Good morning again, if you got a Bible go with me to II Thessalonians chapter one where we are going to be. As your turning there. Always want to make sure that we understand what we’re singing. So let me just do a little quick aside here we just saying, it’s your breath in our lungs. The theologian Abraham Kuyper famously said, There is not one square inch of the universe over which God does not cry mine in discussing the sovereignty of God, and what we just saying is not a cute way of saying, hey, we want to Praise you God with the air in our lungs, what we’re saying is that your breath in other words, the sovereignty of God includes every particle of air inside my body, includes every cell of my body, it includes every cell in the dirt around me. In other words, we praise God, because He has given us the very particles we breathe, and they belong to Him. So it makes sense. That’s what we’re seeing there. When we say it’s your breath in our lungs. So we pour out our praise is because the right response to knowing that the air that fills my lungs, is his is to give it back to him in praise. That’s what we’re saying. So hey, we’ve been in this series, I recognize we come to the end of the summer, some of you might be kind of jumping back in with us, you’ve been gone for a while, maybe in particular, some students. So we’re so glad that you’re back. We are in the last week of a series and the next week, we’re starting a new one, we’re going to be going to study the book of Galatians. Next week, which is a book that’s all about what does it look like to walk in freedom, the freedom that Christ comes to bring. So we’re going to spend all of the fall and into the spring, it’s going to take us couple of semesters to work through the book. So we’re going to be doing that for a while with with a pause there in the middle for Advent, when we think about the coming of Jesus into the world in December. So that’s kind of what’s coming. We are in the last week of a series on how we pray for one another how to pray for your church. My hope has been that you have been learning about how to sort of fill up your arsenal, if you will, or put more tools in your toolbox, about how to pray for your church family. If you’re visiting with us, and you have another church family, I hope will benefit your church family in that way. But I hope I’m saying that for those of us who call this place home, this is our local church body, that we’re learning to pray for one another has been really incredibly transformational in my own prayers for you all I have found and I hope that it’s been the same for you. Now, can I say to that, please don’t let this be the last week that you pray for one another this way. Let’s keep praying this way for one another. The scriptures are guiding us in how to pray. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t renew at least a little summary. All right. So let me kind of walk you back over remind you some of the ways we’ve been instructed to pray for one another as a church family to remember we began in John 17. And we saw there that Jesus was calling us to pray one, that we would love his glory, above all other things that he said, I should have the same glory as the Father, it’s mine. He’s praying to the Father glorify me, and therefore teaching us to pray for the glory of Jesus, we pray for one another, that we would hunger and thirst for the glory of Jesus revealed in our lives more than any other thing. Then he went on to say one of the ways that glory is manifested is shown as displayed is that when we’re one with one another, and so we pray, Lord, give me oneness with my brothers and sisters, maybe one in purpose, and maybe one and affection with them. Let me have affection for them. Let them have affection for me, let us be one in the things that we’re about, and that we want one purpose. We saw that the mission of the gospel is tightly connected to our ability to be one, whether we will do that or whether we won’t. Then we saw in Matthew chapter six in the Lord’s prayer, a prayer not just to glorify Jesus, but the Father, the Father, the first person of the Trinity that we would say, hallowed be your name, and prayers for daily bread to say, Lord, give my brother and give my sister what they need today. They’re going to need something from you today, would you give them specifically that and to pray according to that very detailed prayer, give them their daily bread, and we saw that we would pray for one another, Lord, help them to give forgiveness and help them to receive forgiveness. Let them give forgiveness and let them receive forgiveness. So we pray that for one another, next chapter four, we saw that were called to pray for one another, we’d be bold in the proclamation of the truth of Jesus, that we would share it with others, unabashedly quickly, boldly, confidently, humbly, gently, that we would share the good news of Jesus Christ, not hold it to ourselves. In Ephesians, chapter one, we saw this really rich prayer from Paul for the Ephesian church where he said, I’m praying that you would be filled with the spirit of wisdom and revelation, not just about the world broadly, but about God Himself. So we pray for one another Lord, help my brother and sister know you as you are. I mean, give them a give them a revelation into who you actually are, that they would know you see you behold you. And then following that a couple of chapters later in Ephesians, chapter three, you pray, Lord, help my brothers and sisters know how much you love them. Because we don’t come by that knowledge naturally. We don’t naturally know what it is to receive the love of God and our natural hue. In person, it takes a supernatural work, to actually receive the love of God, and to know what it’s like. So he prayed, and taught us to pray, Lord helped my sister to know how wide and long and high and deep Your love is for her. Be confident and know that it’s hers, my brother as well. Then in Philippians, chapter one, we were taught to give thanks to God for one another, particularly for the ways that we partner together in the work of the gospel to help others know and to help extend the kingdom of Christ into the world, we were taught to give thanks, not just to say thank you to each other, but to thank God for each other. Those are two different things, right? So we saw that and then last week, we saw that we are to pray for one another and Colossians chapter one, to know the will of God and to do the will of God, to see what it means that Jesus Christ is the revelation of God. He is the revelation of the mystery of God’s plan for all of human history, it is all packaged up in him, and he has come and in seeing him, then we have the will of God revealed to us and we apply that revelation to every situation and circumstance in our life. So we’re taught to pray that for one our Lord help them to know your will help him to do Your will. So those are the things that we’ve seen so far. That’s a little summary. Or maybe it’s a little like, if you’re just joining us for the first week of this series. Now, on the last week, I hope it at least gives you a sense of like the bigness of the kinds of prayers, that we get to pray for one another. So we’ve come to the last in the series of prayers to pray for one another. In II Thessalonians chapter one, verses 11 and 12. The question we’re going to ask today, we’ve been asking every week is, what does this text teach us about how to pray for one another? Now, I want to point out the context of this prayer, because it broadens our context a little bit. You know, every week, one of the things I’ve been saying is, this is how we’re going to pray for one another. But I need you to broaden that a little bit. Because this prayer, I want to encourage you to pray, yes for us. But even more broadly for our brothers and sisters around the world. Because the context of this prayer is one that is more acutely felt in other places more so than here. It’s the context of persecution for your faith. Now, we still experience a lot of freedom missing persecution doesn’t exist in our context, but certainly not nearly as acutely as it does for some of our brothers and sisters in other places. I don’t know if you know, this Voice of the Martyrs is a great group to follow Voice of the Martyrs weekly update just this week. This is something they send out on a weekly basis. But just this week’s update was to say that in Kaduna province, in Nigeria, Muslim militants have or Islamic fundamentals have taken kidnap over 3000 Christians just this year, just over the course of this year. They tell the story of one pastor pastor Emanuel, who said to them when they took him when they kidnapped them, and were holding him for a month for he didn’t know to what purpose because he didn’t have money to offer them. But they took him prisoner. He said the quote, which I thought was so profound, which was to say, if the Lord determines that this is the end of my life, and this is this will be the end of my life. But if he determines that I will live that I will live. In other words, he was saying to his persecutors, it’s not up to you whether I live or die. It’s up to the Lord. He has determined that. So we have brothers and sisters around the globe, our brothers and sisters in India right now have a government that is trying to infuse radical Hinduism into the government system and cutting off all their funding. For those who do Christian ministry. There is intense persecution happening in many places around the globe. I want to invite you to begin to pray for our brothers and sisters in those ways, yes, for one another, but in particular for our brothers and sisters around the globe who experienced this kind of intense persecution. So the question I’m going to ask today is, what are the what are the biggest priority prayers that we would pray for those in that circumstance? For those who are in that situation? What do we pray first? And that’s what I believe Paul guides us in now, the context of this letter to the Thessalonians, both both first and second. Thessalonians, I said is one of intense persecution. See what was going on just to give you a little bit of background is the Roman Empire is the ruling empire of the day. And as part of their rule, they had conquered another kingdom, which was the kingdom of Macedonia. So you’ve heard of Alexander the Great, yes, if you’ve done your history, he was a Macedonian king, a Macedonian ruler. So they were a mighty empire. There was this deep vision of what it meant to have a Macedonian King on the throne of Macedonia. So Rome, had constant trouble with the region of Macedonia and that’s where the city of Thessalonica is. It’s in this region. It’s a it’s a Macedonian city, by heritage. Now, as Roman conquered it, one of the ways that they saw fit to try and bring them under their rule was to give them as they sort of subdued themselves as they were willing to kind of come under Rule, they gave them more privileges. So the better you were behaving, the more privileges you got, and the rulers and Thessalonica had become a very treasured Your city in the Roman Empire, they were on a bunch of trade routes. They were a very wealthy city, and they had a lot of privileges, like not paying certain taxes. so all these privileges were things the city rulers wanted to keep. Now, here comes Christianity. Within it, there’s a proclamation of a new king. Why does that make the rulers of Thessalonica nervous because of this idea that Rome has spent generations trying to put down a Macedonian uprising for a Macedonian king. They’re worried that Rome is going to hear this rumor of a new king, that these thessalon icones are worshipping, and they are going to take away all their privileges and return to a hard place in their city. So what is the response of the city leaders, harsh persecution against the Christians, probably the most intense of any New Testament book that we look at they’re facing, they are facing intense, intense persecution. So as Paul writes them, every sentence of his letters really has that almost in the forefront of Paul’s mind, every word of encouragement, every word of correction, every instruction is given, knowing that they are facing this circumstance and trying to guide them through it. Does that make sense church? So here’s our context. That’s our context. Now, let me read to you second, Thessalonians, 111 and 12. Because here’s what Paul chooses to pray for believers who are facing that kind of persecution. Take up with me, II Thessalonians, 1:11 and 12 says To this end, we always pray for you, okay, to what end what he’s going to tell us now that our God may make you worthy of his calling, that’s number one, and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by His power. Number two, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, that’s number three. So three things we see here that Paul prays, I’m gonna walk you through them, and help you understand what he means by each of those things, so that we can begin to pray this way for brothers and sisters who faced persecution, whether they be here among us, or whether they be on the other side of the world. These are the things that Paul prioritizes into prayer. At the end of our time, I want to point out one thing he doesn’t pray. Alright, so let’s begin. Now, our journey through the first prayer that Paul prays here is he prays for God to keep these believers in the faith, he says, I want you to keep them in the faith. Now that might not be readily obvious that that’s what he’s praying here. But let me walk you through our context and show you where we see this in verse 11. Here’s the phrase, you see it, put your eyes back in the text, it says, Do this, and we always pray for you. What does he pray that our God may make you worthy of his calling? Right, full stop right there, that our God may make you worthy of his calling. Now, when we read that we might initially say, Well, is he talking about like the work that he’s called them to do right there, the works that he said, do these things. I’m praying that you do those things, maybe in a manner that’s worthy of the Lord. But that’s not what he’s praying and Colossians chapter one last week, that is what he was praying, he said, we pray that you would do works in a manner that is worthy of the Lord. That’s what he prayed last week. So in other words, do the things God’s given you to do in a way that reflects him really well. But here’s a little different. Seeing the verses preceding this, what Paul has done is he said, those people that are persecuting you from verse five, diverse 10, here’s what he’s saying, those people that are persecuting you, when Jesus comes back, he’s going to take retribution on them, they will be separated from the presence of God forever. So friends, let me encourage you, like if, if the, if you have difficulty with the doctrine of hell and denying that read II Thessalonians, it’s impossible to deny His presence in the scriptures. But he says he will condemn them to eternal separation from the father. It’s why they don’t have to take vengeance, because they know the Lord will come and he will, is what he’s saying. Then so the context is the return on the day, the Lord Jesus returns, He says in verse 10, to be glorified among all the saints, he will work that retribution, he will bring it about, so you don’t need to. Now what he says is in the opposite way, in the same way that they’re going to be found to be not worthy of the Lord, I’m praying that you would be found worthy of the Lord and his calling, the calling he’s talking about there is not the work that he’s given them to do, or the call upon their lives to serve Him in a certain way. It’s the call up into His kingdom. He’s saying, I’m praying that when Jesus comes back, and he’s gonna bring judgment on the wicked and the evil, you’re gonna separate them from God forever. I’m praying that you will be found among those who are brought into the kingdom of God. That’s what he’s saying. When he says, I want you to be found worthy. I want you to not work in a way that’s where they want you to be found where The now Can I point out something, this is a prayer. The reason it’s a prayer is because Paul knows they can’t make themselves worthy, that it’s a supernatural work of God to make them worthy of the call into the kingdom of God. In other words, what he’s saying is, I pray that you would be sustained in the faith so that when Jesus comes back, he would bring you into His eternal joy and presence, that you would be brought into His kingdom. That’s what he’s praying with that phrase, that he would make you worthy of your calling. Now, we call this the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints. What he is praying is Lord, help them to persevere to the end in the faith and not shrink back so that when you come back, you would take them in?

Now let me answer a couple questions. Because the first thing that comes to mind often when we think about this, we hear those go well, is Paul saying that they could lose their faith that they’re Christians now, but they can then lose their faith and not be found worthy of being taken into the kingdom of God? The answer that is no, we do not believe because of the broad testimony of Scripture that a person can truly be saved, and then lose that salvation. For rather, what Paul is saying is, all those who are in Christ will persevere in Christ, they will endure to the end. So this is what the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints teaches us a grand historic doctrine of the Church is deeply important for us to understand no and believe the doctrine, the perseverance of the saints says that all who are in Christ will persevere to the end, they will endure to the end, they will not deny Christ, they will stay in Christ. Those who do deny him were never truly in him. All who are in Christ will persevere to the end. Here’s the other part of that doctrine, because he is able to make them persevere. Because he is able to make them persevere, all our hope, for perseverance to the end is in him, not in us. Let me show you why perseverance is necessary. Let me point you to a couple of texts, right? Why would we pray this way for one another, and persecution? One, let me point out what this persecution do, does a number of things, but one of the things it can do is it can cause you, it can cause you to shrink back and to not want to do and would not want to follow Jesus any longer to not want to claim him any longer persecution tests, our faith. You remember the parable of the four different kinds of soil that Jesus talks about the gospel can be sewn onto those types of soil to have those are the primary ways that we find that people abandon the faith or walk away from the faith, persecution and pleasure is what it amounts to. There’s a seed that is sewn on throne, thorny soil, and when it’s when the plant rises up out of the soil. It’s the cares of the world, the affection for the things of the world, the desire for the things that choke out faith and make it die. pleasures of the world lead believers out of the presence of God are those who appear to be believers and persecution, the others sow seeds sown on rocky soil, and when it pops up, it has no root and what happens, the persecution comes, the sun comes and it burns it up. The Lord compares that Jesus when he tells that he says that is the persecution that comes so one of the things he’s pointing out is that persecution, tests faith. So we pray for believers who face persecution, help them to endure to the end. Give them everything they need. Don’t let them shrink back. Let them stay the course. Let them be faithful. They need your strength to do that. It’s such an important thing to pray, because perseverance is necessary for salvation. Matthew 24, verse 13, Jesus speaking about the End Time says, but the one who endures to the end will be saved. II Timothy, chapter two, verse 12, says, If we endure, we will also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us, Hebrews 10:36 through 39 says, For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what is promised, for yet a little while and the coming one will come and will not delay, but my righteous one shall live by faith. If he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him. But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls. First, John, chapter two, chapter two, verse 19, maybe the clearest, simplest statement of the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints. They went out from us, but they were not of us, for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. This is the testimony of Scripture about the necessity of perseverance now, what do we do with that church? Is my goal here to make you say, because now None of us knows the future. Therefore none of us know for certain with certainty that we will persevere to the end. So is my ambition and my aim here as your pastor today to make you go, none of you can be sure that you’re saved. Hope you know that is not my aim. That is not my aim. But here’s what I need to do. Number one, for those of you who are in the faith, the message that God will cause you to persevere and the need to persevere humbles you, and send you to your knees and makes you say, Lord, sustain me apart from you, I will not endure, make me into if you find that your heart responds in that way, you are writing good. Your heart is in a right place. Keep begging God, keep declaring his strength, not yours.

The doctor and the person for instance, they should fill you with confidence, because it’s his strength that will hold you fast and hold you to the end. If you find your heart respond in that way. Now I’m asking you to pay attention to your heart. Now, friends, if you find that in your heart, there’s a good thing there. Friends, I need to warn those of you that that’s not what you find in your heart, wouldn’t do my job as your pastor if I didn’t warn you now. Because we know that on the day that Jesus returns, there will be some who have claimed his name. Yet he will say I knew you not. If you are placing your trust in the fact that you set a certain prayer or you have shown up here at church a bunch. Or you were raised in a certain family, if you’re placing your hope in any of those things, but there is no fruit of the Spirit. Being born in your life. There is no dependence on Christ. There’s no repentance from sin and a turning away from it. You should not put your hope and being saved on that day. Here my warning, you should not put your hope may say that day in those things. The heart that has been captured by Christ, longs to follow him imperfectly. Yes. With plenty of faults and failures. Yes, yeah. But it follows nonetheless. It does not put its own its own righteousness. When having sat a certain formulate prayer at some point. It puts all its hope, in the righteousness of Christ claimed for itself, repentance from sin, and then walking forward in him. I need you to hear me. Now friends also hear this. If that’s you, if you’ve placed your hope, in some formulaic version of that, rather than understanding that, to become a follower of Christ is to say all of life is now his, My life belongs to him. I have been crucified with him, and I no longer live the life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me, my life, every breath belongs to him tiss his alone. If you would say to him, I need that today I was putting my hope somewhere else, he will respond, he will come, He will grant life, He will save and he will make you able to persevere to the end. So that you will not be as Hebrews 10, Jesus we heard say, you will not be among those who shrink back. But among those who endure and are saved. This is the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints. It’s a deeply important one for the people of God. Yes and Amen. Okay.

Now we turn to the second prayer. The second prayer that Paul prays after saying, make them worthy of your calling when you come or Jesus and you call them up into heaven. The second prayer that he prays is after that, and in verse 11, says, and that God may fulfill every resolve for good, and every work of faith by His power. Now, this is a parallel prayer to what we saw in Colossians chapter one, that we bear fruit in every good work. So we talked a good bit about that last week, I’m not going to spend an incredibly long amount of time on this, that’s there, if you didn’t catch it, and go back and listen to it. There’s this vision that we would be like a, like a tree bearing so much fruit that it just can’t be counted. I mean, just just so much fruit coming. That’s what Paul is praying in the face of persecution. He doesn’t just pray, help him to endure to the end. He says also, Lord, help them to bear fruit. Help them to bear much fruit, like every good work that they attempt to do bring something forward from it. Why? Because doesn’t persecution, make our brothers and sisters feel like is there? Am I doing anything that has value? Am I accomplishing anything? Am I Suffering for no reason? What he’s saying is I want fruit to be born more so that they know they’re not suffering for no reason. They’re not being persecuted for no reasons. So we pray for our pastor bro. They’re in Nigeria, who was held captive for a month, help him to see that there’s fruit being born from that. So he doesn’t shrink back. So he doesn’t doubt so that he knows you’re doing something. It’s not purposeless, it’s purposeful. That’s what we pray. But there’s one other thing I love here that in addition to that parallel idea of Colossians, chapter one, and bearing much fruit that I love, because he didn’t just say, I want you to bring about fruit from their work. He said, I want you to fulfill every one of their resolves, right? What he’s saying there’s their desires. Now, here’s what I love about that. He’s saying, Lord, the stuff that they desire in their heart, give it to them fulfill is the idea of something that is partially done and needs to be completed. He’s saying, you’ve perhaps given part of their desire I’m asking you to, to fulfill that and give them all their desire. Here’s why I love that. Because rightly so when we’re instructing young Christians, one of the things we often say is, hey, we want you to base your actions on the truth, not on your feelings, that’s a pretty good thing to instruct our young ones. Yes, because do we often have feelings that don’t really align with the truth, and we act upon them and go, that’s not probably wise, right. So, but some, one of the things I think we do is we get stuck in that. We have this idea that the way we would instruct someone who’s young is the way in the faith is the way we should instruct someone who’s been in the faith for 25,30 years. That’s not true. But there’s something that can be learned here. It’s this is that if Paul can pray, give them the desires of their heart, one of the things he’s saying is our desires, not just our mind, get sanctified and become more mature over time in Christ. If that’s true, then if my desires become more mature in Christ, I start to desire the things of God rather than things in the world, rather than things of the flesh, if I’m walking with him, and as I grow to maturity, I can distinguish between a desire of the flesh that’s still lingering, that needs to be put to death, and a desire that is mature and of the Spirit and of the Lord. And I can say, Lord, give me that desire. So, as we mature, our desires become more trustworthy, they become indicators of the will of God, indicators of the path to walk on, we don’t have to be afraid of our desires. As we grow and walk in maturity, do you hear me church? If we didn’t, you should not spend all of your Christian life going after denial, my desires, your desires are being sanctified. As you walk with Jesus, they’re being made right and righteous. Therefore, you receive the desires of your heart, as you walk with them, but not lacking in trustworthiness. They are trustworthy as you grow. Now, again, I don’t instruct a believer on day five that way, but I do instruct a believer on day 2000. That way, as we grow in maturity, desires get sanctified. That’s a good thing. By the last prayer that he prays here, as he prays for Jesus to be glorified in them, and them in him, right, look with me at verse 12. Now, he says, so that now that so that is a causal statement. So what he’s saying is everything else I prayed before, I’m praying for this reason, I pray that they would endure in the faith, I pray that you would cause fruit to be born out of the work that you give them the desires of their heart, I pray all that so that Jesus would be glorified. Now, the reason we need to highlight this friends, is because what did we say at the beginning of our journey in this series? What do we start with a prayer for the glory of Jesus in the hearts of his people? What are we ending with a prayer for the glory of Jesus in the hearts of His people, He is the beginning and the end, the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and end of our prayers for one another should be let them hunger and thirst for your glory, Jesus? Yes. So we have a wonderful book in here on our series on praying for one another. In particular, as you pray for brothers and sisters who are persecuted, who are suffering for the sake of righteousness, I pray that they would long for Jesus glory that is the only sustaining motive in a heart that is suffering. There is no other there’s no vision of comfort, no vision of a better life a year from now, no vision of like, good things to come, no vision of life, but brothers and sisters love them. Those are all fine things, but nothing sustains the heart under persecution that must endure and stay to the end. Nothing other than a vision that Jesus would get glory from the suffering. Nothing else, which is why we pray for him. Help them long for Your glory of them long for Your glory. Now, we saw that in John 17. We’ve seen it throughout these prayers. You see it again here. But then there’s this interesting phrase right afterwards. What did he say after he said, I pray Jesus, verse 12, that the Lord Jesus may be glorified in you and you In Him, what did he just pray? He just said, I also pray Thessalonians in the same way that I pray the Lord Jesus would get glory from you, that you would be glorified in him that they would be recipients of glory. And we need to understand that because that’s, that’s almost mind blowing as much as we spend time talking about Jesus as the one who’s worthy of glory. The Father is the one who’s worthy of glory to find a prayer in the New Testament where he’s praying glorify these people. sounds odd. Would you agree with that?

So wait, what what should we really pray this? What should I really this week, pray, glorify my brother, my sister, in you. First we need understand what it means to glorify and then we need to understand the importance of that phrase in him, right in him, that is there in the text. So the first thing is what we mean when we say when we’re praying, glorify the name of Jesus, what we’re saying is the glory of the Lord in the New Testament in particular, is this, the best way to define it is the visible manifestation of His absolute goodness and purity. So in other words, he possesses absolute purity, absolute goodness, absolute holiness is his nature to he is, and when we talk about, he has glory, we’re saying he makes those things visible. He makes them visible. So when you say I’ve, when a person scriptures, I want you to see the glory of the Lord, they’re saying, I want you to see in a visible way, the, what just emanates from Him in His goodness, and his worth and his value, I want you to see it. So you see how valuable he is. So when then we’re talking about the glory of the people of God. What Paul is praying is, I want your value and worth to be visibly seen. That’s what he’s praying this is glorify them in you. Right. So he’s saying I want their worth their value to be seen. Now, again, if you stopped there, that would be kind of like saying, Hey, there, they must be pretty valuable. We want you we want you to show their value. But what he’s saying is, they’re valuable in you, in him. So the simplest way I know to put it is this, what Paul is saying is, when you pray for a brother or sister who’s being persecuted, one of the things that’s going to be challenged is their sense of having any value or worth. They’re going to be pushed down, beat upon. They’re going to need to be reminded not only that they have purpose, and can be effective for the kingdom, but also that they have value to the king. So I’m praying Thessalonians, that you would see that others those who persecute you would see when he says Your glory, that they would see your value and your worth that you have received from Christ. When they see value and worth that they’ve received from Christ, who do they see as ultimately worthy of value? Christ himself. So it’s not a word worth and value outside of Christ as if you possess it intrinsically in yourself. He’s saying, pray that you glorify these people. In you, father, he’s saying, Jesus Father, show your worth through showing their worth. Maybe the way to think about it is this. When he says, I want like all those around you to see your glory, I want them to see how much Jesus has changed you. Because you wouldn’t be what you are without him. And so when I pray for you, this week, as I will, man, or Jesus, glorify yourself in them. Then I’m going to pray and glorify them in you. When I pray that what I’m saying is, will show the world around them, how much they have been transformed by your grace, and your goodness, and your power and your love. When they see that they go, man, that kind of person is amazing. They would honor that kind of person. They would see the worth of that kind of person. They would speak to the worth of that kind of person and glorify it. Because when they do that, they’re saying, No one can be that way, unless they are in Christ. Unless they are connected to someone who can make them that way. Am I making sense?

Ah, so we pray that way now. But listen, there’s just so many fantastic texts that speak to this idea that Jesus is willing to, and does as designed and plan to share His glory with us. Listen to John 17, verse 22, for our very first text we looked at on prayer when Jesus prays and he says, The glory Father that You have given me, I have given to them. He shares His glory. II Timothy, chapter two, verse 12, which we read a little bit earlier. He says, If we endure, we will reign with Him He will share his authority with us. Perhaps the richest one in my opinion, Romans chapter eight, verse 17. He says, if we’re children of God, then heirs heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with them, in order that we may also be glorified with Him, He’s not talking there about receiving resurrection glorified bodies, as he’s going to talk about a little later in Romans chapter eight. There, he’s talking about actually receiving glory alongside of Jesus. Now, I don’t pretend to know exactly what that’s going to look like King Jesus will be reigning supreme, and we will be glorifying him. Every knee will bow and every tongue confess not at the name of Trent, or at your name, but at the name of Jesus. But there will be a shared glory with him, because we will be one with Him completely sanctified Washington, his righteousness, and he will get all the credit for it. He will get all the fame and all the recognition, but we will share in it and that is astounding. A glorious vision of our future. Would you agree with that? I want to point out one last thing. I said, I want to point out something Paul didn’t pray for now, I’m not suggesting it’s wrong to pray for this thing. I’m just telling you, it didn’t show up in the top three. Okay. It didn’t show up the beginning. What did Paul when he prayed helped him to endure. Let them be glorified in you bear fruit through their good works? What is noticeably missing from these prayers? Make the persecution stop. Did you notice that wasn’t there? Now again, I’m not suggesting it’s wrong. In fact, we were told in the scriptures like, hey, believers, you should want to live a quiet life. You should want to live a life that is you’re operating with integrity so that those in authority over you don’t need to come down on you. That way, you can quietly go about the work of proclaiming the gospel and quietly go about the work of building the kingdom. I think there’s something to that of saying like we’re not aiming for persecution, looking for it. We’re not trying to invite it in. But when it comes, there isn’t this indicator that it’s a prayer of first priority to say, would you get rid of it? Would you make it go away? I just want to highlight that for you. That that’s not the first word. Because honestly, before I started studying this week, and my guess is when you walked in here today, if I said to you, we’re going to talk about how you should pray for a Christian who is facing persecution. What’s the first thing you think would come to mind in your head when I said, What would you pray first? My guess is make it stop. Again, please do pray that but don’t pray at first. It’s not the first prayer. Here we have what is most important to pray for us. Listen to these texts about the value of persecution. Matthew, chapter five, verses 10 through 12. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you and others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great and heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Jesus said in John 15, verse 20, remember the word that I said to you, a servant is not greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. We read from Hebrews chapter 10, verses 32 through 36. earlier about the need for endurance, he says you have need of endurance. But listen to what else is added to this. He says But recall the former days when after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, sometimes thing publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated for you had compassion on those in prison. You joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourself had a better possession and an abiding one. You need to endure and he says they joyfully let’s just imagine someone sees your property today. How joyfully would you endure the seizing of your property? I’m not sure I could say I would and I’d be honest about that.
But boy, if we know we have a better and abiding property waiting for us an eternal home, then we are able to joyfully endure. Now friends that’s why Paul’s first prayer is not make the persecution go away. His first prayer is caused them to endure to the end, so that they are worthy of your calling when you come for them. That’s the first prayer Do you see it? It’s a big difference in the way we would pray in these circumstances and situations. I would invite you to let the scriptures guide your prayers, not your impulses about what to pray in that moment with the Scriptures guide your prayers. So friends, we’ve been in this series now all summer and as I said, my hope has been that your prayer life has been shaped by it. That you would continue to pray this way for one another. Can I just paint a picture for you? One day, none of us is going to be here. I’m not going to be the pastor and you’re not going to be one of the people that is part of this church family. I don’t mean tomorrow. But 100 years from now, none of us is going to be here. Will this church still be here? Will it still be doing the work of the Kingdom? My prayers? Yes, but do you know what, in large part will relate to our prayers? Will this church be here? 100 years from now 200 years should the Lord tarry and not return? Will this church be here proclaiming the gospel, saturating God’s people with the truth of His Word, seeking to love neighbor. Care for practical needs? Proclaim the truth of the gospel? Will it be here doing that it will enlarge part depend upon how we pray. Because we cannot we can do the work now what is the guarantee that it will be done by the next generation, and the next and the next? We will chart the course of the future of this church together through prayer. So take up the Word of God and your prayers for one another and our life together. May God in His mercy and grace grant that should Jesus not return, this church will be here 200 years from now stronger than it is now. More rooted in the truth, walking forward and the purposes of God. We are living for a generation we have not yet known or not yet seen, not for ourselves, but for what will come. Let’s pray together. Well, we love your word. We want to be a people of your word. And so we pray that you’d help us to pray according to your word. We thank you for the brilliant, beautiful, good when some guidance you give us in it. We sense it as we read it. I mean, we just the Spirit of God in us cries out that is right. Your Word is the way to pray. And so we pray that You would give us fuller prayer lives, deeper prayer lives, more tenacious prayer lives, more determined, more joyful, deeper experience of your presence with us as you’ve promised we can come into your very throne room when we pray. And so we pray that you’d help us. Lord Jesus, we love you. We pray that you receive our praise now. It’s in your mighty name we pray, amen. Let’s stand together worship the Lord.

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