Almost 2,000 years ago Paul traveled around telling people the amazing story of what God had just done for them through Jesus. As people listened and believed, a community of Christ-followers was born in the cities he visited.
Though he longed to be with these people he had grown to love, Paul was not able to stay in any of these cities for very long due to God leading Him to other cities and to his times in prison. But while he was away from them, he continued to pray for them. In his first letter to the “church” in Thessalonica (3:2-13), Paul tells us three things that he prayed.
Since I studied this passage in recent weeks, these three things have become a huge part of my prayer life – for my family and for our previous “church families” in Agoura and Phoenix.
Pray that their faith would be strong.
Life is hard. The truth of who God is and what He has done for us is ridiculed in this fallen world. And those who choose to believe will be persecuted. We need to be praying that Christ-followers will stand firm in the truth and that their faith will strengthen and encourage them.
Pray that they will love others well.
As followers of Jesus, God wants our lives to show His love to the world around us in practical ways, every day. He wants us to love each other within God’s family, and He also wants us to love those around us who are far from God. Those things are easy to say, but not so easy to do. But it’s really important to God and His plan for this world! So we need to be praying that God will help us live lives of love.
Pray that they will walk worthy – blameless and holy.
God wants us to do our best to avoid sin. He’s not saying we should stay away from sinful people. He’s saying that every sin is a choice we make, and He wants us to choose to say no to sin. It’s interesting that in Thessalonians He also says that it’s weak hearts (emotions) that get us into trouble with sin. So we need to be praying that their hearts will be strengthened so they will know and do what is right.
These are three great things for us to be praying for our spouses and kids and grandkids and fellow followers of Jesus. I know I would love it if people were praying all this for me!
by Bernice Gudgel