PRAYING WITH A LASER FOCUS ... I LIKE TO CALL IT "PRAY FIRST"

Ever feel like you run out of things to pray for?  Or just don’t know how to pray for those church friends or those lost friends on your CPR card?  Paul lays out some big priorities for what and how to pray that should dominate our prayer lives.  Simply put “Pray first” for those who are lost and without Christ and "Pray first” for those in the family of God that their lives would truly be focused on “Living to make Him known".  Sounds a lot like the focus of our Church vision statement…

After praising the believers in Thessalonica and taking time to give thanks for them, he gives us insight into how to pray, in the midst of persecutions, afflictions, pandemics, and uncertain times.  The church at Thessalonica was known for their perseverance, faith, and endurance in the midst of the suffering that came upon them (vs. 4).  What are you known for?  Ever have those days when you feel like you’re wearing out under the stress of this pandemic or the worries that seem to overtake our lives?  We must never forget we have a bigger purpose than just trying to survive our daily worries.

Paul reminds us in verses 7-10 that the Lord Jesus has plan for those who do not know Christ and do not obey Him.  It is the penalty of “eternal destruction” “away from the presence of the Lord”, and from the “glory of His power”.  Wow!  That’s a real place you don’t want to be.  As a matter of fact, that’s a place we don’t want anybody to be.  Paul contrasts that with what He has planned for His saints.  Jesus is coming to be “glorified in them” and “to be marveled at among all who have believed” (vs. 10).

Can we pray like Paul as he prayed for his friends, as we pray for believers and un-believers we know?  We need to desire that we would live lives worthy of our calling.  Let’s let the Lord be lifted up and gloried in us.  Try this “Pray First” prayer on for size...

11 "To this end also we a pray for you always that our God may count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power; 12 in order 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."  1 Thessalonians 2:11-12

by Pastor Jerry Hull

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