MAY 27

Praying Unto Glory

Bible Reading: 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12

For the remained of this month’s devotionals, we will be looking at five prayers of the Apostle Paul.  These prayers are especially helpful to us for a couple of reasons.  Sometimes our prayers miss the mark as to what we should be praying about (James 4:2-3).  Likewise, we tend to focus our prayers on earthly needs and concerns (Romans 8:26-27).  These prayers of Paul instruct and encourage us to pray for that which is clearly in accordance with God’s Word, and with a view to “things that are above, not on things that are on earth” (Colossians 3:2).  Prayer has such a role in us, working a change in us that our hearts might be increasingly aligned to God’s will (Romans 12:1-2; Philippians 2:13), as we eagerly anticipate the glorious future God has prepared for us.

These prayers are helpful too in instructing us in how we can best pray for others.  This is how Paul prayed for the churches and believers he was ministering to.  He loved them.  He wanted God’s best for them.  And so, he prayed these prayers.  We should note that his prayers were uniquely suited to the particular needs of each congregation.  But in the totality of them all find a wide range of good things to pray for others.

“To this end” at the beginning of verse eleven looks back to the preceding.  Jesus is coming again “to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed” (2 Thessalonians 1:10).  The radiance of the glory of Jesus at His second coming will far surpass the beauty and glory of anything we’ve ever seen!  But note also, how He will be glorified in His bride, the church, as He has worked in her “that he might present the church to himself in splendor” (Ephesians 5:27).  What a day that will be!  

With that glorious destiny in mind, Paul was praying that God might make us “worthy of his calling” (2 Thessalonians 1:11).  The believer is never “worthy” apart from the gracious intervention of God.  The sense here is that the believer’s practice might be progressively conformed to his position (Ephesians 4:1).  Secondly, Paul prayed that God may “fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power” (2 Thessalonians 1:11).  The prayer reminds us of our absolute dependence on God’s powerful inner working if such things might be fulfilled in us (Philippians 2:13; Ephesians 2:10, 3:20-21).  The worthy walk for which Paul prayed, was unto a particular purpose: “so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him” and that by the grace of God.  Put simply, the prayer is that we might walk in a manner worthy of our calling, by God’s power bearing good works and acts of faith, unto the glory of God (1 Peter 2:12)!

In his wonderful book, Praying with Paul, D. A. Carson writes, “It is vitally important to reflect on the extraordinary holistic thinking that is represented by this prayer…We are not to think of ourselves as basically independent and on the right track but occasionally in need of a little input from the Deity, a little blessing called down by an appropriately formulated prayer…Paul’s vision is much broader, much more holistic.  He remembers the grace we have received in the past, and thinks through the direction of our lives–our ultimate home in the new heaven and the new earth.  He envisages the final consummation, the final vindication, and grasps what kind of lives we should be living in the light of that end.  That vision properly places us in God’s universe, which was made by and for him, answerable to him, redeemed by him, and it establishes what our priorities must be wherever that vision prevails.  Paul’s petitions and stated goals are perfectly aligned with this vision.”

So many of our prayer requests focus on immediate and earthly needs, but this prayer reminds us that we should pray regarding how we should now live in view of our future glorious destiny.

O THAT WILL BE GLORY

When all my labors and trials are o’er,
And I am safe on that beautiful shore,
Just to be near the dear Lord I adore
Will through the ages be glory for me.

Refrain:
O that will be glory for me,
Glory for me, glory for me;
When by His grace I shall look at His face,
That will be glory, be glory for me.

When by the gift of His infinite grace,
I am accorded in heaven a place,
Just to be there and to look on His face
Will through the ages be glory for me. [Refrain]

Friends will be there I have loved long ago;
Joy like a river around me will flow;
Yet just a smile from my Savior, I know,
Will through the ages be glory for me. [Refrain]

Author: looking2jesus13

Having served as pastor at Lewis and Clark Bible Church, in Astoria, Oregon, for almost three decades, my wife’s cancer diagnosis led to my retirement and subsequent move to Heppner to be near our two grandchildren. I divide my time between caring for Laura and working as a part time hospice chaplain and spending time with family and spoiling my chocolate lab.

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