Speaking to the Soul – Monday November 1

A short reading and prayers for today

We always thank God for all of you and pray for you constantly. As we pray to our God and Father about you, we think of your faithful work, your loving deeds, and the enduring hope you have because of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Thessalonians 1:2-3 NLT

Paul has great affection for these Christians in what we would now call northern Greece. He had spent time with them and knew them well. He knew that they weren’t perfect and, in this letter, he is going to spell out some very specific concerns that he has about the way in which they were living. However, what I love about these opening verses is that he comes up with a beautiful list of the ways in which his life was blessed by them.

It’s so easy to focus on the problems of life isn’t it? We can probably all identify people who wind us up, and who are a pain. We can think of their annoying habits and the way in which they make our life so much harder than it needs to be. I suspect that Paul could have come up with such a list about the people in Thessalonica. But he chose to identify the blessings. They were faithful and loving in their actions and had a firm hope for the future because of their faith in Jesus. It’s important for us too to reflect on the people around us and to identify their good qualities. Let’s thank God for the privilege of knowing them and praise God for the ways in which their lives enhance our life. They’re not perfect but then, neither are we! But, however imperfect they may be, their lives bring God’s blessings to us.

The key to what Paul says in these verses is that he prays for them constantly. That shows the level of commitment that he has for them. One of the most transforming moments for me as a teenager was when a youth leader told me that he and his wife regularly prayed for me. I was amazed! But it revealed to me their heart and their commitment to me. So, let’s keep praying for those around us – and give thanks!


In what ways has God blessed you through the people you know?


Loving Father, keep me constant in prayer for the people in my life and help me to give thanks for them. Amen

O God, our refuge and strength,
who art the author of all godliness;
Be ready, we beseech thee, to hear
the devout prayers of thy Church;
and grant that those things which we ask faithfully
we may obtain effectually;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Almighty and eternal God,
you have kindled the flame of love in the hearts of the saints:
Grant to us the same faith and power of love,
that, as we rejoice in their triumphs,
we may be sustained by their example and fellowship;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.