2 Thessalonians 3:1-2 - Praying
2 Thessalonians 3:1-2 "Finally, our brothers, pray for us that the Lord's message may continue to spread rapidly and be received with honor, just as it was among you. Pray also that God will rescue us from wicked and evil people; for not everyone believes the message." (TEV)
For some reason tonight's scripture caused me to think back on my childhood again. As I was being brought up, I was taught various prayers needed to communicate with God. But I never could quite understand how the Lord could take the words of the "The Lord's Prayer" and come up with what I *really* wanted to talk to Him about. But since He was God he could probably read my mind.
Of course, just to be fair I wanted to say those things that *He* wanted to hear, too.......after all, I didn't want it to be all of what I wanted.
So I kind of worked out a compromise between the Lord and me. I came up with a "system" that was sure to satisfy the both of us. I'd pray a prayer I knew He liked..................then I'd talk to Him in plain language about what I wanted. This seemed to be a good system to make sure both of our needs were met.
What was missing, though, was the listening part. I'd pray using the above formula and then sit back and wait for what I prayed for to materialize. When it didn't (most of the time), I'd try another approach..........change the words up..........put a bit more push behind it..........then sit back and wait. Most of the time what I asked for never showed up.
Believe it or not, I kept this system of prayer going well into adulthood.............I'd coddle myself into thinking that with longer words...........more drama in my voice.............an appealing, totally-logical argument, that that would be all that I'd need to get the Lord to listen............and then deliver what I was asking for. But, just like before, I'd be doing all the talking...........and He'd be doing all the listening (or so I hoped)............and then most of the time I believed He'd ignore what I was asking for.
Or so I thought.
When I was taught how to listen to God speak back to me, I began to realize that He'd been there all the time trying to get me to listen. I realized that for me "saying a prayer" was not what I needed to be doing..........I needed to reach out in prayer.........seeking His Face.............seeking a connection between us. And I knew I couldn't stop until I knew the connection was made...........sometimes through an impression formed in my mind..........sometimes from a word spoken to me by a brother or sister in Christ........sometimes through some scripture.........I wouldn't stop praying until I heard from Him.
And that's what I think Brother Paul is asking above............He wants people to pray for him.............to reach out and seek the face of Almighty God........not to rattle off a prayer or two on his behalf. He wants those in the Family at Thessalonica to reach out to Jesus for Him........to protect him.........to rescue him from all the things of this world that conspire to pull him from the Lord's appointed path.
Even a man as great as my Brother Paul needed someone to pray for him...........so much more do I, a lesser man, need it too.
Love in Jesus,
"But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired." (1 Corinthians 12:18 NASB)
"Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission."
This devotional was originally posted on CCI-Devo - Daily Group Devotionals on January 19, 2004 in post #455. It was written by Jim Ross, a former United Pentecostal Church member, who attends Christian Challenge International, the sponsor of the devotional group. The devotional is the copyright of Jim Ross and is reprinted on this site by permission.
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August 23, 1997
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