6. Prayer for Growth
Growth and development should be a normal feature of the Christian life and should therefore be priorities in prayer.
“10 as we pray most earnestly night and day that we may see you face to face and supply what is lacking in your faith? 11 Now may our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you, 12 and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, 13 so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.” – I Thessalonians 3:10-13
Review from Last Week
- What sort of relationship should those involved in church leadership have with their church family?
- How important is the ministry of encouragement within the Christian life?
- How did last week’s text affect your thinking, habits, and behavior as a follower of Jesus Christ?
I. A Prayer for Consistent Faith (10,11)
II. A Prayer for Overflowing Love (12)
III. A Prayer for Sustaining Hope (13)
Quick Thought: Connection Between Who We Are in Christ (1:1) and Prayer (3:10-13)
Paul addressed his letter to the Thessalonians: “To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:” Prayer, the subject of this passage, is the succulent fruit of our being in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. In Him, we not only enjoy unfettered access into the presence of God, but we actually inhabit that hallowed space. Prayer does not bring us into the presence of God; we pray because in Christ, we are always in the presence of God. In Christ, our conscience is clear because the debt is paid. The Father only ever smiles upon us, and because we are in Christ, he delights to hear us pray. He welcomes us with open arms and lifts us onto his knee so we might pour out our heart to him. In Christ, prayer is an everyday, moment-by-moment relational privilege. Yes, prayer is an expression of our need, and it does reveal our sense of dependency. But, first and foremost, prayer is what we do because of who we are in Christ. Take a moment and praise Him for this wonderful truth!
Post-Service Online Coffee Fellowship
Please join us on a zoom call for our Virtual Coffee Fellowship (bring your own coffee!). We’d love for you to say hi, whether you’re a first-time visitor to United Community Church or a longtime member. All are welcome!
The call will be open for more or less an hour after the service finishes – you can join by clicking here! If you can’t join with the link, the Meeting ID is 998 7707 5071, and the passcode is 221309
Life Group Questions
Quick Review of the Text
- What do we learn from the way Paul prays? (3:9,10)
- What are the features in common between 1:2, 3; 3:10-13?
- Why is Paul so keen to see the Thessalonians again according to 3:10? (see 4:3-8 for the background)
- In what ways does he want the Thessalonians to grow at 3:12? See 4:11, 12 for the background)
- Given the context of suffering, (e.g. 2:14; 3:3) why does Paul pray as he does?
- What does Paul tell us at the end of each section in the first half of 1 Thessalonians? (study 1:10; 2:12; 2:16 and 3:13)
- What do you usually pray about? Does your prayer life focus on prayers for others’ growth and stability in the faith? What does the content of your prayers reveal about your priorities?
Apply the Text
- Are you aware through prayer, reading, teaching at church feed back from others, promptings and so on that the Holy Spirit is leading you to address any specific areas of your life? If so what areas?
- What might be the things that are lacking in the outworking of your faith?
- In what ways may our lack of overflowing love be exposed (both within the church family and wider community)?
- Do we neglect teaching about the personal return of the Lord Jesus and, if so, how do we explain this deficiency?
- Dallas Willard writes, “The most important thing in your life is not what you do; it’s who you become. That’s what you will take into eternity.” Reflect on this quote together.
- In what ways can you use this prayer for any Christians you know and what impact might that have on your own prayer life?
- With God’s help, how could you seek to see this prayer answered in your own life?