“Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you again and supply what is lacking in your faith. Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus clear the way for us to come to you” (1 Thessalonians 3:10-11).
Have you ever noticed that with some believers you just know that they are growing in their faith, but with others, you do not see signs that their walk with God is going anywhere? What makes the difference?
Certainly some do not have a strong desire to grow. They have made some commitment to Christ, but it does not go deep enough to radically shape the way they live. But many believers simply have not had any real encouragement to grow. No one has ever come alongside them to mentor or disciple them. I bet most believers who are active in their faith have at points in their lives had people encouraging them and challenging them in their walk with Jesus. Someone modeled what a vibrant faith looks like for them.
Paul did that for his converts. People up and down Asia Minor who were in the churches planted by Paul grew because of Paul’s personal interest in them. Paul prayed regularly for them. And he prayed that God might grant him a way to touch their lives personally again.
What about you? Are you actively praying for ways to mentor a fellow believer? No matter where you are in your faith’s journey, no matter what is lacking in your knowledge of Jesus Christ, someone could use your encouragement. Someone is not as far along as you! Why not begin to pray for that person? Then look for ways to encourage, sharpen, and challenge him or her in the faith. Become a mentor like Paul.
Father, I lift up ____________________to You right now. I know he (or she) has a heart for You, but lacks a drive or desire to go deeper. I pray that You would give him a greater hunger and passion to know You. Draw him to Yourself, O Lord. Show me ways that I might be an encouragement to him in his walk with You. I am willing, if You would open the door, for me to mentor ____________________. Just show me the action I should take. Amen.
–Adapted from Praying like Paul (Learning to Pray the Kingdom for Those You Love) by Jonathan Graf. This resource is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount on the book.
Praise “God, from whom all blessings flow!” Thank him for making his blessings available to you in Christ Jesus. Confess that you are spiritually poor in yourself. Commit yourself to gratitude to God for replacing your poverty with all the treasures of “the kingdom of heaven” (Mt. 5:3). Ask for a renewed appreciation for this tremendous, gracious exchange.
Pray for those caught in addictions to drugs, sex, self-reliance, etc., to admit that they are powerless to overcome these evils by themselves. Ask God to use you this week to point at least one person to him and his resources.
“Prayer becomes a battleground where we wrestle with what it means to live God’s life in the world.” —Maxie Dunnam
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