We always thank God for all of you, making mention of you constantly in our prayers.
We recall, in the presence of our God and Father, your work produced by faith,
your labor motivated by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Thessalonians 1:2-3 (CSB)
All of 1 Thessalonians 1 is absolutely beautiful. I read it and get all teary-eyed. Paul writes to this group of believers in the church of Thessalonica. He, Silvanus, and Timothy were welcomed into this group with open arms of gratitude and joy. This group was teachable and humble toward the gospel and receptive to the work of the Holy Spirit.
Paul acknowledges the fruit of their lives and honors them. The definition of honor is to show respect and recognition. It is to give credit. That is what Paul did with each word in this chapter. He makes mention of everything they were doing that blessed him and revealed their love for God. Their work was produced by faith, their labor was motivated by love, and their endurance was inspired by hope in Christ. These believers welcomed the truth of the gospel and endured in spite of persecution.
For me, I have at times wanted leadership in my life to simply see me and encourage me. But God has always seen me; I am always known by Him. And part of His plan for community is for us to give honor where honor is due. Our words have more power than we know. We speak life or death. Our words have the potential to bring hope and healing to weary souls. Giving honor to those around us ultimately honors God.
Further down in the chapter, Paul acknowledges the Thessalonians’ growth and progress in their faith and the impact they’re making on others. Though they once worshiped idols, they were now imitators of God and an example to other believers. Others had seen and been blessed by their progress, but they needed to see it for themselves as well.
One of my friends describes this as calling out the gold in someone’s life. It’s a lovely picture of drawing out purpose and potential instead of staying stuck in the past.
Paul, as someone of influence and authority in this church’s life, spoke of them and to them with such grace and love and encouragement. It made me begin to think about the spheres in my life where God has given me influence and authority. How do I use my words in those spaces? How do you?
One way we can use our words for life is to cover others in prayer.
Prayer is a game changer. It is what ushers in the Holy Spirit to infuse our words with His power. I love that Paul led his letter with the fact that he thanked God for the Thessalonians and prayed for them constantly. I can encourage others all day and that is good and important, but praying over them is how the Holy Spirit changes their hearts and lives. There is actually a double blessing attached. Prayer changes us too. It changes how we think, feel, speak, and live.
Let’s be women who give honor where honor is due.
Let’s be women who call out the gold in others’ lives.
Let’s be women who faithfully cover others in prayer.
Edited from a post originally written by Karina Allen in October 2017.
How can we pray for you?
Here at (in)courage, one of our greatest privileges is turning to God together in prayer. Let’s hold space for one another in prayer, so leave a prayer request in the comments and then pray for the person who commented before you.
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I’m a single mother of a very lively two year old little girl. We have had a couple of challenging years. As I start to try and come out on the other side, I live with a lot of fear and loneliness. Please pray for me to find a way to release the fear to God (as I know that he will protect and provide) and be the best mom possible for my amazing daughter.
Please bless Elizabeth and her daughter, Lord. Raising toddlers can be a lonely business, even with a partner in the house. Provide friends for Elizabeth to walk alongside her and share in her trials. Bless these years with your abundance and love. Amen.
Beth Williams says
Precious Father help Elizabeth be the best mom she can. Infuse her with energy, strength & love for her two year old. Send her a friend or two who can walk along side her & share in her struggles. Guide her path & take away any fear she has about the future.
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
Lifting you and your precious daughter up in prayer. May God draw near and be your comfort. May he cast out the fear and let you know that, In Him, you are never alone. May He bring the right people into your life to combat the loneliness. Continuing to pray for healing…
Thank you for sharing. Please pray for complete healing for myself, my son, and my family. Thank you.
Dear Jesus, we lift up MB and her family. Lord, would you bring complete healing for everyone in that family. God, cover them with your wings, cover them with your protection and love. Father, help them to find the avenues of healing that will bring complete restoration and new, abundant life in Jesus’ name!
Amen. Thank you so much Kristen!
Prayers for you all MB.
Have a blessed day,
Thank you so much Penny. Have a blessed day!
I am struggling to trust God in the everyday and to let go of my own control and tired of living in that fear and bondage. I want to ask for prayer to be faithful in my studies, work and the everyday relationships that God has given me, but to do it in His strength, not my own and to bring glory to Him through it.
That is something that I struggle with to! Giving up control, you are not alone sister! Praying for you that the fear be lifted and that you surrender control to God with open arms! Thank You God for hearing our prayers, in Jesus Name, amen! God bless you friend
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
Barbara & Stephanie,
I struggled with trying to control everything in my life. My motivation was fear. Control is born out of fear. It took a LONG time to trust that no matter what came my way, God would get me through. It took going through some tough trials, but with each one God brought me through, my trust grew. Trust breeds freedom. Christ was perfect for YOU so you could walk in freedom. Apart from Christ we can do NOTHING. Ask the Lord to give you the gift of trust and ASK Him to cast out the fear that makes you want to control things. When we ask, He is faithful. Praying for you both!! God is able.
Love and prayers,
Clarice Elliott says
We are praising God in our family today. My daughter had an accident while playing basketball in the state championship game. At the moment it was very scary and she was taken to the hospital by ambulance. In the end she just had a gash to her chin. Lord we thank you for the hedge of protection you place around us and our loved ones. Please continue to watch over us. (The team did go on to win the game).
Praising God with you, Clarice. Praying for God’s continued protection over you and your entire family. Amen.
Please pray for our family to have wisdom in a difficult decision. A few months ago we found out that my cousin has walked away from God and announced that he is gay and has had these feelings for the last 25 years. He is angry at God and the church and wants nothing to o with people who don’t support his new lifestyle. He has a wife (of 9years) and 2 small children. They are separating but he is still very involved in their lives and has a boyfriend. They are looking for a place to live that they can all be together. We are stunned and saddened. We need to reach out to him, but don’t want to compromise what we believe to be true and we want to show our own children the effects of sin and choices, but grace and love and what all that looks like etc. He was also one of two cousins in my whole family that we have a relationship with. Thank you for your prayers! God is gracious. His truth will always stand.
Beth Williams says
Praying for you & your family in this tough situation. Asking God to send wisdom & guidance to you all. Prayers for the wife & children as they deal with the separation & dad’s new lifestyle. Asking God to intervene & change the heart of your cousin. This is a rough place you find yourselves in. May you have the peace & presence of almighty God with you always.
I need prayer so bad! My husband left me years ago for another woman. They broke up & he is now back with her & getting married to her. This is devastating!! He claims to be a Christian. My daughter who is 16, is devastated. Her relationship with my ex is terrible because she does not like this woman. My son who who is 13 sees nothing wrong with the situation. I have desired restoration & told my ex this would be Gods will. He said he prayed and God was not leading him that way. Please pray this wedding does not go through, that God would intervene. We would be restored and God be glorified!
Praying for you dear sister…that you can let go and let God work this hard situation out and that whatever the outcome, you won’t be bitter.
For your husband all I can say is …”we reap what we sow”…God can handle him.
Dawn, keep your eyes on Jesus, He loves everyone… but….He also deals harshly with sin.
Praying for your children …it’s hard to be a Mom with teenagers…
hugs hugs , prayers and love…TRUST Prov 3: 5&6
Dawn Ferguson-Little says
Dawn I will pray for you. I know were you are coming from. It is hurt full. I know where your beautiful Daughter is coming from too. Because she does not like to see her Dad leave you. I been there with my Dad in the past. It not nice. Me as the Daughter I never hated what my Dad did. But I never liked what he did. He is single now. I had to learn to forgive and pray as Christian for my Dad. As if I didn’t I never get over it. My Dad not saved. I will pray for your Daughter to see it in her heart to forgive her Dad. I will pray for you her Mum as to see you go through the hurt. Of a broken marriage not nice. Plus watch your Daughter in pain at what her Dad doing not nice either. Then your son thinking there is nothing wrong. He probably thinks it Dad’s life let him live it way he wants. But it is wrong in Gods eyes. As he hurting you. Plus his Daughter. You he left for someone else. You the mum have be there for your Daughter plus yourself. He don’t care the pain and hurt it casing you. Your Husband has to stop remember that what he doing is wrong. As he if just walked out of beautiful marriage for no reason. For another person. God will not let that go on noticed. As when you make your marriage vows it says until death do part. I am great believer in that. As I am married myself. Children get hurt. When they see a parent leave a marriage for another person. They also hate to see the parent left behind like you to be hurt. See you hurting. I seen it. It not nice. I cried for my late mum at the time. Prayed for her and my Dad. All you now as parent can do is pray for your husband. Leave him at the foot of the cross with Jesus. Pray for your Daughter and leave her at the foot of cross with Jesus. Plus your son. Know Jesus is with you and his loving arms are round you at this this time. Keep telling your kids you love them. You prayed and left their Dad with Jesus. If get a chance tell your Daughter at the right time she must forgive her Dad. For all the wrong he is doing. Like it says in Gods words. As if she does not it will only eat her up. As if I didn’t with my Dad I not be able to talk to him again. I glad I did. Yes I never forget what he did. But at end of the day it now doesn’t eat me up anymore. Jesus is proud of me for doing the right thing. It was hard at the time. But I glad I did it. Love Dawn Ferguson-Little
I am in a toxic work environment. I need to leave but I also need to provide for my family. I’m struggling and exhausted by the emotional energy that I output and the stress that I face. I pray for God to provide a different job for me! Thx
Please God watch over Kristen and bless her with the job that is right for her. Take her out of this toxic work environment in Your perfect timing. Provide her with a job that not only blesses her financially but also blesses her with a healthy and happy work environment. God, please watch over Kristen to be a light in the work environment she is in now and in Your perfect timing lead her to the job that is right for her. Thank you God for hearing and answering all of our prayers and for providing for Kristen and her family. Thy will be done. In Jesus’ Name, amen!
God bless you Kristen!
Praying for you! This verse comes to mind “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you are trusting in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”Romans 15:13
Beth Williams says
Father God please help Kristen find another job with less stress & toxicity. Enable her to provide for the family without expending emotional energy. Give her wisdom she needs to know what the next move should be. Help her to maintain her Christianity in this job. Give her your peace, patience & love to endure this trial until you resolve all the issues.
Please pray for me and my family that we stand firm in the faith and that we keep trusting God and His many promises. Please also pray for our protection and peace. Thank you!
Dear Lord, lifting Stephanie and her family up today. You know their needs better than anyone else. Please supply all their needs according to your riches in glory. Please help them to keep standing firm in faith, no matter what. Help them to keep trusting you above all. Please continue to protect them and give them peace. Let your name be glorified in their lives. Amen.
Donna Tuttle says
Such beautiful blessings from one woman to another! I love it! I have gone over the 60 number, so I am no young chicky – but my heart fills with appreciation and admiration for all of you young women holding each other up. I pray that this generation loves each other, honors each other and supports each other. We are all unique and God wants us to know he loves us all, so that then we can love each other. Blessed are the women who praise and pray for each other!
As for the broken heart of a woman left as her husband seeks someone else – let it go and let God deal with it. It is too big for you to handle. And I also think you are far too good for him. God is in your heart and you want good, so let God send you good.
And the sweet woman in the toxic work situation – look hard for another job and get out. It will destroy you and in turn it will destroy your spirit. I pray that God surrounds you with protection and guidance. Something better is waiting for you.
Lastly, please pray for my son who is starting a new business. Huge obstacles for sure – but God makes the impossible happen. Please say a couple prayers for a food truck in Colorado and a young man who needs blessings and protection.
Praying that God will watch over your son’s new business and that He will lavish divine wisdom and protection over your son as he faces many decisions that have to be made.
Beth Williams says
I have a couple of prayer requests. My elderly next door neighbor lives alone except for her son’s friend who stays at night to help out. She is bad diabetic, has trouble walking & almost no family left. She has 1 sister in nursing home with dementia & a married granddaughter living nearby. Please pray she can stay healthy & content. When God is ready please take her sister or her home to be with Him & the rest of her family.
An older church friend just found out she has cancer. She must schedule appointment for surgery to remove tumor. A lot of her family has had cancer. Pray the surgery goes well & she doesn’t need chemo or radiation. Prayers for peace for husband & her family.
Mother in law has some health issues & is doing fair. She lost her husband Monday before Thanksgiving. Prayers she doesn’t fall anymore & doctors can help with leg pain (sciatica?) Also help ridding a big house of “stuff” & trying to sell old house. Prayers she can find a one level place to live.
Hubby has a super stressful job in hospital (CT) on weekends. He works 3 12 hr. shifts with one other person. They must go to ER get patient take them to CT do scan & then take them back. Work load is tremendous. He is super tired & can’t stand to be there any more. Prayers we can find something better like an outpatient diagnostic center. He needs out of this job. Driving him crazy.
Thanks everyone for your prayers & support!
Martha Troxel says
I just prayed for the needs you posted.
I’d like prayer for healing of sensory symptoms where the doctors are trying to rule out MS. And for prayer for healing from apathy, depression, fear and anxiety. Also, I’d love to become a wife to a godly Christian man but no man is in sight!
Louise, I pray that God will blanket you with peace, releasing your fears and tensions. May you be able to see and experience the joys He offers.
I ask prayers for my daughter who is need of a job where she can experience peace and use the skills God gave her.
I lift your daughter up in prayer to our Amazing creator. God please reveal your plan for Janes daughters life. Provide opportunities for work where she may glorify you and do the good works using the skills you have blessed her with. Amen
I’m a few days late to the prayer requests but may I ask (if anyone sees this!) for prayers for Hod to burst forth his plan for my life. My next step, please make it clear to me God that it’s from you. Give me guidance- I’m ready to follow you!
Praying that God will lead you in the right direction and that when He opens doors, you will be sure that it’s His divine provision and in His perfect timing. God bless you.