August 4: Worthy of His Calling (2 Thess. 1:11-12)
2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 "To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, 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." (ESV)
In this passage Paul is praying for a suffering community. The Thessalonian church has been experiencing social pressure and likely even physical persecution. Yet Paul does not pray that God would evacuate them from their suffering. Rather, he prays that God would make them worthy of their calling through their suffering. He prays that despite opposition, God would establish and bring to fruititon all of their faith-prompted works. His requests address their immediate situation, yet his vision is eternal: that Jesus would be glorified in their lives, and that they themselves would be eventually be glorified in Jesus. Paul could pray such grand prayers with confidence because he prays according to the grace of God, that is, God's marvelous kindness toward those who fear him. How do you pray for those in suffering, or for yourself as you go through suffering? Consider this passage as a prayer for the sufferer.
Review and Apply
- What are Paul's requests in this prayer? How do these requests apply specifically to those in the midst of suffering?
- What does it mean to pray for another Christian that "God may make you worthy of his calling" (v. 11)? How will you incorporate such petitions in your prayers?
- What good, faith-prompted purposes are you aware of in the lives of other believers? How much have you prayed that God would bring those purposes to past? What concrete steps can you take to improve your praying in this area?
- What is Paul's twofold goal in this prayer for the Thessalonians (v. 12)? How should such a goal shape your own prayers?
- What is the significance of the phrase "according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ" (v. 12)?