In ministering to the Thessalonians, the Apostle Paul prayed for three specific requests that serve to show us how we ought to pray for others (1 Thessalonians 3:10-13).
First, he prayed that their faith might mature (v.10).
The faith of Christians never reaches perfection; there is always need for adjustment and growth. Faith that cannot be tested cannot be trusted. God tries our faith, not to destroy it, but to develop it.
Second, Paul prayed that their love might abound (v.12). When I counsel young couples in preparation for marriage, I often ask the man: “If your wife became paralyzed three weeks after you were married, do you love her enough to stay with her and care for her?” True love deepens in times of difficulty; shallow romance disappears when difficulties appear.
But true Christian love is shown not only to believers, but also “toward all men” (v. 12). We love one another, but we also love the lost and our enemies. Abounding love must not be bound. It must be free to expand and touch all people.
Paul’s third request was for holiness of life (v. 13). The expected return of Jesus Christ should motivate the believer to live a holy life. Paul’s prayers for his friends were not careless or occasional. He prayed “night and day.” True prayer is hard work.
Verse for today: “Epaphras … is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured” (Colossians 4:12, NIV).
Other Scripture: Luke 18:1-7; 22:44; Romans 8:26; Ephesians 6:18.
Action assignment: Try to pray fervently for five minutes.
WARREN W. WIERSBE