The Privilege of Prayer
Heavenly Father, I thank You for the great privilege of prayer, and the assurance that You willingly hear me.
Read 2 Thessalonians 3:1-5
 As for other matters, brothers and sisters, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you.  And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil people, for not everyone has faith.  But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.  We have confidence in the Lord that you are doing and will continue to do the things we command.  May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION
ReflectWhy is Paul confident in asking for prayer (3)?
Both Paul and the Thessalonians suffered for following Jesus. (If you want to know what Paul went through, read 2 Cor. 11:23-29.) So it is not surprising that in the final part of his letter Paul prays for the Thessalonians (5) and urges them to pray for him (1,2). Paul knew that the only way he could face and overcome persecution (in whatever form it came) was to trust God to give him what he needed. We express our dependence on God through prayer. When we pray, we are affirming that we believe God has the strength and the power to change our situation (3). When we pray, we are saying that we trust God to be good and faithful, true to his nature (3). Take another look at Paul’s prayer priorities (1,2,5). Did you notice that his concern that the message of Jesus is heard and accepted takes precedence over prayers for his own safety? And his prayer for the Thessalonians is not that they be spared the suffering, but that they would experience God’s love, whatever the circumstances, and be given the ability to endure (5). That’s a good model for our prayer priorities, too.
How do your prayers reflect concern for the acceptance of the message of Jesus? What changes might be needed?
Pray for people in your fellowship to have passion, courage and perseverance in telling others about Christ.
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