Reading the Word
1 Thessalonians 5:12–22 (ESV)
12 We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13 and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. 14 And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. 15 See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies, 21 but test everything; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.
Understanding and Applying the Word
In these verses we find several exhortations from the Apostle Paul, but I want to focus on a particular one. We are told to pray without ceasing. Prayer is such an easy thing, yet it is often one of the hardest things to do consistently. However, it is consistent, regular prayer that is Christ’s will for us. It is during this time with God that we are able to pour out our hearts to him and learn to rest in his graces. It is during prayer that our wills and affections are spoken and brought into line with our Father’s. We learn to trust in his word in the midst of our circumstances, knowing that he hears us and answers us according to his will. In prayer, we get to spend time with our Father and speak to him as a child, trusting in his goodness.
Christians should be people of prayer. One of the greatest gifts of love that God has given us is prayer. We can go before our Father openly and honestly, knowing he wants to hear from us and knowing that he cares about our circumstances. Let us be the people of prayer that our Lord wants us to be beginning this year.
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