Athlete, the Power of Prayer is Real
1 Thessalonians 3:7-10 (ESV)
For this reason, brothers, in all our distress and affliction we have been comforted about you through your faith. For now we live, if you are standing fast in the Lord. For what thanksgiving can we return to God for you, for all the joy that we feel for your sake before our God, as we pray most earnestly night and day that we may see you face to face and supply what is lacking in your faith?
One day I had this picture in my mind as I was on my way to the gym. I was listening to this song “Tremble” by Mosaic MSC, and I had a picture of standing on a battlefield facing this mighty darkness — blinded by guilt, shame, past sin, worthlessness and regret that I was not sure could be overcome.
Thankfully, this is not how our faith or our relationship with God works. See in verse 7 how Paul addresses the Thessalonians as brothers. He is referring to this particular group of people as family. He is describing a bond that is much deeper than anything we might have, even with our biological family.
When you became a Christian, relinquished control and accepted Jesus into your life as Lord and Savior, you were adopted, given a new name and made part of a family that will never be broken again. See in verses 9 and 10 that one of the bonds God uses to hold His family together is prayer.
Christians are not only to spend alone time in prayer with God, but to pray for one another. Paul didn’t give a half-hearted, “Yeah man, I’ll be praying for you,” and then never really do it. Not only is he intentional in asking the Thessalonians what he can be praying about for them, but in verse 10 he says that he and Timothy are praying EARNESTLY day and night.
I imagine someone praying “earnestly” down on their hands and knees pleading with God for the hearts of the people who don’t know Him, thanking Him for how good He really is, and inviting Him to be in our hearts and with us forever.
God is not some distant being to be prayed to, but a real living Person who is on the line fighting our battles with us. Flip to Ephesians 6:18,19 (NASB), if you need further clarification. “With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, and pray …”
As I’m sitting at a red light listening to the words “Jesus, Jesus, you make the darkness tremble, Jesus!” I could picture thousands upon thousands of angels and warriors for as far as the eye can see, and the darkness trembling, wishing it had never come in the first place.
I imagine the power in this imagery is only a sliver of the power, comfort and strength the Thessalonians felt when Paul asked them how he could pray for them and as they took time to pray for each other. What we as Christians have through prayer should be shared with urgency!
Reflect: What is holding you back from sharing that with others?!