t help but think that he must have been praying with the intensity and passion of Paul.

written by Jim Zinger


Father, fill us all with the “fruit of righteousness” that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of your name. Amen.