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Praying through the book of 1 Thessalonians

Prayer is one of the most important practices in a Christians walk with God. It is primarily a way of communication with our Father in heaven. In western culture today we live a life of affluence and materialism which often results in an attitude of no need and also huge distractions which plague our time and opportunity to pray. Recently whilst reading through the New Testament epistle of 1 Thessalonians God led me to write this summary of praying through this small letter. My heart is that it will help you brother or sister to re connect with our Father in prayer by praying through His heart in this letter. When you read this epistle it is encouraging to note the theme that the Thessalonian fellowship were on the right tract in the midst of persecution. Like most of the churches planted by Paul he was only there in person for a season and then he had to leave. In the days of no internet, mobile phones, Facebook or Twitter he had no way of knowing how they were doing in the midst of persecution and only received news of them through Timothy. As you read through the epistle you also clearly see the heart concern that Paul had for these people. He truly desired them to know Jesus more and more each day and this heart felt concern was what led him to write this epistle. Interestingly this epistle is the first piece of scripture that Paul wrote in about AD 52. Two main prayer topics come out in this epistle. They are prayer for the church and prayer for church leadership.

Prayer for the church

Unfortunately prayer for the church of Jesus Christ is often lacking in our walks with Jesus. From my experience this is for two reasons. One is that often we are so self-consumed that we dont think about anyone else and also Satan knows that if pray for the church it will move forward in victory and therefore he wants to distract us from praying for the body of Christ. Its no surprise therefore if prayer for the church moves it into greater victory that in a lot of Pauls letters he brings up specific prayer topics for the body of Christ. In the book of 1 Thessalonians they are as follows: Love and faith Paul has a lot to say about the love and faith coming out of the fellowship at Thessalonica. He is thankful for it as well as encouraged by what he hears. We should pray that real love and faith grow in our local fellowships. Word of God Paul is impressed by the way that the fellowship receives the word of God.

We should pray that in our local fellowships the word of God will be received in whatever circumstance with much fruitfulness. Sexual immorality Paul has specific things to say about believers turning and abstaining from Sexual Immorality. We should pray that our churches are free from sexual immorality and that we grow to conduct ourselves in holiness, honour and purity. Life of the church In this area Paul has the most to say. What he encourages and exhorts are as follows: 1. Believers would aspire to lead quiet lives, minding their own business, working with their hands and being dependent on no one. This promotes proper conduct with outsiders. 2. Believers to be sober, putting on the breastplate of righteousness and the helmet of the hope of salvation. 3. Believers should respect the leadership of the church and esteem them highly in love. 4. Believers should be at peace among themselves. 5. Believers should warn those not prescribing to an ordered way of life, encourage the timid, help the weak and be patient with all. 6. Believers should not repay evil with no evil but seek too good to all. 7. Believers should rejoice always, pray without ceasing and give thanks in all circumstances. 8. Believers should not quench the Spirit or despise prophetic utterances but test everything holding on to what is good. 9. Believers should look to the second coming of Christ. Theres a lot there I know but I want you to think about your local fellowship and go through each of these points and see if they are being lived out within your midst. If there not we should aspire that they would and pray that the Lord would do a work to bring change because only He can do it.

Prayer for the Church Leadership

Prayer for Church leadership is again area of our prayer life that often is neglected. Many of the reasons for this are the same as mentioned earlier. How the church would grow if the leadership were prayed for consistently! God chooses to use leadership in the church because it reflects His character and His way of doing things. That is why Church leadership are a special target for Satan and why we need to as a church pray for our leaders that God may bless us through them. In the epistle of 1 Thessalonians Paul focuses on the following areas of prayer for Church Leadership: That they would preach the word of God with power, in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction not pleasing men but pleasing God. Be men who conduct themselves in righteousness, holiness and without blame.

Have a heart towards the people of God like a nursing mother and a father who encourages, exhorts and charges his children to walk in the proper way.

Appemdix: scriptural evidence

Love and Faith: 1 Thes 1:3, 3:2-3, 3:6, 3:12-13, 4:9-10. Word of God: 1 Thes 1:6, 2:13 Sexual Immorality: 1 Thes 4:3-8 Life of the Church: 1 Thes 4:11-12, 4:13-18, 5:8, 5:12-22 Church leadership: 1 Thes 1:5, 2:7-8, 2:10-12

Final note
As a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ I want to encourage you that growing in prayer is a process. Sometimes we feel like praying, sometimes we dont. It takes time but dont give up. You are a vital part of the living body of Christ and more than ever the body of Christ needs prayer. I pray this short piece blesses you and Ill leave you with one of the final verses in 1 Thessalonians found chapter 5: 1 Thessalonians 5: 23-24

Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.

God bless you Adam Quirino Maggio Oct 2013