I give thanks to God, whom I serve with a clear conscience, as my ancestors did. I thank him as I remember you always in my prayers night and day. I remember your tears, and I want to see you very much, so that I may be filled with joy. I remember the sincere faith you have, the kind of faith that your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice also had. I am sure that you have it also. For this reason I remind you to keep alive the gift that God gave you when I laid my hands on you. For the Spirit that God has given us does not make us timid; instead, his Spirit fills us with power, love, and self-control.2 Timothy 1:3-7 GNB
Writing from prison, Paul gives us a glimpse of his prayer life. He’s writing to a man whom he refers to as a son in the faith. He left him in Ephesus with the task of bringing some order to a disordered church. That has apparently proven to be a daunting task. What can we glean that will help us in our own prayers?
- Paul had people he prayed for every day. We pray for specific needs when we hear of them, but there are some folks with whom we have a special connection. That circle of “faith-connections” is part of our daily assignment for prayer. Who do you pray for every day?
- He gave thanks for Timothy’s strengths. He recalled the tears that were shed at their parting (Acts 20:36-38), the tenderness of their connection. He remembered Timothy’s sincere love for Jesus. He also knew his gifts.
- He recognized Timothy’s weaknesses and loved him anyway. Timothy tended to be timid. Instead of berating him, he beseeched him: stir up the gift that I know is in you and remember that the Holy Spirit will give you all the power you need.
It’s Sunday. Let’s get ready for the gathering of the saints by praying for those with whom we have a strong connection. (If you can’t think of anyone, today would be a good day to ask God to connect you to someone.) Thank God for them and the things about them for which you are grateful. Pray that God will stir them up to do and say the things that God puts in them. Pray especially for your pastors and those in authority in your church. If Timothy needed it, they probably do too.
I thank God for you!