~by Randy Bushey As I suggested in Sunday’s Sermon on the Lord’s Prayer, we can pray more effectively, more deeply, and more biblically by following the format of the prayers prayed by the Apostle Paul.
Paul prays intimately, specifically, authentically and theologically. A fine example is 2 Thessalonians chapter 1.
Paul visited the great port city of Thessalonica (modern day Greece) during his 2nd missionary journey around 49 AD, and probably stayed with this fledgling church for less than a month (Acts 17). His 2 letters to the church were likely written within months – or even weeks – of each other.
He was offering encouragement to believers experiencing persecution, and was heartened by the progress they were making in living our their faith and demonstrating spiritual growth.
And so his prayer begins in verse 11:
-With this in mind, we constantly pray for you – in the prior verses, the Apostle is reminding these new believers that they were called to live holy lives in light of the promised return of the Lord Jesus. Paul’s constant concern is for the health of their spiritual walk. His point of application: when I consider what God has done for me, how could I not want to arrange the priorities, goals, purposes of my life – by the power of His Spirit – so that my life-objective is to live for Christ?
-that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfil every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith. Paul is explaining that when a Christ-follower strives to live out the Gospel, the Holy Spirit energizes that life such that our purposes begin to align with God’s purposes. Only then will I be counted worthy of His calling: His power, His purposes in my life.
-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. The result: Christ is honoured; He’s glorified in my life. In other words, the goal of every believer is for the glory of the risen Christ to be seen in our lives, in our marriages and families, in our work-lives, and in our church. And then to be reflected into this dark world.
And so Paul prays,
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 fulfil 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).
~graphic by Cheryl Empey, freeimages.com