Thankful for His Word!

“And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.” 1 Thessalonians 2:13

Paul is grateful for and is commending the Thessalonians in this short prayer for their belief in the word. Apparently, the Thessalonians did not have to be won over, but they were ready when they heard the word from Paul. They believed it, and received it and accepted it readily. They in essence made Paul’s job easy. 

This may seem like a small thing but it truly is not. Just look around today and you will see. Many people who aren’t believers just think of the Bible, the word of God, as just a book. We as believers know that it is so much more. Just like this verse from Hebrews says, 

“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12

The Bible is as alive today as it was thousand of years ago when first penned. These prayers and these letters that Paul wrote to his churches are as relevant to us today as they were back then. That is one way that we can know that the word of God is alive. The word of God is powerful, it is active, it teaches and rebukes and comforts and gives peace. We can check what we do back to it, we can check the guidance we feel that we are receiving back to it. When we feel that God is leading us in a certain direction, going back to the word is always a good place to start when trying to figure it out. God will never lead contrary to His word. If we feel God is leading us to do something or to think in a particular way and we find something in God’s word that does not support it, we can know that it is not of God. If we find scripture to support it, we can keep walking toward it. Always, always, always when you feel God speaking to you or leading you in a direction and you want to be sure, check it back to God’s word first. 

These Thessalonians heard the word from Paul and the word took root in them and they believed, and the word of God was at work in them. As we read and as we study scripture the word can’t help but be at work in us too. I am not saying that my human nature and human frailties do not get the better of me sometime. In fact, they do quite a lot. But when I am in the word as I should be, the Holy Spirit does its work in me and convicts me quickly of the things that I do that go against His word. 

This verse also makes me think of Jesus’ teachings in his parable of the sower. 

“And he told them many things in parables, saying. ‘A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear.’” Matthew 13:3-8

I pray that God’s word will take root in my heart and my mind and will produce good grain! I pray the same for you. I am grateful for His word that is living and active in my life and I praise Him for what He does with His word in your life as well! 


A Prayer of Thanksgiving

“We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.” 1 Thessalonians 1:2-5

Paul founded the church in Thessalonica during his second missionary journey. However, he was only there a very short time before being run out of town by his enemies. But the Thessalonian Christians believed and therefore the church was alive and active. This is one of Paul’s first letters to one of his churches. Paul typically did not travel alone on his missionary journeys but when he worked he usually had a team. 

When Paul prays this prayer for the Thessalonians he was also not alone. He says “We give thanks” and it is also good to note that he says, “constantly mentioning”. In the past, before I started studying the prayers of Paul, I always thought of them as long poetic prayers. I had read them, but had not really paid attention, I guess. However, as we have been studying, it is clear that Paul did not necessarily have long drawn out prayers that were meant to be read poetically as much as the fact that they were concise and consistent. I think we get so caught up in the how, why and where of our prayer life. Or at least I used to for sure. What is most important is not the how or the where. It is the why and well, just that we do it. I heard this the other day, God doesn’t care as much that we read our bible as He does that we pray. Prayer is our conversation with God. Now don’t get me wrong I love reading and studying my Bible, but what is birthed from my reading is this conversation that I have with God all day long. I don’t believe that Paul made sure he was in a certain posture with his hands folded every time he prayed as much as I think Paul had an ongoing conversation with God, consistently! 

When Paul was mentioning the Thessalonians in his prayers he made mention of their “work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope”! These also seem to be common themes in many of Paul’s prayers. He recognized that the Thessalonian Christians had a true faith and that it produced love in them and their love produced hope in Jesus. That is the way our Christian lives work, as our faith grows so does our love for our fellow man and in turn it produces hope in Jesus! And that is a hope that will not fail us! 

One other thing that Paul points out to the Thessalonians is that they were loved by God and that they were chosen by God. The Thessalonians were among the first Gentiles to fall into that category. But thankfully they were not the last! Paul is praying that they will remember that, that they will remember that they are loved by God and chosen by God. We are too, we are loved by God and we were chosen by God and we were meant to live from that place,  

I pray the same for you my friends. I pray that as we go about this day that we will live from a place of being His Beloved and remembering that He chose us! If you are found in Christ today, you are adopted into the family of God! And for that I am grateful! 


Prayer for our Daily Walk

“And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 1:9-13

This is actually a continuation of yesterday’s prayer, but I felt this part of the prayer was so rich, it deserved its own day. This is a great prayer to pray for someone you know who has struggled in darkness, or to pray for your spouse, or for your children, or maybe for a baby christian you know who is growing in Christ. 

Paul was praying for the Colossian Christians that they would be filled with the knowledge of his will, in ALL spiritual wisdom and understanding. He wanted their knowledge of Jesus to grow so that they would know what the will of God was for them. Isn’t that what we want for all Christians, isn’t that what we want for ourselves? To know the will of the Father. Paul was basically saying as your knowledge of Jesus grows, your knowledge of His will for you will grow and as those grow, your Christian walk will be a walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, and you will be pleasing to him. 

We often hear, how do I know God’s will for my life, and oh, how I have felt that many times myself. The fact is, as you spend time with Him, daily giving your life over to Him, then His will for your life will unfold for you. I can look back over my life and realize that the times when I couldn’t hear God’s voice or feel His guidance in my life was when I wasn’t growing in my knowledge of Him. I wasn’t working on my end of wisdom and understanding which is basically I wasn’t spending time with Him. The times in my life that I felt God’s guidance and things worked out as they should were the times when I was spending time with Him and asking for His guidance and over time, His will unfolded for me. Also, when I was spending time with Him and asking for and gaining spiritual wisdom from Him, my walk was in a manner more worthy of Him, than when I wasn’t. If you want to know His voice, you must spend time with Him. Paul was praying this and directing the Colossians in this way. 

Paul also points out that when we are growing and walking in a manner worthy of the Lord, that we will bear fruit in every good work and will continue to increase in the knowledge of God. This part of this verse is compared to a passage that Jesus said. 

“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire and it shall be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.” John 15:7-8

In order to bear fruit in every good work, we must stay connected to the vine. But what Paul and what Jesus is also saying is do what you can do in front of you and bear fruit in it. If you have a child you can teach, teach them, if you can preach, preach, if you can feed someone who needs to be fed, feed them. Do the thing that is in front of you, do it obediently and let God lead you to the next thing. That is bearing fruit when we are obedient to what He put in front of us and we do it to the best of our ability and allow God to lead us to our next thing. 

And as we bear fruit in those things He has put in front of us, we are growing in knowledge, we are being strengthened with power according to his “glorious might” we have endurance and patience with joy, and we give thanks to Him who qualifies us for the task that He has set before us. And with the bearing fruit for Him, and as we walk in the manner worthy of Him, we are sharing in His inheritance. We get to share in the inheritance of Jesus because He rescued us from darkness and we now are a part of the kingdom! We have that redemption because of Jesus! We have forgiveness of our sins, because of Him! And as our spiritual knowledge and depth of understanding of that grows so does our walk, so does our fruit bearing, so does our strength and power and endurance and our joy! 

This is my prayer for me, for my children, for all of us, that we would be filled with the knowledge of his will, grow in spiritual wisdom and understanding, walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, bear fruit in the work put in front of us, and be strengthened with power, for endurance, patience and joy!!  Walk on my friends, walk in the manner that is worthy of what He has done for us! 


Prayer of Thanksgiving

“We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing – as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth, just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf and has made known to us your love in the Spirit” Colossians 1:3-8

The Christians in Colosse had heard of Jesus and they had put their faith in Him and it was bearing fruit and for this reason Paul was praying a prayer of thanksgiving. Paul had not ever been to Colosse, but Epaphras was apparently reporting to Paul what was happening there. It’s probable that Epaphras was the one who had brought the gospel to Colosse but it is sure that he ministered to the Christians in Colosse. It is possible that Epaphras had heard the gospel himself from Paul. 

Paul is thanking God for the faith, the love and the hope of the Colossian Chistians. The Christians in Colosse heard the gospel and they got it. There are issues that Paul will address later in his letter to the Colossians but above all, he is thanking God for their faith, their love and their hope. Have you ever seen someone as the light comes on and they really get it? A baby Christian can be the most fun to watch! That’s what this prayer makes me think of. When someone first realizes the gospel and turns toward Jesus, their faith is fresh, they have deeper love for their fellow Christians and they realize the hope that they have in heaven. I have had the privilege to watch a few times and when I have it always brings me fresh faith, deeper love and renewed hope. The things I should have all the time.

In Paul’s prayer here he is also testifying that the gospel is spreading and bearing fruit in the world just as it was among the Colossians. And he is thankful that the Colossians understand the grace of God and the truth. I love Paul’s example here in praying for the Colossians. He gives us the example that before he addresses what is wrong in Colosse, he addresses what is right. I think that is a lesson for me for sure. I can look back over some of my journals and realize where I fall short in recognizing the good things before I pray about the wrong things. 

Today I am going to try to focus on what I can be grateful for. Where am I seeing the lights coming on in someone’s eyes in relation to the gospel? Who am I praying for that I need to recognize what is right before I pray about or address what is wrong? I know I can fall into a trap at times of negative thinking and I have to be purposeful in looking for the good. Today I want to focus on being grateful for the faith, love and hope I can see in others and cultivate the faith, love and hope in myself a little more. 

I also thank God for Epaphras, who was a faithful minister to the Colossians and I thank God for the faithful ministers in my own life. Take a minute today if you will to think on the faithful ministers you have had in your own life and thank God for them and ask God to bless them. Let’s choose today to be thankful and see if we can cultivate a fresher faith, a deeper love and a renewed hope in the world! 


Prayer for Love and Discernment

“And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.” Philippians 1:9-11

This prayer is actually a continuation of the one we studied yesterday. Paul was speaking to the Philippians, whom he loved and was proud of. He felt that the Philippians were doing a lot of things right in their love toward each other and their ministry. But Paul doesn’t want it to stop there. He prays that their love will abound more and more! This love Paul speaks of is Agape love! 

Agape love is the highest form of love. It is the love God has for us and it is the love that we hopefully return to God. It is an unselfish love that is not self-seeking but only has another’s best interest in mind. Agape love will do the hard thing when it is the best thing for others. Agape love is love that is discerning. This is what Paul wanted for the Philippians. He wanted them to love each other with a knowledge and discernment to seek out the best in each other,  to know and to discern what is best for each other, so that they “may approve what is excellent.” The NLT translation says “to understand what really matters.” That’s practical, isn’t it? When we are loving each other, when we are loving our spouses, children and fellow man, we should be discerning as to what really matters. Shouldn’t we? I have seen people who will love another to a fault. What I mean by that is they can’t say no to the other person even if the no would be better for the other person. I have been guilty of that myself I think. What Paul wants for the Philippians and for us, is to love each other with agape love, that is the purest kind of love there is, with knowledge and with discernment for what is best for them, and consequently for us as well. 

Paul says that this love that will be “pure and blameless” or as the NKJV puts it “sincere and without offense”. When Paul says sincere or pure, he is talking about their inner righteousness or their character, and when he says without offense or blameless, it their outer righteousness or rather how they are living out what’s on the inside. In other words Paul wants them to be kind and loving but not just for the sake of being kind and loving, he wants that to be who they are, down deep. 

Commentary that I read pointed out that the work of being pure and blameless is really God’s work within us. It can only happen if we are “filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus”! When you spend time with Him, when you fill yourself up with Him, is when your life will abound more and more in love for others, in the agape love for God and for others. 

This is my prayer for me, this is my prayer for my children and my grandchildren, this is my prayer for you. I pray that your love and that my love will abound more and more. I pray that it will be with knowledge of what is best and able to discern what is best for each other. And I pray that we will feel it deep and that we will live it out so that others may see the love that we have for Jesus and for each other! 


Prayer of Joy and Encouragement

“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:3-6

Paul is praying this little prayer at the beginning of his letter to the Philippians. The Philippians were a group that got behind Paul’s ministry at the very beginning, therefore there was an instant bond between them and Paul. They did not wait to see if his ministry would succeed before they believed in and encouraged his ministry. Paul held them in high regard because of their support to him. He starts this prayer remembering them with joy because of their partnership with him. 

He then moves on to encourage them in their ministry. God was obviously working through the Philippians in their ministry as well. Paul is encouraging them that he knows that God is working through them and that He will bring their work to completion. 

Can’t we all use that kind of encouragement when we are partnering in ministry? We can always know this, if we are in authentic ministry for Jesus, this verse will hold true for us and He will see us through to the completion of that ministry. I also have prayed this verse over my children as well as people I know and see in ministry. I have also seen it. I have seen saints here on earth who ministered right up until the day they saw Jesus face to face. Oh to be found in him until the day I see Jesus face to face. That would be my hope and my prayer for myself as well as for my children and others. 

Another thing that is so special about this prayer is that Paul is in prison when he writes this letter about having joy. Paul never seemed to let his circumstances get in the way of his joy and encouragement to others. I wonder how many times I let my circumstances define my joy instead of allowing Jesus to define my joy. It’s hard to do humanly speaking when the circumstances aren’t what I wish them to be, but something I remind myself of all the time is that Paul was just a man. A man made of flesh and blood like you and me. God used him in a mighty way that is for sure, but if Paul could find joy from a Roman prison then surely I can find joy in my every day circumstances too. 

Who can you encourage today with this prayer? I challenge you to think of someone you know who is in ministry and let them know that you are praying for them. Or maybe just someone you know who needs encouragement to stay on the path, maybe someone who you know who is trying to turn their life around and live for Jesus when maybe they haven’t been. I challenge you to send them a verse, maybe this one, or maybe ask the Lord if there is another more specific for them and send it to them and let them know that you are partnering in prayer with them for their ministry, and for their life. 

I know I thank God for each of you and the encouragement you give me when you like, share and comment on this post. I make my prayer with joy knowing that God is working through you and me. 


Prayer for Strength

“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith-that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:14-19

Paul says “for this reason”. That is a key to us to see what reason he is talking about. In his letter to the Ephesians he has been teaching doctrine about who Christ is. He has talked about the gospel and how it is revealed, he has talked about grace, he has talked about unity in Christ and about faith and he has talked about spiritual blessings. When he says “for this reason”, what he is saying is because of all of this that I’ve already told you ~ I bow my knees. In other words I know Him so well now I can’t help but bow my knees before the Father. The more you know Him, the more you want to bow your knees to Him! 

He goes on to say “from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named”. This is a reference to the Jews and the Gentiles. This is another of Paul’s ways of pointing out that God is the God of the Jews AND the Gentiles, to whom Paul feels compelled to minister. 

“That according to the riches of his glory” Paul is asking God to give according to the riches of his glory, which would be most generous! “He may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being” we get down to the bottom line, Paul is asking for strength for the Ephesians. Paul wants them to have the strength that is deep down in their hearts that can only come from Christ. And He wants this strength to remind them, to make known to them the breadth, length, height and depth of the love that Christ has for us. Breadth is also translated width in some versions. I saw this in commentary that I studied. 

  • God’s love is wide enough to include every person. 
  • God’s love is long enough to last through all eternity. 
  • God’s love is deep enough to reach the worst sinner. 
  • God’s love is high enough to take us to heaven. 

That just about covers it all doesn’t it? You would think, but he goes on to say in his prayer that this love will surpass all knowledge and he is praying that they will “be filled with all the fullness of God.” Then we come to my favorite verse to round out this prayer. 

“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21

Oh what a prayer!!! When we know Christ’s love to the width, depth, length and height that we can know it, when we are strengthened with strength that is deep down in our inner being and we put our faith in Him, He can and He will do more than you can even think to ask for! I’ve seen Him do it. I have been amazed at the answers I received at times because He loves to blow us away! And because of all that we give Him praise! 

I also love that Paul isn’t just praying this prayer for himself, but he is praying this prayer for others. I want to pray it for you, for whoever is reading this, I pray that you will be strengthened with power through his Spirit, that you will be rooted and grounded in love and that you will know, really know the width, length, height and depth of his love and that He will blow your mind with more than you could possibly think to ask for! 


Prayer for Revelation

“For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.” Ephesians 1:15-21

In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians he has been talking to them about the spiritual blessings that we all have in Christ. At the beginning of this prayer is an acknowledgment that the Ephesians are getting it right. “For this reason” because of all the spiritual blessings that they have and because the Ephesians are living in the spiritual blessings, they love God and they show their love “toward all the saints” Paul is giving thanks for them. But he wants them to have more. We will never be complete in the things we can know and learn about God on this side of heaven. Paul wants the Ephesians to realize that and we need to know it as well. 

We had a sweet lady who lived down the road here at our lake. I didn’t have the opportunity to know her well before she passed away, but I did get to meet her a few times. She radiated the love of God when she walked into a room, and I heard what others said about her. The thing about Ms. Diana that struck me the most when I heard people speak of her, was that her love for the Lord and studying God’s word was going to come up in conversation. She never stopped studying and learning about God. Ms. Diana knew that her knowledge of Him was not complete until she took her first step into glory! 

Paul is praying for this type of revelation over the Ephesians. He wants them to have the “Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him”. He is asking God to give them that knowledge. But not just for knowledge sake, but that they may KNOW the “hope to which he has called” them. Oh that we would know Him like that. Not just to know Him but that we would KNOW Him in order to see the hope that is before us in Him. 

Furthermore, that we would know our inheritance! Paul wanted the Ephesians to know that the same power that raised Christ from the dead is living in them. We need to know that the same power that raised Christ from the dead is living in us. Because of Christ and what He did on the cross and that He rose from the dead three days later and we believe that and we stake our lives on it, we have that same power living in us. And when you KNOW that, it changes everything. I am not talking about a head knowledge of knowing it. I am talking about a heart knowledge of knowing. The internal knowledge that makes me want to walk in the hope He has called me to. The internal knowledge and hope that makes me want to live like a daughter of the king. The internal knowledge that helps me to have a love for all the saints, whether they are the lovable of God or not. The internal knowledge that knows that whatever situation or circumstance or crisis or everyday mundane thing that concerns me will have the same power that raised Christ from the dead to overcome it. 

This prayer is a good one to pray for yourself and it is a good one to pray for your people. Pray it over your spouse, pray it over your children and grandchildren and then believe it! 

I want that knowledge and revelation for me and I want that knowledge and revelation for you too! 


Prayer of Blessing

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.” Ephesians 1:3-6

Paul starts out his letter to the church in Ephesus with this prayer of blessing and praise to God. When Paul wrote the church in Ephesus it was less to do with pointing out problems that they were experiencing in their Christian walk and more about explaining doctrine. In other words, Paul felt the church of Ephesus was getting much more right than they were wrong. They must have been walking right paths in this Christian walk and were possibly already growing spiritually so Paul wanted to feed that spiritual growth. 

This prayer starts with blessing and praise to God for what he has already given us. He has already given us every spiritual blessing in our salvation. Because we are, if found to have Christ, already blessed with every spiritual blessing, which is far greater than material blessings. Unfortunately, many times our prayer lives become more about a “to do” list that we are giving to God. We ask for things, we ask for direction, we ask for healing, we ask for God to fix “it” for us, whatever our “it” is. But truthfully because we have already received the blessing of Him, our prayer lives can and should be about just spending time with Him. Now don’t get me wrong, I think it is ok, and even necessary sometimes, to pray specifically, it’s much more about priorities though and recognizing, as Paul did, that even when we don’t get that thing that we want, that we already have the spiritual blessing of Him. And we should present ourselves to Him as holy and blameless. Because we are, because no matter what we have done, no matter what happened yesterday or even five minutes ago, we are holy and blameless because the blood of Jesus covers us and covers our sins. 

I love the next thought that we are adopted as sons because of Jesus and that was the Father’s plan and purpose all along. When Jesus came to earth as a baby, the plan was in motion for him to die on the cross for our sins. Because He did that, we are sons and daughters of God. We have been adopted into the kingdom and we get to be called Beloved! 

I love that word Beloved. I’ve only begun paying more attention to it in recent past. It simply means to be loved, or dearly loved. Friends just because of what Jesus did on the cross, we get to be called Beloved of God. Have you ever thought about that? I have tried more recently to live from a place of being loved by God. Let me put it this way. I felt loved and seen by my Daddy, and the thought of disappointing my Daddy hurt my heart. Why? Because I treasured his love. Now I know that even if and when I disappointed my Daddy it didn’t change his love for me. I was still loved by him. But many times I made better decisions just because I didn’t want to disappoint my Daddy. God’s love for us is even greater than any earthly daddy could ever give. Being Beloved by God means we are treasured by Him, even when our actions don’t “measure up” in our human minds, God still just sees us as His Beloved! And when we recognize that, for me, I want to live more from that Belovedness!  (Not sure that’s a word, but hopefully you get the point.) I want to try to live my life in a way that He won’t be disappointed in me. Not because I see Him as a superior being waiting to cast judgment on me, but because He loves me and I love Him and I am so grateful to be adopted that I want my life to be a blessing to Him! I am so grateful to be His daughter! I am so grateful to Jesus for the spiritual blessings I have received because of what He did for me. I am so grateful to be His Beloved! 


Prayer for Restoration 

“But we pray to God that you may not do wrong – not that we may appear to have met the test, but that you may do what is right, though we may seem to have failed. For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth. For we are glad when we are weak and you are strong. Your restoration is what we pray for.” 2 Corinthians has 7-9

Paul was planning his third trip to Corinth. In his letter he has addressed ways that the Corinthians are not living for Christ. Apparently they also had become critical of Paul. They saw him as weak and not authoritarian enough. The final paragraphs of this letter include warnings for them but also include this little prayer. He is warning them to examine themselves. 

“Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? Unless indeed you fail to meet the test!” 2 Corinthians 13:5

Now what I think Paul is saying in this verse is a good word for us today too. Basically he is telling them, before you throw stones at me or anyone else, you need to look at yourself. Is Jesus living in you? If He is then you need to live like He is. Where is your faith? Are you spending so much time criticizing Paul or someone else that you are failing to look at your own life? Am I? I can fall into this trap if I am not very careful. Of thinking that I am living more for Christ than someone else. I am not to hold myself up to anyone else’s standard but Jesus, ever. I need not think myself superior nor inferior to someone else’s Christian walk. 

When Paul prays this prayer, he is saying no matter what you think of me, whether I am getting it right or wrong, I am praying that you get it right. Paul says I am standing for truth whether you think I am weak and you are strong or not, I am standing with truth! You can listen to Paul or not. 

Then Paul sums it up quite nicely. “Your restoration is what we pray for.” (v. 9)  That’s what Paul cares about. He cares that Jesus is in them and that they will be restored to Jesus. 

I think too many times when we are praying for someone else’s restoration, or even our own restoration we get too caught up in the specifics. What I mean here is this, we get caught up in the sins that may be being committed and throwing stones at our brothers and sisters and even at ourselves for the things we or they may be doing. When what is paramount above all else is Jesus! Is Jesus Christ in you? If He is, it is His job to convict of sin. It is His job to lead and guide and direct us. It is His job to show His power and might, not ours. It is our job to pray. If you have someone you are praying for and Christ is not in them, you start praying that Christ will reveal Himself to them. And if you have someone that you know knows Christ, but they have pushed Him into a little corner and they are not living from their faith, then you pray that Christ will break the chains and that He will show them the best way to live. It is His job to convict of sin. It is our job to pray for the restoration. 

I truly love this prayer. It may be my favorite that we have studied thus far. I want to partner with Jesus in praying for some people for restoration to Him and I want to put away my judgment of others and just to love them where they are. And I also pray for myself. I test myself to be sure that Jesus is in me and that I haven’t pushed Him into the corner!