On a general note all of Paul's heart, mind and soul pants after the expansion of God's kingdom on the earth. He lived and died for the gospel. He shouted in 1 Corinthians 9:16, '...yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel'. This was more than an addictive passion for the Lord, it was a 'deathly passion' to see God's kingdom come and his will done on the earth. It is natural that a man with such passion will have much of His prayers filled with intercessions for the express manifestation of God's power on the earth!
Scripturally I have only seen in just one place where Paul prayed for himself. In other places he asked to be prayed for by the saints, but personally the only recorded place in scripture where Paul talked about his personal prayer point was in 2 Corinthians 12:7-9 where he besought the Lord to take away the thorn in his flesh, but God told him, "my grace is sufficient for thee". Other than this place all of Paul's prayer was always filled with statements like, "I always make mention of you in my prayers...” It was always about God, His Kingdom, and His people. This is the heart of the man that the world still celebrates today. We can have that same heart and prayed what Paul prayed for. On our knees, we can bring the world to its knees! For the church upon its knees will bring heaven upon the earth!
So let's look at one of Paul's powerful prayer point that we can all pray today. It is a prayer for an increase in spiritual knowledge! For increase in spiritual knowledge of the lord will lead to increase in faith, power, and improve our intimacy with the Lord. Now, if Philippians 3:10 can be regarded as one of the prayers of Paul then it was about spiritual knowledge. He cried out, "that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection". Now checking scriptures you will get to see how much emphasis Paul placed on spiritual knowledge and how much he prayed for its increase in our lives.
KNOWLEDGE OF THE LORD
First, he prayed that we might increase in the knowledge of the Lord. Ephesians 1:17 says, 'That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him'. Putting it more succinctly in Colossians 1:10 he prays for many things but also for an increase in the knowledge of God, specifically he said: "and increasing in the knowledge of God"!
KNOWLEDGE OF HIS WILL
Secondly, Paul prayed for an increase in the knowledge of His will - God's will for our lives. For the more we walk in this will the more we walk close to perfection for we do nothing but as God has willed and purposed! What a wondrous life that would be. In the Colossians 1 that we read earlier in verse 9, He prayed, "For this cause, we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;". God's will covers every areas and gamut’s of our lives and when we are filled with such knowledge we walk worthy of the Lord!
KNOWLEDGE OF HIS LOVE
In Ephesians 3: 17-19 Paul also prayed that we might also increase in the knowledge of God's love. And this is important. For when we comprehend the length, the breadth and depth of God’s love we will worry less about our lives for we will know the one who made us cares perfectly for us! When we understand the depth of God’s love we will experience the fullness of God! For God is love!
"That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God." (Ephesians 3:17-19).
And there are other areas of knowledge, spiritual knowledge, that Paul prayed for the church that I will just mention in passing.
- He prayed that we might know THE HOPE OF HIS CALLING, increase in that knowledge - Ephesians 1:18
- He prayed that our eyes will be OPENED TO KNOW THE RICHES WE HAVE IN CHRIST - Ephesians 1:18, Philemon 1:6
- And that we might also KNOW HIS POWER - Ephesians 1:18-19
Paul expounded through his prayers the increased knowledge of the Lord in about six ramifications. We can pray that same prayer today: pray for an increase in KNOWLEDGE OF THE LORD, HIS WILL, HIS LOVE, HIS HOPE FOR US, HIS RICHES AND HIS POWER! Now I need all this in my life!
Now If you look carefully you will see that all of this knowledge we can gain as we open the word of God. We can access this diverse knowledge of God by opening his word and reading God’s word. Paul knows this quite alright but still pray for revelation knowledge because Paul knew this one thing: we can open the word without the word opening to us! When you open the word it is information, when the word opens to you it is revelation! Revelation is the key to God’s knowledge!
This is why Paul was praying that the Holy Spirit will open the word to him so that through the pages of the word he will be able to increase in the knowledge of the Lord, His will, love, hope, riches, and power for his life! Paul knows the mysteries of God can only be accessed by the Spirit of God! (1 Corinthians 2:9-10, Ephesians 3:1-6). And we access God's Spirit through prayers. Proverbs 1:23 says to turn to God, pray, and then God's Spirit will be poured out and consequently God's word will be made known to the saints!
Without prayers, we don't have access to the Spirit of God and without the Spirit of God, we don't have access to the diverse knowledge of God!
Thank God for Bible commentaries and expositions, but the spiritual commentaries and expositions of the Holy Spirit is what brings us to insights and revelations in the word! For we have an anointing from the Holy one and that anointing can teach us all things(1 John 2:21,27). We must, however, stir up that anointing on our knees as we pray like Paul did!