I love Paul’s prayers! They are some of my favorite parts of his letters. You don’t find him praying about the weather (you know, those ‘no rain so we have a nice picnic’ prayers) and not too often about health needs – but always about spiritual growth and Godly matters. One example of Paul praying for the church is found in 2 Thessalonians 1:3-12. He starts out thanking God that the Thessalonian’s faith is growing MORE AND MORE. How could your pastor or a church member be able to gauge the growth of your faith – is yours growing or shrinking? How can you tell? How can others tell? Next he thanks God that their love for one another is growing. Can you say the same for your love for your brothers and sisters in Christ? How can you tell? How can others tell?
How many of you have heard people complain that God is not just – if he was He wouldn’t allow evil and trouble. I love Paul’s answer. “God IS just: He will pay back…and give relief…This WILL HAPPEN when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven.” (1:6,7) No need to question God’s justice. His clock is better than ours anyways. God IS Just.
In 1st Thessalonians Paul tells us to encourage one another with the message that Jesus is coming to earth again! 2nd Thessalonians reminds us to not be deceived, for the Man of Lawlessness – the Anti-God – will be coming too, and will deceive many who have refused to love the truth. In order to stand firm for Jesus’s return – we must be loving the truth and prepared for evil and lawlessness and deception. “So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you.” (2:15) Learn those teachings well – and cling to them – and pass them on to others.
Thank you God for your words through your servants. Help me to hear, learn, live and pass along your words and your way.