Pauline Prayer Pattern
Pauline Prayer Pattern is a topical sermon by Earl White.
1 Thessalonians 1:2-5
"We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father; knowing, brethren beloved, you election of God.
For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake."
Prayer is one of the greatest privileges that we have. I am afraid we use it far too little. There is a common saying, "There is power in prayer." That is not universally true. For instance Psalm 66:18 says, "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me."
In this case there is no power in prayer. It might be better to say, "that believing prayer moves the hand of the God that moves the universe." Prayer is powerful because God is powerful. He will come to the aid of believing prayer and will prove Himself to those who put their confidence in Him. This is the Pauline prayer pattern.
Let's notice some of the things that are said about Paul's prayer life.
I. HE PRAYED THROUGH A LIST OF COMMENDABLE THINGS.
1 Thess. 1:2-3 "We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;"
Paul acknowledges the work of God in their lives. Paul says that it causes him to be thankful for them.
He also remembered some commendable things:
- He commends them for their work of faith.
Faith without works is dead.
- He commends them for their labor of love.
This speaks of their compassion toward the "have-nots."
- He commends them for their patience of hope.
Proverbs 13:12, "Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life."
- He commended their willingness to follow through with patience.
Patience is something that not many of us have much to offer someone seeking help in that area.
- He commended their reception of the Word of God.
1 Thessalonians 1:2, "We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers;"Remembering and commending these things was part of the Pauline prayer pattern.
II. HE PRAYED THROUGH A LIST OF NEEDS.
- He prayed for a return trip.
1 Thess. 3:10 "Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith?" This is a strong statement about Paul's prayer life. The word "exceedingly" means, "Over and above." It is a word used by Paul to express an ultimate measure. He could not put it any stronger.
- He prayed for their experiential Sanctification.
1 Thess. 4:3-4 "For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;"Sanctification has to do with living a separated life. He cautions them about involvement in sexual sins; the words "that ye should abstain from fornication" is just one named sin; however, Paul is dealing with the reality of the old sin nature and the things that a Christian can be lured into.To avoid this Paul says, "That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honor." Someone might say, "God made me this way" but this claim is nothing less than blasphemy."
- He exhorts them to a life of prayer.
1 Thess. 5:17, "Pray without ceasing."
- He prayed for their attitude.
He says in 1 Thess. 5:18 "In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." Praying through a list of needs was part of the Pauline prayer pattern.
III. PAUL REQUESTED PRAYER FOR HIMSELF.
This is found in 1 Thess. 5:25 "Brethren, pray for us."
- This proves his faith in the doctrine of prayer.
No one has prayed more than this great apostle. If we do not believe in the Scriptural teaching on prayer, prayer will not be important to us. It will just be another ritual that bears no fruit.
- This expresses his confidence in the effectiveness of their prayers.
Paul believed that they could get an audience with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
- Paul adopted an attitude of humility.
Isa. 57:15 "For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones."Requesting prayer for himself was part of the Pauline prayer pattern.
Paul in his Pauline prayer pattern is not teaching us to make demands of God; Isaiah 45:11, "Thus saith the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me."
"Sanctified" boldness is not irreverence. When a believer is lured by Satan into making demands of God, he will be in for some severe chastening. May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.
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