Being sensible that I am unable to do anything without God’s help, I do humbly entreat him by his grace to enable me to keep these Resolutions, so far as they are agreeable to his will, for Christ’s sake.Remember to read over these Resolutions once a week.
29. Resolved, never to count that a prayer, nor to let that pass as a prayer, nor that as a petition of a prayer, which is so made, that I cannot hope that God will answer it; nor that as a confession, which I cannot hope God will accept.64. Resolved, when I find those “groanings which cannot be uttered” (Rom. 8:26), of which the Apostle speaks, and those “breakings of soul for the longing it hath,” of which the Psalmist speaks,
"11 To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, 12 so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Th 1:11–12)"
It's in the context of the previous verses of the final judgement that Paul begins this prayer for this church. It's a prayer that he always prays, not sporadic or occasion, but constant and faithful. It's a rigorous and robust prayer that he does for this church and prays for two things.
The first thing he prays for is in verse 11 where he prays that the church may grow to be more like Christ. He says, "that our God may make you worthy of his calling." In response to the call that God has given to these people, there's a responsibility that is given to live like a child of God. So Paul prays that they would work in a way worthy of the gospel. In light of much of the persecution that is described in the previous verses, Paul is praying that God would preserve them. God's electing call leads us into God's kingdom and glory, but just doesn't leave us there; it's an invitation to respond by following God's ways. The future promises in verse 7 of chapter 1 come with obligations in the present time. That's what Paul's prayer is for.
The Apostle is also praying that they "may fulfil every resolve to good and every work of faith." It's amazing to see that the Thessalonians could realize their good intentions because God gave them the ability to do so. They aren't depending on their own ability to achieve their worthy calling but on God's. So Paul prays that they would depend on God's resourcing to walk in a manner worthy of their call. All of these things are done "by his power" which is why we need to be a people of prayer.
God may be “glorified” or praised for his great works (cf. Gal 1:24). He is also “glorified” by the actions of his people when they are obedient and generous (2 Cor 9:13), sexually pure (1 Cor 6:20), and when they live in harmony with one another (Rom 15:6). In short, Christlike behaviour is more important than words of praise in the glorifying of the Lord. For praise from a life transformed by the power of the Spirit rings true and sweet, but godless living makes a mockery of praise.
How is this all done? "According to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ." This transformation, this life change, is only possible through the grace of God. This sentence doesn’t separate God and Lord from Jesus Christ, but unites the two titles to the same person. This whole prayer appeals to “the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Can you see the magnitude of God’s grace? None of us in our own merit deserves God’s good pleasure. Salvation, the consequent Christian walk in this world, and the glories to come all flow from God’s generous and undeserved gift that operates in the lives of all of his people.They will glorify and be glorified by the most exalted God and Lord, the one who stands as the true source of all things.
- I use an app called PrayerMate. It helps keep me organized and pray according to God’s Word.
- Check out a book on Prayer by John Onwuchekwa
- Join in one of our prayer meetings either on Wednesday morning at 10 and Sunday morning at 9:15
- A great article on how to pray through the Bible
- 18 Things to pray for your church is another great list to help guide your prayers for the church.
Being sensible that I am unable to do anything without God’s help, I do humbly entreat him by his grace to enable me to keep these Resolutions, so far as they are agreeable to his will, for Christ’s sake.