“Dear brothers and sisters, pray for us” 1 Thessalonians 5:25
Typically, little children appreciate the Christmas season for one thing: Gifts! Sadly, that is true for many grown adults as well!
Aware of their emotional bent, we decided we would try to help our young children overcome a bit of their self-focus by having them purchase gifts for one another. Observing their little legs run from one aisle to the next, trying to find the perfect gift for their sibling just sort of melts the heart. For a very brief moment in the year, “my and mine” had given way to a sweet obsession concerning the interest of the other.
I wonder if you are feeling the holiday strain of purchasing just the right gift for your loved ones? What about that one particular person that seems impossible to please? You know exactly what their, “It’s the thought the matters”, is really saying.
Nevertheless, there is a gift that is so precious and most desirable, whether recognized as such or not. It is the blessed gift of intercessory prayer.
By now you understand how impressed I am with the pastoral heart of the apostle Paul. His burden for the spiritual wellbeing of believers can be seen very clearly through his letters. His first letter written to the church in Thessalonica is no exception. Yet, I’m moved by a very short sentence sort of nestled in the conclusion of the epistle. After pouring out his heart in admonishing the church to persevere in the face of persecution, he sneaks in this one line: “Brothers, pray for us”. That touches my heart. What Paul desired most from other believers was their prayers to God on his behalf.
There are gifts we have received as believers that we will not begin to truly praise God for until we make to Heaven. A praying mother and grandmother. The faithful prayers of men and women whom we will never meet in this life. The continued intercession of the Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 8:34). It will be there, as we stand weeping for joy in glory, that we shall see with eyes unclouded the eternal benefit received through the ministry of prayer.
This year, let prayer be at the top of your wish list… for yourself and for someone else. It is, after all, the most perfect gift you can give.