Reading: 2 Thessalonians 1: 11-12
Paul played many roles for his churches and those he shared the faith with. He was most often a teacher. The main goal of Paul’s life was to bring people to Jesus Christ. He traveled all over the place preaching and teaching. Paul would often offer remedial lessons, found in the form of his letters we find in the New Testament, that would refine his teaching, would fix errors in both thinking and practice, and would seek to resolve disputes within the churches and between individuals.
We see another of Paul’s roles today: prayer. He is one who prays. Paul prayed all the time for the churches he established, for churches already in existence, and for those he knew and was mentoring in the faith. Through prayer, Paul often sought to encourage those who would read his letters. Through prayer, Paul encouraged the good things about a church or person and sought to remind them if God’s hand at work among them. In these ways Paul’s prayers were like compliments. Not only were they positive and uplifting, but they also would spur the readers on to continue in the faith and to build up their faith. Reminding them of what they did well led them to do it all the more.
We can also read Paul’s prayer today as an encouragement to our faith. We can also pray this prayer for those in our lives who need encouragement. To pray that we are “worthy of his calling” implies that we are indeed called. Born a child of God, we have been called since birth. To pray that we act “by his power” reminds us that we need to rely fully on God, not on ourselves. To pray that God is present in fulfilling “every good purpose and every act prompted by our faith” implies an active and responsive faith, a faith lived out. All of this leads to Paul’s conclusion: all of this done so that Jesus Christ may be glorified. May it be so in our lives this day.