The word for this week is: “Prayer”.
The thought for this week is: “Why not save some time and pray first?”
“We wake up every morning to the alarm clock’s warning”, so the song goes, because “we are taking care of business”. Kids, house chores, school, work, we do not have a moment to spare to meet the many demands of our life. Our heart and mind begin to race and the faster we go the more behind we get. At least that is how it seems. Most days we do wake up running to meet the day so that we can engage in the frenzy of activities that await us. Time Out! Did you stop and pray? Of course, prayer may be one of those things we sacrifice to squeeze a few more minutes into our day. We rationalize that God understands and perhaps pray on the run. However, understand that we cannot afford to leave God out of the planning of our day. The fact is, prayer can save us a lot of time.
Read II Thes. 1:3-12. What event is on Paul’s mind as he writes to the Thessalonians? What is Paul’s prayer in these verses? Next read II Thes. 2:1-7. We learn that the church at Thessalonica was young and thriving. However, increasing persecution and false teachers were distorting the truth and caused them to worry that perhaps they had missed the second coming of Christ. Now, read II Thes. 2:8-12. Why do you think God restrains the power of the lawlessness? (See also, II Peter 3:7-9) Finally, read II Thes. 3:1-5. Knowing that Paul is thinking of the condemnation that awaits the unrighteous, what does he ask from the brothers? Instead of worrying about spreading the gospel to the whole world, what instead does he draw confidence from? Paul knew that the gospel would spread to the end of the earth before Christ returned. Also, knowing that the persecution of the believers was spreading, many believed that Christ’s return was imminent. Therefore, much to do, so many people to reach and teach, Paul felt overwhelmed by the task before him, especially with all of the obstacles that confronted the believers. That is why he prayed constantly so he could maximize his time and energy and get more accomplished.
Whatever it is that you need to accomplish, even though it may be overwhelming, understand that “things which are impossible with men is possible with God” (Lk. 18:27). Therefore, we must spend time in prayer, quietly in his presence, so that he can order our footsteps so that we do not waste our time. Meditate and pray through the following scripture: “but God has surely listened and heard my prayer. Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!” (Psalm 66: 19-20)
Prayer: Our Father in heaven, praise be to your Holy Name. Thank you for being patient with us and not wanting us to perish. Grant us the time to meditate and pray and feed upon your word so that our time is not wasted and our busy lives are ordered. Bless us as we live for you. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
By Rory Barneche