Joy Petroelje

Read: 1 Thessalonians 5:12-28

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances. (v. 17)

Paul’s letter includes much encouragement to the early Christians in Thessalonica. This predominantly Gentile community of faith needed instruction on matters that were important for growth, unity, and fellowship with the Spirit. Verses 16-18 provide vital instruction for all believers: reminders to rejoice, continually pray, and thank God in all circumstances. It is easy for us to praise God and express our gratitude to him for each beautiful sunrise or the food on our table, but pray continually? This is challenging, until we allow ourselves the joy of making prayer a way of life.

Don’t know when to pray? Consider times when you are alone. Perhaps on your daily commute. Or when you run, bike, or go for a walk. Or as you do the dishes or fold laundry. These are wonderful times to talk to God.

Can’t decide how to pray? Reread 1 Thessalonians 5:12-25. Consider those you know in leadership roles, the importance of living peacefully with everyone, tactful correction, encouraging the weak, practicing patience, and seeking good instead of evil. Based on these things, make a list of people in your life to pray for. Then talk to God, for he is listening. As Stephen Curtis Chapman’s “Let Us Pray” reminds us,

Let us pray, let us pray, ev’rywhere in ev’ry way . . .
For the Father above, He is listening with love,
And he wants to answer us, so let us pray.

—Joy Petroelje

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for the gift of fellowship with you in prayer.