Gather • Devotional #5: “Pray”

“As we pray most earnestly night and day that we may see you face to face and supply what is lacking in your faith?” 1 Thessalonians 3:10

One of the best gifts I was ever given was when an inmate wrote me that he fasted and prayed for me for a whole day. Most people would view him as having nothing to offer, but he regularly encourages me. He also prays for me often. I am so thankful.

Paul was praying for them “earnestly night and day.” He wanted to see them, but more importantly, he wanted them to see Jesus. He wanted their faith to grow.

I like how Acts 20:32 states it, “And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.” To commend someone to God is to pray for them. We pray for God’s best for them. We understand that God knows what is best, so we pray they would seek and follow Him.

I am regularly challenged by 1 Samuel 12:23, “Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you, and I will instruct you in the good and the right way.” We owe it to each other to be praying for each other. Not only is it a good thing, but not doing it is a sin. Part of Gatherings includes prayer. We have prayer led by the Pastor, but we should also be looking around the room to pray for each other. Take time throughout the week to pray for others.

You might be wondering, “What should I pray for them?” Paul gives a great example in Philippians 1:9-11, “And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”

Pray that their love for the Lord and others may continue to grow. Pray that they would not settle for good when God is offering excellent. Also, pray for proper living. Pray that God would protect them from the evil one. Jesus taught in Matthew 6:13, “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

“Pray without ceasing.”

1 Thessalonians 5:17

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