1 Thessalonians 1
For today and tomorrow our attention is once again drawn to prayer – the means of grace God gives to us, His children.
We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. We 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.
For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.
1 Thessalonians 1:2-6
Praying for others is an amazing privilege. Praying for others facing hard times is an even greater privilege and blessing. As you read this, there’s no doubt someone on your mind and in your heart for whom this prayer is very appropriate.
- Giving thanks to God for him/her.
- Mentioning them by name before the Lord.
Giving thanks (verse 2) generally, for all people, always, forms a necessary part of praying effectively – for that is one reason we can pray. When we find it hard to pray, the least we can do is give thanks! Here, giving thanks to God for other Christians’ faith, their love, and their hope.
And then specifically to pray for those facing severe trials. Here at TCC we may not experience severe suffering as the church experienced when Paul was writing to them. But there are some individuals in our meetings who are battling – some trials are known to us, and there are some who are struggling in secret.
We thank God for them, and we continue to pray for them, who as true disciples of Christ are pressing on despite their real trials and trouble. Even in the midst of – not in the absence of – severe trials they have a joy that is given them by the Holy Spirit of God. What a testimony they are to us! Now that is something to give thanks for.
We as a church exist to know Christ and to make Him known to the ends of Tokai, Cape Town, South Africa, the World. So as we read in verse 8, that as the Gospel message is proclaimed and received with power and deep conviction, we pray that many people will turn to God from their idols to serve the living and true God until the return of Christ.
Why don’t you re-read verse 1-10 and let those words inform your prayer today for someone specifically? And because it is National Women’s Day in South Africa, why not let that ‘someone’ be a woman that you know and care for?