Some people go through life in their own strength. They are self-reliant, self-fulfilled, self-absorbed and protest against any sense of needing God’s help. Even some Christians pray little and manifest little dependence upon a Sovereign God to accomplish His will in their lives.
Not so the Apostle Paul. Prayer permeated his life and ministry. He was acknowledging regularly his God-dependence and inserted prayers of various lengths into his personal and corporate letters. I personally find prayer a tough spiritual discipline. During 2017 I have one main request from the Lord – “Teach me to pray!”
“Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus clear the way for us to come to you. May theLord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.” I Thessalonians 3:11-13
Three rather lengthy sentences, one prayer, a multitude of applications for us.
Needs in Our Ministry
- clearance to make a trip to Thessalonia
- increased love for others
- strength to be blameless and holy
- Infinite, Abundant
So let’s get to praying. Only God will clear the way for Paul and the team to return to Thessalonica.
Only God is able to give an unconditional love to us for others. Noone can ‘crank this up.’
Only God is able to strengthen character qualities of blamelessness and holiness. Naturally we are bent towards evil. Left to our own imaginations, we will perish, but God supplies what His children need. He gives us the HOLY Spirit and enables us to pursue HOLINESS (without which we won’t even see God – Hebrews 12:14)
Why not pray through 1 Thessalonians 3:11-13 for yourself, your family, your church family, specific people for whom you are investing in spiritually. You’ll be amazed at what God alone can do! He delights to answer prayer and ‘rewards those who diligently seek Him.’ (Hebrews 11:6)