Together in Christ: 'Releasing Love and Blessing Through Prayer' — 1 Thessalonians 3:11-13

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

May God our Father and our Lord Jesus bring us to you very soon. And may the Lord make your love for one another and for all people grow and overflow, just as our love for you overflows. May he, as a result, make your hearts strong, blameless, and holy as you stand before God our Father when our Lord Jesus comes again with all his holy people. Amen.

— 1 Thessalonians 3:11-13 NLT

Key Thought

I recently sent a dear brother in Christ a short email with one of the apostle Paul's prayers as my prayer for him. He replied, "Phil, I love that you want to share prayers with people that are more than your words. I think we ought to write a book entitled, 'More than My Words' to help acquaint people with all of the prayers in the New Testament we can use to bless each other!"

"I'll pray for you!" is an often-repeated phrase that pastors, preachers, and church-goers say in response to people sharing their problems with them. Promising to pray for people is a good thing. I'm not quarreling with that. However, after I caught myself repeating the phrase, "I'll pray for you," to numerous people, I began to wonder. Was this becoming a trite, throwaway phrase I used to try to make others feel better? I do believe it was well-intentioned, but was it true?

  • Where was my notepad or smart phone to note this person's name and prayer request? Would I remember each request during my prayer time without writing anything down?
  • Why not pray for them then, at that moment and in that place, honoring their request immediately so they could know and hear my prayer, assured that their request was honored?
  • If I prayed for them later, would I let them know both that I had prayed for them and also what I had prayed for them? After all, the apostle Paul didn't just pray for people and churches; he also told them what he prayed for them and sometimes why he prayed it!

Several times in our devotional thoughts about building healthy relationships, we will return to biblical prayers, especially from the apostle Paul. When we share these biblical prayers with others, we can be sure that these prayers are "more than just our words." They have lasting power. God's people have effectively prayed for others for nearly two thousand years using these words from biblical prayers. As we pray these prayers, we hear the language of spiritual relationships expressed, and people with healthy friendships pray for each other. They are a reservoir of faith, strength, hope, and godliness. So, let's not just read these prayers as parts of Paul's letters; let's also have them be more than our words shared with those we love and want to see led closer to Jesus!

Today's Prayer

O Father, I know the Holy Spirit takes my words and heartfelt emotions and intercedes for me with You about my concerns. [A] I ask that You take this prayer of the apostle Paul we have read today and make it powerful as I share it with friends in Jesus and loved ones in my family. Thank You for giving a prayer that is more than my words to express my love for them and my hope in You. I pray these prayers in the mighty name of my Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen.

[A] Romans 8:26-27.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Ephesians 1:15-20
  • Ephesians 3:14-21

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Illustration

Illustration of 1 Thessalonians 3:11-13 NLT — May God our Father and our Lord Jesus bring us to you very soon. And may the Lord make your love for one another and for all people grow and overflow, just as our love for you overflows. May he, as a result, make your hearts strong, blameless, and holy as you stand before God our Father when our Lord Jesus comes again with all his holy people. Amen.

About This Devotional

Together in Christ is a daily devotional that focuses on what Scripture teaches about godly living in relationships.

'Together in Christ' is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.