Scripture tells us in James 1 to expect trials, and we have all experienced them. Trials tend to drive us to our knees a little faster and more often, than when life is rosy. Not only do we seek God for comfort, wisdom and direction, but we often ask others to come alongside and pray with us.
In 1 Thessalonians 3:2-4, Paul indicates that he sent Timothy to strengthen and encourage the faith of the people as they encounter inevitable trials. The last five verses of chapter three read as follows:
“For what thanks can we render to God for you in return for all the joy with which we rejoice before our God on your account, as we night and day keep praying most earnestly that we may see your face, and may complete what is lacking in your faith? Now may our God and Father Himself and Jesus our Lord direct our way to you; and may the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one another, and for all men, just as we also do for you; so that He may establish your hearts unblamable in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints.” (1 Thess. 3:9-13, NASB; highlighted text added)
In this passage, Paul is expressing his deep desire to connect in person with the Thessalonians so that he can continue to encourage and strengthen them in their faith. I highlighted the phrases above because it occurred to me that these could also be specific ways in which we can strengthen our skills as prayer warriors. I know from experience how much I covet and appreciate the prayers of others when I am in the midst of a difficult trial.
How would it affect your outlook on trials if you knew others were praying for you in the following ways?
1. Their prayers were fervent and ongoing.
2. They prayed for the specifics of your trial.
3. They prayed for the strengthening of your faith through the trial.
4. They prayed that your love for others would be increased.
5. They prayed that you would be unblamable in holiness before God.
What an encouragement that would be!
Are you willing to get on your knees and be that kind of prayer warrior for others?
“For where two or three have gathered together in My name, there I am in their midst.” (Matthew 18:20, NASB)
“Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” (James 5:16, NASB)