Today let’s read 1 Thessalonians 1.
We paused our reading in Acts at Acts 18 yesterday because it seems clear that Paul wrote this first letter to the Thessalonians while he was in Corinth during the time period covered by Acts 18 (see Acts 18:11). So we’re going to read that letter for the next few days before we return to Acts.
This passage overflows with thanksgiving for the Thessalonian believers because the evidence of their faith in God was so abundantly clear to Paul. Because he was thankful for them, Paul prayed for these believers. And what was it that Paul prayed about when he prayed for them? Verse 3 says it was “...your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” In other words, it was their walk with God that he prayed for. He thanked God for how their faith showed itself in real life ways and he prayed that God would continue to nurture and strengthen that faith.
I think that one reason why we find it hard to pray for other Christians is that we are not in tune with their spiritual lives. We pray for health and happiness when we do pray, but do we thank God for ways in which we see each other growing and ask God to keep that growth going?
As your devotional time comes to a close this morning, take some time to think of another believer, maybe someone you brought to Christ or whose faith you’ve contributed to as a discipler, teacher, or friend. Take a few minutes to think about what evidences of growth you’ve seen in that person’s life and what areas he or she may be challenged in now. Then pray--thanking God for what he’s done in his / her life and asking Him to keep doing that work.