Sunday, July 26, 2020

Thessalonians Words ~ Day 21: Pray

Day 21: Pray

"Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

It is amazing to think that these are Paul's instructions to a church that is in the midst of severe suffering. Paul knows what they face, for he has faced on many occasions the same types of trials they have. Paul also knows that the way to bear with the suffering and to remain steadfast in the faith is to always rejoice, constantly pray, and thank God through it all. Paul is a model of this to all of the churches he writes to. His letters are full of his prayers and give us a model of how to pray for others and for the church.

In the letters to the Thessalonians alone Paul includes ten prayers. He shares how he is praying for them. He uses prayer to encourage them and build them up.  He uses prayer to urge them on and give them hope. And he uses prayer as a blessing over them. The frequency in which Paul inserts prayer in his letters gives us a model of a life devoted to prayer. It is a life that, beyond taking time continually to pray, has an attitude of prayer. A life that is totally dependent on God and looking to God at all times and in all things

"We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers. We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Thessalonians 1:2–3

"And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe. For you, brothers, became imitators of God’s churches in Judea, which are in Christ Jesus: You suffered from your own countrymen the same things those churches suffered from the Jews, who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets and also drove us out. They displease God and are hostile to all men in their effort to keep us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved. In this way they always heap up their sins to the limit. The wrath of God has come upon them at last." 1 Thessalonians 2:13–16
"How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you? Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you again and supply what is lacking in your faith. Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus clear the way for us to come to you. May the Lord 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." 1 Thessalonians 3:9–13
"May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it." 1 Thessalonians 5:23–24
"The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you." 1 Thessalonians 5:28
"We ought always to thank God for you, brothers, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing. Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring. . . ." 2 Thessalonians 1:3
"With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ." 2 Thessalonians 1:11–12
"May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word." 2 Thessalonians 2:16–17
"And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men, for not everyone has faith. But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one. We have confidence in the Lord that you are doing and will continue to do the things we command. May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance." 2 Thessalonians 3:2–5
"Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you." 2 Thessalonians 3:16
May we, also learn to live a life of prayer and become devoted to praying continually from Paul's example.

Over the weekend try going through 1 Thessalonians chapter 5 with the study method and techniques we have been learning. Next week we will begin to look at different ways we can respond to God and apply what we have discovered through study.

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