Philippians 1:9-10 (NLT)
9 I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. 10 For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ�s return.

Paul often shared his prayers with those he prayed for. Here Paul tells the Philippians that he has prayed their love will overflow and they will grow in knowledge and understand of the Lord�s love for them. His desire is to see them live their lives in an honorable and blameless way.

The Apostle Paul spent roughly one-quarter of his missionary career in prisons. John McRay wrote in Christian History:

Roman imprisonment was preceded by being stripped naked and then flogged�a humiliating, painful, and bloody ordeal. The bleeding wounds went untreated as prisoners sat in painful leg or wrist chains. Mutilated, bloodstained clothing was not replaced, even in the cold of winter.

Most cells were dark, especially the inner cells of a prison, like the one Paul and Silas inhabited in Philippi. Unbearable cold, lack of water, cramped quarters, and sickening stench from few toilets made sleeping difficult and waking hours miserable. Because of the miserable conditions, many prisoners begged for a speedy death. Others simply committed suicide.

In settings like this, Paul wrote encouraging, even joyful, letters and continued to speak of Jesus.

[Elesha Coffman, Christian History Connection (6-1-02), from Christian History (issue 47)]

Imagine praying for others that their love will abound while confined to the horrible conditions of prison. It would be hard enough to find strength and desire to love under the misery Paul was exposed to, but he depended on this knowledge and understanding of Christ�s love for him to live his life and encourage others no matter what problems he faced.

We should all be like Paul, praying for people, encouraging others, motivating them to love, no matter what problems were present. Maybe if we did we would find our own burdens a little lighter knowing we helped someone else.