I suspect that every human dream can ultimately find fulfillment in God. What do you long for? Is it a fabulous windfall of wealth, a brilliant inventive mind able to devise technologies to conquer world-wasting problems, or social influence to change the way whole segments of humanity behave. In a prayer for the Thessalonians Paul reaches to the Lord for power—power to accomplish dreams in the context of living for God.
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. (2 Thess. 1:11-12)
Before the prayer, Paul commends the Thessalonians for their enlarged faith and growing love and for their perseverance in persecution. Theirs is a reasonably healthy church. Paul begins his prayer by asking God to help these Christians to live to the full measure of their calling. Perhaps he is still speaking of the kingdom of God, mentioned in verse 5. God has called every believer into a new lifestyle, the lifestyle of His Kingdom. It’s a life of joyful relationship first, but godly behavior follows, because we love living for God.
The next phrase of Paul’s prayer is astounding. He suggests that whatever we desire of goodness and faith can receive God’s power—our God-dreams can happen. We don’t have to scrape around for the resources to accomplish what He puts in our hearts; our desires will be filled full. The kingdom life is a simple life because we can move from desire to fruit because God empowers us. Let’s pray for good, faith-filled desires and God’s power to match.
A sign that our desires really are towards goodness and works of faith is that those things result in glorifying Jesus’ name. It is not that we should receive no pleasure from them but that our overarching motive is His glory and our biggest benefit is sharing in His glory.1
If you are thoroughly committed to living for God, don’t be afraid to dream big and pray like Paul—for power as great as your desires.
Do you know anyone who would benefit from Bible devotions like this? Please share Bible Maturity with them.
- Other passages talk about Christ being glorified in us (2 Thess. 1:10) and us sharing in His glory (Col. 3:4). [↩]