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Encouragement

July 19, 2010

Building Strong Friendships in Christ

Praying To See Your Face Today

"as we night and day keep praying most earnestly that we may see your face, and may complete what is lacking in your faith?"

 1 Thessalonians 3:10, Page 1848  

     I have a friend facing surgery for a suspicious growth this week.  I have spent considerable time praying for my friend, because I know he has a history of cancer.  I have another friend that prayed and expressed faith that Jesus had forgiven her sins by faith, but I have not seen her at the beach lately.  I find it easy and compelling to pray for my friends that I hear about, know about, and think about.  When I stay in touch with friends, I like to pray for my friends.

       In 1 Thessalonians 3:10, page 1848, Paul reminds the Thessalonians that the ministry team prays for them night and day.  Paul makes several important points about praying, all in one verse.

       First.  Purposefully.  Pray with purpose, so that your mind does not drift and wander, and that you might not fall asleep. 

      Second.  Rally.  Rally together to pray.  The word "we" speaks to both collective and personal prayers, by all the ministry team.

       Third.  Always.  Always pray both night and day for the people you love in Christ.  If you keep them on your mind, you will pray for them more often.

        Fourth. Yearn.  Yearn to see the people face to face you pray for. 

         Fifth.  Earnestly.  Earnestly pray for the people Jesus lays on your heart and mind.

        Sixth.  Rejoice.  Rejoice over your friends in Christ as you pray for them.

       Seventh.  Seek. Seek the spiritual maturity of your friends in Christ as you pray for them.

       Paul really wants the Thessalonians to know the depths of the ministry team's love for them.  They pray night and day to see the Thessalonians again, and to complete what is lacking in their faith.

     So, we learn some more about building strong friendships in Christ.

      ●  Strong bonds of friendship form when we pray seriously for our friends in Christ.

     ●  Strong bonds of friendship grow when we let our friends know that we pray night and day for them, with the aim that they will be fully complete in Christ.  

      ●  We harm our bonds of friendship when we fail to pray earnestly and often for our friends, seeking their benefit and maturity.    

Application for Today

        Today, I will pray night and day for my friends in Christ, and I intend to pray with other people as a team, lifting up our friends so that all of us will stand spiritually complete before Jesus.