All of Christ for All of Life
Grace Alone, Faith Alone, Christ Alone

31 October 2020 – First Thessalonians 1:1-3

Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy,

To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace.

We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. – First Thessalonians 1:1-3

Rick Phillips writes:

Before commending the proofs of their salvation, Paul assures his readers of his fervent prayers on their behalf: “We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers” (1 Thess 1:2). This statement is one of the many references in his letters that present Paul’s commitment to prayer. It says much that the first thing said about Paul after his conversion is, as the King James Version eloquently puts it, “Behold, he prayeth” (Acts 9:11). This is not a bad beginning to anyone’s spiritual biography. “It is as though,” says Arthur Pink, “that struck the keynote of his subsequent life, that he would, to a special degree, be marked as a man of prayer.”

One of the keys to Paul’s prayer is the word “constantly” (1 Thess 1:2). Paul seems to have maintained an incessant prayer vigil for his persecuted friends in Thessalonica. In his former days as a Pharisee, Paul would have kept the practice of formal prayers at least three times a day: in the morning, at midday, and in the evening. It is hard to imagine that as an apostle he would have prayed less frequently than this. We, too, would benefit from regular periods of prayer in our daily schedules. Like Paul, we should pray for a wide range of family, friends, and servants of Christ. Some faithful Christians keep a list of those whom they will pray for on each day of the week. Others pray through the church directory one letter at a time so as to be constantly praying for fellow believers. We can easily imagine Paul, Silas, and Timothy meeting regularly – perhaps at every meal – to pray together for new converts and persecuted churches. G. K. Beale writes: “Paul is a spiritual parent to the Thessalonians (2:7-8; 11), and just as little children are never far from the thoughts of their parents, so Paul is continually mindful of his children, the Thessalonians.”

MEMORY WORK – Shorter Catechism Q/A 82
Q. 82. Is any man able perfectly to keep the commandments of God?
A. No mere man since the fall is able in this life perfectly to keep the commandments of God, but doth daily break them in thought, word and deed.