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May 27 | 2 Thessalonians 3:1-5


 

DAILY READING


 

REFLECTION


Prayer and Gratitude

by Pr. Dave Mann


Paul’s relationship with his fellow believers is flavored by an attitude of gratitude.  First of all, Paul often writes about his prayers for the recipients of his letters.


  • Romans 1:8

  • 1 Corinthians 1:4

  • Ephesians 1:15-16

  • Philippians 1:3

  • Colossians 1:3

  • 1 Thessalonians 1:2

  • 2 Thessalonians 1:3

  • Philemon 1:4


Paul also exhorts the readers to pray to the Lord on his behalf and for the ministry of the gospel. There are too many references to list them all in this limited venue, but it would be a worthy project to put together a list of times that Paul expresses thanksgiving and requests prayer. Nevertheless, here are references just in the short letters to the Thessalonians which reflect Paul’s prayerful attitude of gratitude. Despite beatings, imprisonments, and difficulties, Paul’s life is marked by gratitude and prayer.

 

  • 1 Thessalonians 2:13

  • 1 Thessalonians 3:9-10

  • 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18

  • 1 Thessalonians 5:24-25

  • 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12

  • 2 Thessalonians 2:13

  • 2 Thessalonians 3:1-2

 

Verse 1 of today’s text is one of many references where Paul asks for prayer. Paul depends on the prayer support from the Thessalonians so that the Word of the Lord might spread rapidly and be honored just as it was among them. This request is not just a pleasantry that is written to be generally polite. This is a necessity in the spiritual warfare that comes with the territory of gospel ministry.

 

As we read in verses 2 and 3, there is resistance against the gospel. There are evil and wicked people, as well as the evil one himself. They do not want the message of Christ to spread. This is just as true in the 21st century as it was in the 1st century. We should not be surprised to encounter evidence of anti-Christ behavior.

 

What is our reaction to this combat? Look at the bookends of today’s passage – verse 1 at the start and verses 4-5 at the conclusion. First, we pray. The battle begins on our knees. And at the conclusion, we have will confidence that God is at work and that he will effect his will through the body of Christ. God will cause his church to be obedient to his word – to do now and to continue doing in the future what he commands. It is not always easy. That is why Paul urges the Thessalonians to be directed by God’s love and to continue in Christ’s perseverance.

 

May our lives be marked similarly.


PRAYER

Lord God, I pray that you would work by your Holy Spirit in my life, that I might be marked by prayer and gratitude. When I meet up with resistance to God’s work, may your love and perseverance strengthen my resolve, in Jesus’ name, Amen.





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