20 May 2019

Friends in Christ, 

Recently I have been reading Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians and was struck by the way he wrote of both his teams’ preaching and how the Thessalonians had received it. In both the preachers and the hearers, the gospel had come to them “not only in word but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction” (1 Thess. 1:4-7). That this had happened allowed Paul and his team of Silas and Timothy to write that they knew that God had chosen the Thessalonians.

After reading 1 Thessalonians 1-2 I tried to compose a prayer which would be consistent with the letter and be appropriate for me to pray for our city’s preachers and congregations. Here is my attempt:

Heavenly Father, we pray for our city
that the gospel of Christ might come
to both the preachers and hearers not only in word
but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction.

We pray that the preachers will understand
that God has entrusted them with his gospel and
that it is rooted in truth and purity.
We pray that they
will not use guile or flattery in their speech
will not be motivated by greed or be a burden upon the people.
We ask rather that they
will be filled with boldness,
will live holy, righteous and blameless lives,
will be gentle like a nursing mother with her infant, and
will be strong and encouraging like a father with his children. 

We pray that the hearers
will receive the gospel as the word of God, not of men,
will rejoice in it even if it comes with great affliction,
will turn from idols and serve the true and living God and
will await his Son from heaven. Amen

 I share it with you as a prayer we might like to pray for Wollongong’s churches as they meet on Sundays.

 Every Blessing in Christ,
Reg Piper

1 Thessalonians 5:12-24