“With this in mind, 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).
Notice that Paul did not pray for the hardship to cease. That is hard for us Westerners to grapple with. Somehow, many of our fellow believers have come to think that we should have a pain-free life. At least that appears to be the case when we hear people pray. Our thoughts are always to remove the pain and fix the situation.
Paul prayed that God would count the Thessalonians worthy, that He would fulfill every purpose He had for them and ever act of faith they attempted. Why did he pray those things? So that the name of Jesus Christ would be given glory! Paul knew that ultimately God would receive more honor, fame, and glory from His people showing grace in the midst of hardship than by removing the hardship.
Father, thank You that You know more than I do, and that you care for and love me and those I care for and love. You have purposes for me in whatever situation I walk through. Your Word says that everything works together for good to those who love You. You also say that You turn everything Satan intends for harm into a victory. Fill me with Your grace, mercy and faith so that whatever I walk through will bring glory to Your Son, Jesus. May my life be a testimony of grace to those around me, drawing those observing how I walk through suffering into Your kingdom.
–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 as the one to whom you have given your entire life. Thank him for desiring to be Lord of everything that you have and are, and for asking nothing less. Confess those parts of your life that you still hold back from God’s complete authority. Commit yourself to laying these areas before God throughout the day, looking for his help in surrendering them completely. Ask God to help you be completely devoted to him and his will (Col. 3:17).
Ask that your church’s worship be made uplifting not only by music and preaching but also by the sacrificial lives of members who have served Christ during the week (Rom. 12:1).
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