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The Leader’s Prayer

I’m continuing to post about Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonian church. He’s been very encouraged by the reports he heard about their strong walk with the Lord. It’s Paul’s desire to visit them again in the future.

Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you again and supply what is lacking in your faith.
1 Thessalonians 3:10

According to Paul, it’s his constant, earnest, prayer that he would see them again. But I want you to notice that it’s not just about friendship. As great as their Christian walk is now, the apostle wants to see them increase their effectiveness.

They may be strong in their faith, but they’re not perfect. Paul wanted to spend the time necessary to impart what they need. It’s interesting to see that he included an example of how he’s praying for them.

Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus clear the way for us to come to you. May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.
1 Thessalonians 3:11-13

There are three specific things that Paul is praying about. First – he wants the Lord to open up a way for him to return to Thessalonica.

This is an important truth. I don’t decide what I want to do for God. My schedule doesn’t belong to me. My time is the Lord’s and I use it as He directs. Paul wanted to be in the center of God’s will; hoping that it would lead him back to this church.

The second request that Paul prayed about, was that their love would increase. He already commended them on the fact that their faith and love were actively seen. Now Paul wants their love to increase to the point where it’s overflowing.

This is something that should be a prayer of our heart. This overflowing love literally means that you have excess or too much love than there are people to share it with. When you operate at this level, you’re truly walking in the love of Christ.

The final prayer that Paul has for this church is that their hearts would be established, immovable, and set fast in one direction. In that way he would know that they were able to go the distance in their faith.

That should be the desire of our hearts as well. That we stand strong in all the will of God.

I want to hear those words, “Well done, good and faithful servant,” when I come before the throne of the Lord. To do that, I must have a heart that’s firmly established in Christ. No looking to the right or left. Never wondering what I may be missing out on in the world.

This prayer of Paul is even more important to serve as an example to us as church leaders. We need to have a heart for our people. It’s not just about teaching and preaching to them. Our desire should be for them to grow in maturity and to be able to stand strong in the Lord.

Never lose your vision for others; for their strength and establishment. Make that your prayer, just like the apostle Paul. Be a leader who sees their people through the eyes of Christ.

Question: What prayers do you bring before God for those in your care?

© Nick Zaccardi 2017

 
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Posted by on June 14, 2017 in Leadership, Ministry, Prayer, The Church

 

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The Love Prayer

Ephesians 3:17b-19
…And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

In this verse Paul is letting us in on a prayer that he frequently sent up to God.  It is an interesting prayer because in it Paul is praying for power.

A prayer for power – I’ve heard a lot of those.  God’s people are always praying for power.  We want the power for healing and miracles.  We want the power of the Lord to increase our finances and give us influence with those in authority.  We all want the life changing, victorious power of the Holy Spirit to be at work in us.  What exactly was Paul’s desire for the power of God to do in their lives?

It is actually something that I never hear the modern church pray for in regards to power.  He wanted the supernatural power of God so that they could grasp the love of God.  That is how absolutely beyond our experience this love is.  It takes the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit to grasp it.

So, in short, I cannot love God without knowing God. (God is love)  I cannot know God and His love without His power at work in me.  He has to reveal His love to me.  Why is that so important?

Paul is clear as to why he wants them to know God’s love in a supernatural way.  So that they may be filled with the fullness of God.  Another interesting thought…I have heard many believers pray for the fullness of God’s power in them.  Yet, I never heard them pray for the power to understand and know His love.  Maybe that’s why the church in America is not where it should be.  We want power without love.

Christ is our example.  Power and love in perfect unity and balance.  That is what we must seek.  Press in to the power.  Seek the power to grasp the love of God.  Only then will you be truly equipped to walk in the fullness of what God has for you.

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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Mountains

Isaiah 54:10
Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you.

They seem so powerful, so enduring.  Their immense size and lofty construction give us the idea that they will last forever.  Yet a viewing of the pictures of the Mount St. Helens tragedy illustrates how even a mountain can crumble at any time.

We, as human beings, tend to be impressed very easily.  We are quick to use labels such as “always”, “never”, and “forever.”  We seem to apply these to the most inappropriate parts of life – governments, economies, relationships, and so many other man-made institutions.  The events of September eleventh proved the foolishness of that kind of thinking.

Don’t fall into the trap of assigning eternal value to temporary things.  In spite of all this, there is a stable place in the world.  Even though the seemingly unshakable can topple, God’s love, His covenant, and His compassion will never fail.  They are established, eternal, and unshakable.

Meditate on the Lord’s faithfulness today.  Give Him praise for His unchanging and unwavering love – that love which reaches down to us at our point of need.  Spend time in the presence of the Eternal One today.  Receive from Him what you need to be established in your way.

 
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Posted by on March 2, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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