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God Has Power So We Pray

2 Thessalonians 1:11-12
With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by 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. (NIVUK)

These believers in Thessalonica were a great example of faith and love growing despite, or even because of, persecution (2 Thessalonians 1:3-4). Paul had nevertheless assured them that God would deal with their tormentors (2 Thessalonians 1:5-10). God was in command, He always is, but that fact did not allow Paul and his team to assume all would be well as they concentrated on other things. God's power was the motivation for their prayer, which was continual. They did not give up praying (Romans 1:9-10).

The first prayer was for their spiritual welfare, that they would stay close to Jesus and become the people He had chosen them to be, loving and trusting Him more and more (Ephesians 3:17-18). That kind of ongoing transformation is impossible apart from God's power. Then they prayed that God would enable every godly desire to be fulfilled, and that they would be empowered to keep on working in faith, achieving all that the Lord wanted through their actions.

The reason for praying like that was not to boost the church's ego or give them a sense of personal power and victory. Paul prayed so that the Name of the Lord Jesus would be made known in the city because of their obedient faith (2 Thessalonians 3:1). They could be confident that as they honoured Jesus Christ, so He would honour them. It was such a privilege to be working with the Lord, being His ambassadors, through tough opposition; only His grace could equip them for such a role and sustain them (Ephesians 3:7).

Some believers only pray in times of crisis, when circumstances change for the worse. Of course, we must pray then, but we must also pray for each other to continue and grow in Christ (Colossians 4:2). Yesterday's act of faith is a wonderful testimony to God's grace, but today's and tomorrow's needs our prayer and God’s power. We dare not assume that we or our friends will persevere in faith automatically, or that we are so strong that we can be 'worthy of His calling' through our own efforts. However strong our spiritual disciplines, we are weak without God's power and the prayers of His people (Ephesians 6:18). If the Apostle Paul urged believers to pray for him (Romans 15:30), how much more do we, our friends, our pastors, our missionaries need prayer? To help understand this, why not pray today for the three strongest Christians that you know? They may not advertise their struggles but they need your prayers and God's power, more than you know, to stay on track with His purpose (Hebrews 13:18).

God of power. Thank You for Your sustaining grace. Forgive me for my wrong attitude which lies behind my prayerlessness, assuming that because You are in command so I do not need to pray. Please help me to see prayer as my essential participation in Your work, in and through other believers. Please give me a fresh desire to pray so that Your power might change and sustain them, and through them You will be glorified. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams