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Paul’s Prayers: 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13

Our Devotional in Paul’s prayers continues:

1 Thessalonians 3:12-13 12May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. 13May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.

We’ve seen over and over in Paul’s prayers an emphasis on thanksgiving. The other emphasis we’re beginning to notice is on love: may your love increase and overflow. That’s a great mental image – you’re praying for someone and you ask that their love, like a well, would bubble up and flow out from them for others and for everyone. (Visual!)

But love like this can only come as the Lord ‘strengthens your hearts.’ This is not something we can do ourselves but only through his strength. Only through him can we be ‘blameless and holy.’ And our prayer for ourselves and other needs to be that they will finish well – that they will continue to walk with Jesus and cling to the Father until the day their race is over. Not sinlessly, but blamelessly because they have kept short accounts with God. And holy because they have been totally set apart for his service.

In honor of Mother’s day this Sunday (and in honor of my wife, who has watered so well that many of our trees are now spreading their branches out to bless others) Planting Trees by Andrew Peterson. Do listen to his long rambling introduction, because that’s what makes this video both about overflowing love and about mother’s day.