Wednesday, March 25th

“Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus direct our way to you.  And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we abound in love for you.  And may he so strengthen your hearts in holiness that you may be blameless before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.”  1 Thessalonians 3:11-13

 

Whenever we open a New Testament letter, it is hard to remember that we are actually reading a letter.  A piece of correspondence.  A word from a friend to a group of friends.  We so quickly categorize it into something holy, strange, mysterious and unapproachable that we sometimes miss its humanity.

 

Paul was a real person.  The nameless Christian community in Thessalonica included people who had Paul over for dinner, who hosted Paul in their homes, who sat in circles with Paul as they said their prayers together.  There were children in their company who had sat on Paul’s lap.  They laughed together.

 

When Paul heard troubling news from Thessalonica about the health and well being of his friends, he sent Timothy to visit them.  Paul expresses real joy and comfort in having heard from Timothy that all was well, despite the persecutions and troubling times they had endured.

 

And now, in these verses, even as he is writing a letter to them, Paul prays for his friends in Thessalonica.  He prays to see them again, that their love may increase and that God might strengthen them in their Christian walk.

 

We say it all the time…”I’ll pray for you.”  Sometimes we actually do it.  And when we pray on behalf of our friends, on behalf of those whom we may or may not know, we are doing the very thing that Paul was doing.  We are expressing our unity with those that God loves, our common dependence on the God who gives us life.

 

When we pray, we are acknowledging that we do not do life on our own.  When we pray, we are coming to God as children would to a loving father.  We are casting ourselves at the feet of a power greater than ourselves, trusting that we are heard, and that God’s will be done.

 

Let us pray:  Dear Lord, thank you for the gift of knowing you, knowing we can depend on you and knowing that we can lay our hearts before you.  Thank you for the gift of prayer – encourage us to come to you in all times, with all things, rather than suffering through life alone.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

 

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