Ray of Hope Shining on the Face of a Child

A daily devotion for March 10th

How To Pray

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 3:10-13

Do you ever wonder what to pray for when you, your family or your friends are going through deep struggles and sorrow? Paul reminds us in Romans 8 that at times we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit helps us. That is God's promise to us. Here we have a good example of how the Spirit helped the apostle to pray for exactly what these people needed.

There are three things about prayer we may note: First, he prayed earnestly. He did not get down beside the bed at night and say, Bless my friends in Thessalonica. Paul thinks about what these people are going through, sets the problem before God, and reminds him of his promises. He takes time to think deeply on their needs.

Second, he prays frequently. Morning and evening, whatever he is doing, his lips are moving in prayer because his heart is concerned for them. Whenever he thinks of them, he prays.

Finally, he prays specifically. He wants to see them face to face, so he laid that request before the Lord. He also wants to supply what was lacking in their faith. They needed to know a great deal more about the Christian view of life. Next, he prayed to overcome Satanic hindrance. Are you finding it difficult to get to where you want to go? Pray that God will open a way for you, either physically or spiritually, to the goal you have in mind. Jesus said, Ask and it shall be given. Seek and you will find. Knock and it will be opened(Matthew 7:7). Paul knocked on this closed door, asking that he might get back to Thessalonica. Later accounts reveal that God answered that prayer.

He then prayed that their love might increase. I meet with pastors and they often talk about how to measure a successful church, but their measure of success is often that of numbers. In the New Testament, success is gauged by how much people love each other, forgive one another, listen to one another, support and pray for one another and reach out to those in need around them.

Finally, he prays that they might continue to live righteously until the Lord comes. Paul is praying that the rest of their lives might be marked by blameless living. That does not mean sinless. Blameless means they were dealing with what was wrong, not covering it up or pretending it was not there. They dealt with it in their own hearts with the spiritual resources that God provides, and were thus enabled to turn from evil and walk closer and closer with God.

Father, I am grateful for the access you give me into your presence, and the encouragement you give to pray. Teach me to pray.

Life Application

How can Paul's prayer aid you in praying for your own family, friends and church? Use it as a guide in your intercessory prayer this week.

This Daily Devotion was Inspired by one of Ray's Messages

A Father's Joy

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