Glancing through the New Testament, you can miss the author’s different writing styles that are deeply embedded through each Chapter. Coming from someone who is passionate about writing and speaking for the glory of God, I know that your heart is displayed through the words that are written. The Holy Spirit revealed a part of the Apostle Paul’s heart through a common theme in almost every single letter that he wrote.
“We are grateful to God for your lives and we always pray for you.” 1 Thessalonians 1:2 (TPT)
“I give thanks to my God for every remembrance of you, always praying with joy for all of you in my every prayer, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.” Philippians 1:3-5 (CSB)
“First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you because the news of your faith is being reported in all the world.” Romans 1:8 (CSB)
“I always thank my God for you because of the grace of God given to you in Christ Jesus, that you were enriched in him in every way, in all speech and all knowledge.” 1 Corinthians 1:4-5 CSB
Do you see the common occurrence that Paul’s writing reveals about his heart? Paul’s writing reveals while praying for others, giving thanks is essential. He not only is giving thanks for those people but is giving thanks to God for what he is doing in the hearts of man. Confession time: I have fallen into a pattern of intercession that has felt burdensome. I was deeply focused on what needed to change. Thankfully, Philippians gives us direction in the arena of prayer.
“Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Phillippians 4:6 (CSB)
Have you missed the mark like me and went into intercession without thanksgiving? The results of not thanking God for what he is currently doing zaps us of joy. We are focused on the problem, rather than the one who holds the solution. We are zoomed in on what needs to happen rather than the one who making all things happen. Prayer without thanksgiving blinds us to what God is doing in and through us and others. The definition of joy is to have an awareness of God’s grace and favor. Praying with joy is giving worthy recognition to God’s for his favor and grace at work! Do we purpose to be joyful intercessors?
I believe there is a time and place of mourning in prayer over the wickedness of this world and things that grieve the Holy Spirit. However, Holy Spirit has made it clear, there is a time and a place of joyful intercession too. Being a joyful intercessor can only be done through being purposeful in acknowledging God’s grace and favor at work in our lives.
I am so thankful for the Word of God and that Paul’s letter’s reveal his heart through his prayer life. Thanksgiving and joyful intercession not only better our prayer life but our relationships too. When we start coming into prayer with a thankful heart concerning the coworker that gives us trouble, a parent who does not understand, or a child who seems to be going wayward; It shifts our perspective. Our eyes and hearts are awakened to God’s love that is interwoven in the details of our lives, even in the situations that seems impossible.
More Scripture To Meditate On:
- 2 Thessalonians 1:4
- 2 Timothy 1:3
- Colossians 4:2
- 1 Timothy 2:1