2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfil every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
It is helpful to have a close look at how Paul prayed for the many churches he ‘planted’ while he was leaving them for others to ‘water’, and for God to ‘make [them] grow’ (1 Corinthians 3:6). We see that the focus of his prayers was the glory of the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, through them and in them, and that they would always see this as a working in/out of the ‘grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ’.
But the other thing he constantly longed for was that there would be clear evidence in their daily lives of the fruit of the Spirit that would cause God to ‘count them worthy of his calling [of them]’.
Notice what is actually happening in his prayers. He acknowledges that the fulfilment of all the good things they are striving to do (their ‘good purposes’) are totally dependant upon God’s power. He acknowledges that the root source of their actions is their faith, i.e. their absolute trust in God to enable them to do it and not some innate ability in themselves for which they could claim credit. So we see that the very basis of his constant prayers for his churches is the well-known seminal statement he made to the church at Ephesus: “For it is BY GRACE you have been saved, THROUGH FAITH – and this NOT FROM YOURSELVES, it is the GIFT of God – NOT BY WORKS, so that no-one can boast. For we are GOD’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to DO GOOD WORKS, which GOD prepared in advance for US to do” (Ephesians 2:8-10).
May this also be the basis of all our praying for each other, and may we look longingly for evidence in our own lives, and in the lives of others, that our prayers are being answered.
– Bruce Christian