“To this end also we pray for you always, that our God will count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power; so that the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” – Vs 11-12
If you ever want to know how you should pray for the body of Christ and for other believers, just take note of the prayers of Paul. His prayers for the believers under his care are a window into his heart and an indication of his clear understanding of what it is we need to survive and thrive in this world. Here he does not ask God to remove the “persecutions and afflictions” (Vs 4) the Thessalonians were enduring. In fact, he tells them their relief will come “when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire” (Vs 7). No, Paul doesn’t try to pray their pain and suffering away – he prays that God will “fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power (Vs 11).
Paul prays that God will count them worthy of their calling. This has nothing to do with earning their way into heaven, but it has everything to do with the effort they put into living lives that reflect their calling. Paul is praying that they may live and act as ones who have been called by God. In fact, Paul commends them for doing so when he says that their perseverance and faith in the midst of suffering and persecution is a clear indication of God’s righteous judgment. The very fact that God rewards His children with the strength to endure is proof positive of their calling and His righteousness. They are living worthy of His calling of them because He has given them the strength to do so.
Paul goes on to describe what a life lived worthy of its calling will look like. It will “fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power” (Vs 11). Paul seems to be saying that every desire or determination prompted by goodness (a fruit of the Spirit) and every faith-inspired work will not be left unfulfilled or unfinished. He is praying that God will accomplish this by His power – the power of His grace working in them. He is praying for their continuing and increasing sanctification.
So why does Paul pray in this way? So that the name of the Lord Jesus might be glorified through their lives. Jesus’ work in their hearts reflects glory on Him. When we live worthy of our calling, the name of Jesus is glorified because it is proof that He is who He said He was and accomplished what He said He would do. Our lives can and should bring glory to Jesus. They should be exhibitions of His life-changing, grace-filled power to redeem, renew, and reclaim that which was lost. Paul is praying that we, as believers, should see our every resolve, motivated by the goodness within us, be completely fulfilled or come to fruition. He prays that every deed that is done in faith be completed. Because those two things are worthy of our calling as children of God. They glorify the name of Jesus on this earth and we see His name glorified in our own lives! We see His power exhibited in our daily lives and we grow even stronger in faith and righteousness.
Father, may my life more increasingly reflect the worthiness of Your having called me. May my desires, motivated by goodness, be fulfilled. May my deeds, motivated by faith, be accomplished. So that Your Son might be glorified in my life on this earth. Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men