"Good" Prayers

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We have a prayer list that appears weekly in our church bulletin. The church has a Facebook page dedicated to prayer requests and they pop up in other places as well. A prayer group has been formed to pray specifically for an upcoming event on the church calendar.

We pray for healing mostly. We pray that Satan would be bound and kept from “disturbing the peace.” Our prayer lives are filled with requests.

Here’s what Paul tells the Thessalonian believers that he is praying for. “...we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your 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” (2 Thessalonians 1:11, 12).

The Thessalonians were going through hard times. They were being persecuted for their faith, a faith that was recognized by others in the Christian community. Paul used this church as an example of faith, love and perseverance in the face of difficulty.

But Paul doesn’t pray that they will be relieved of the challenges. He prays that:
    1.    they will remain strong in their determination to remain faithful to God despite the challenges,
    2.    God will bring to a successful conclusion every effort they make that is rooted in faith,
    3.    that God will be glorified in them whatever happens.

Our church is preparing a Christmas musical. Within the next two weeks, we need to have this ready but our efforts have been hampered by endless challenges. Someone said last night that Satan was really working hard to prevent us from carrying this program off successfully. Another member of the choir spoke up to remind us that we needed to focus on God and not on Satan because God is the One Who is able to bring this offering of worship to a successful completion. How right she is!

The elements of Paul’s prayer so perfectly fit our situation, and every situation any of us face. Pray that:
    1.    you and I will remain strong in our determination to not lose heart and to remain faithful to what God has called us to do,
    2.    our efforts will be based, not on our own strength and ability, but on our trust in His strength and power. Then, and only then, will we have success in whatever we do,
    3.    God will be glorified in us no matter what happens.

Good prayer, Paul. Good prayer, people. Let’s pray it.

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