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    • Dec4Fri

      Prayer - Realizing God's Presence

      December 4, 2020 by Ricardo Francois
      In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, and the surrounding verses, Paul gives his final instructions to the Church at Thessaloniki, calling them to love, act justly, and do the will of God. Not only that, but he tells them how they can accomplish all this. Paul says, “Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it” (verses 5:23-24).

      How will we become the kind of people that Paul depicts in this passage? God will work it out. He is faithful in sanctifying us completely.

      Let’s take a deeper look into 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18:
      “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

      Ever wondered what God’s will is? It’s this: that we rejoice, that we pray, and that we give thanks—and that we do all of these things all the time. Even though we are often reminded that God will complete this work in us, it can feel overwhelming. We’re certainly not perfect at doing these three things continuously!

      What exactly did a life of frequent prayer look like for Paul? “Prayer was thanksgiving, intercession, the realization of God’s presence" (cf. 1 Thes. 1:2f.; Eph. 1:16ff.). He found that the Holy Spirit assisted him in prayer as he sought to know and do God’s will. (Rom. 8:14, 26)

      To Paul, prayer was the realization of God’s presence!

      Not that this is something we’re perfect at, but it seems much more attainable than needing to always sit down and have a very deep conversation with God. Don’t get this wrong—those deep conversations are important, too! But prayer in the believer’s life is more than confession, thanksgiving, and intercession. It’s seeing God, recognizing Him in our circumstances, and acknowledging Him. All in all, when we realize God’s presence, it’ll be nearly impossible for us to act outside of God’s will. That should be a comfort.

      (adapted from the New Bible Dictionary)

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