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 Prayer of Thanksgiving: Part 2 - 1 Thessalonians 1:3

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PostSubject: Prayer of Thanksgiving: Part 2 - 1 Thessalonians 1:3   Wed Aug 12, 2009 9:21 am

Prayer of Thanksgiving: Part 2 - 1 Thessalonians 1:3
Written by LaRosa Johnson
Wednesday, August 12, 2009

When we looked at verse 2, it became abundantly clear that Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy had a deeply intimately relationship with the believers in Thessalonica. This compassion became evident in their prayers and the multitude of thanks that they offered up to God on their behalf. If that wasn't enough, as we move on to verse 3, we begin to see Paul elaborating on the details that caused him to give so much thanks. Let's dive right into this, so if we're prayed up & in fellowship with the Spirit, let's begin!

Quote :
1 Thessalonians 1:3 (NASB) - constantly bearing in mind your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of our God and Father

As you can see from reading the passage, this is where Paul goes on to detail some of the things that he was thankful for whenever he was reminded of the believers at Thessalonica Bible Church. If we keep in mind our general context and outline, we will remember that this particular section encompasses verses 2-5. Further investigation of the sentence structure will reveal that verses 2-5 are one long sentence, which can be seen in the Greek and most English translations. So, this verse here, verse 3, is simply a continuation of what he was saying in verse 2, which was paused by a comma or semicolon. As we continue on with the rest of these verses, it obvious that verses 4 & 5 also provide elaboration as to why he was constantly in a state of thanksgiving when thinking of these believers.

Looking now at our verse, Paul uses another phrase to drive home the fact that this is an action that he is continually doing. In verse 2, we found him saying that he was "always" giving thanks to God for them; here, we find Paul saying that he is "constantly bearing in mind" certain attributes that they had. The word that he uses here for "constantly" is a rarely used word in the New Testament and it is the Greek word adialeiptōs (Strong's G89); it is only used four times in the Greek New Testament, with three of its usages coming from 1 Thessalonians (2:13; 5:17) and the other coming from Romans 1:9. The beautiful thing about this Greek word is that Paul always used it in the context of prayer, particularly praying for others. The use of this word really stresses the continuity and steadfastness of Paul's prayers for these Thessalonian believers. For him, it was a constant and continuous activity. On so many levels, this should be encouraging for believers to see in Scripture. First, we see a heralded apostle of the Church who is dedicated to unceasing prayer on behalf of churches he has ministered to, and even those he had hoped to see (the believers in Rome). Secondly, it should be a motivation for us to have the same kind of diligence in our own prayer lives, lifting up others before our Father in heaven.

Instead of moving on right past this, let's dwell on this for a moment and let it sink in. We should take this opportunity to meditate on the Word of God and allow it to mold us into the image of Christ. When I look at the word adialeiptōs and see how Paul joined it together with the concept of prayer, I become humbled. When I read the account of Paul in Acts, I see him as a man that is always on the go; yet, I constantly see the emphasis on prayer in his epistles. How was he able to do all that he did, and still spend that much time in prayer? I'm convinced that he was able to do all of that because he did spend so much time praying, praying for those whom he'd minister to, as well as seeking to be in the Father's will. That always gets me thinking about my own prayer life and how inadequate it seems. It's passages like this that burden me to pray more than I already do, and not just for myself, but to spend as much time as possible praying for others. I hope that it's the same for you. Seeing Paul's enthusiasm for prayer should motivate you to want to pray for your family members, church family, the unbelievers, missionaries, and so on.

Like we will see when we get to 1 Thessalonians 5:17, Paul was a man who prayed without ceasing. We should also be doing the same thing. We only touched the surface of verse 3 today, but we will continue pressing on and digging out the truth of God's Word. As we close, I want to leave you with a final thought, a rephrasing of 1 Thessalonians 5:17 as a simple command, "pray continually." God bless!

devotion courtesy of Trailblazin Ministries

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Prayer of Thanksgiving: Part 2 - 1 Thessalonians 1:3
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