1 Thessalonians 1
as in the congregation of Thessalonica,
your Word still goes out and bears fruit
and the hearers receive it with great joy.
May all your people now be known for the work of faith,
and the labour of love and steadfastness
because of our hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
We pray that your gospel may come to us, too,
not only in words,
but with power in the Holy Spirit,
and with full conviction
and Spirit-given joy.
As your chosen people
we turn to you, our God, from idols,
to you, the true and living God.
We wait for your Son to come from heaven,
for he, whom you raised from the dead
will surely come to rescue us
from the wrath that is coming.
1 Thessalonians 2
Merciful God and Father,
we repent because of the sins committed in your name,
especially we ask for forgiveness for the terrible things Christian have sometimes done to convert people to our religion.
Such violence we did not learn from you,
or your servant Paul,
who preached the gospel out of pure motives,
seeking the well-being of people who do not know the Saviour,
without ever resorting to compulsion or violence.
May we, like Paul, be able to testify
that we are gentle, and not motivated by the need for praise or by greed.
Give us the heart of a mother caring for her children,
giving even ourselves, that it may be well with the family.
Give us, we humbly pray, the joy, the crown,
of being a blessing to others.
We pray for the privilege of appearing in your presence on that great day, with a crowd of brothers and sisters,
a crowd too large to number.
1 Thessalonians 3
Shepherd of your people, we are shocked by the terrible persecutions that terrorize people in our time.
We fear that this is an unspeakable challenge to the faith of many,
and we pray that the persecuted may be strengthened and encouraged.
May terrorists and all persecutors stop their evil works.
Father, may we never be caught unprepared,
for your Word tells us that persecutions are bound to come.
Thank you for believers who remain firm in faith and love.
We pray that you will increase in us love for one another.
Our loving God,
strengthen our hearts in holiness so that we may be blameless before you, our God and Father, when Jesus comes with all his saints.
For people who are so tormented that their faith fails,
prepare a place for them, too, at your banquet table.
Hear our prayer through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
1 Thessalonians 4
you have called us to the difficult and beautiful work of sanctification and holiness in our personal lives.
It will not do to approach you while continuing to sin.
You also call us to live in love with our brothers and sisters.
For this, help us to aspire to live quietly,
to mind our own affairs,
and to work with our hands.
May we live and behave properly towards outsiders.
Thank you for teaching us about the life that is coming, when all will be new.
Because of Christ’s work, we do not grieve as those who have no hope.
And while we do not have many answers to our questions about the future, we know that Jesus will give us eternal life.
All of us are alive in Christ, and will be with Jesus forever.
We pray that we may know how to encourage one another with the message of the gospel.
1 Thessalonians 5
Dear God of time and history,
we discover that it is futile to calculate when this age will end,
and when the new age will begin.
We will be likely be overtaken by surprise as by a thief in the night, when Jesus comes.
However, if we are watchful and alert,
we will not be overtaken by surprise, unprepared,
for we are children of light, not of darkness,
and we have been instructed concerning how to live as people prepared.
God, urge us to be sober,
to put on the breastplate of faith and love,
and for hope the helmet of salvation,
for you have destined us for salvation, not wrath.
Teach us to be a community of love,
of building each other up.
Instruct us to learn to live at peace with each other,
to admonish idlers,
to encourage the faint-hearted,
to help the weak, and be patient with them.
Show us how to be joyful and prayerful people.
May nothing we do quench the Holy Spirit.
We desire to honor the prophets, to hold fast what is good, and abstain from evil.
Faithful God, keep us faithful until Jesus comes. You can do that. Amen.