Thursday, February 02, 2006
Are we being corporately intercessional in our prayer? That's a fancy way of saying, are we, as a team, praying for the rest of the church, for the youth we minister to, and for each other. I think that is what struck me this morning as I read the first few verses of 1 Thesssalonians. Paul speaks about Silas, Timothy and him praying for the Thessalonians.
Two things that caught my eye, how often they prayed and what they prayed for.
Verse 2 says"We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers." Paul says the frequency was "always", that leads me to believe that it was not a monthly event, it seems it was probably not even a weekly event, but even more frequent than that. I can imagine Paul, Silas and Timothy praying for the church at Thessolonica whenever they gathered for ministry. It was something that was a priority in their prayer life.
In verse 3 Paul prays for three things, work, labor, and endurance. I wondered what was the difference between work and labor, so I checked Strong's Lexicon.
Work is defined as "an act, deed, thing done." Paul's prayer would have been for those thing they had done because of their faith in God. A prayer for typical ministry. We should be praying for all those serving in the church and more specifically, for the youth that serve.
Labor is defined as "intense labor united with trouble and toil." Those prayers are for actions that require some sort of sacrifice. These actions Paul says are powered by love. We should be praying for those youth and families that are struggling through tough times.
Endurance is that last thing Paul prays for. We should pray that the youth find hope in Christ Jesus which in turn will give them endurance to make it through the labors they will face.