Want help on how to pray then look no further than the seven (really six) important prayer points that Paul gives us:
“Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you, and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men. For not all have faith. But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one. And we have confidence in the Lord about you, that you are doing and will do the things that we command. May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.” 2 Thessalonians 3:1-5
1. Paul primarily prays that the Gospel will go forth speedily so this needs to be our priority in prayer as well. We are to pray that God’s glorious Gospel would keep going forward unhindered. Not only that the Gospel would go forward, but it would “be honored.” Paul has in mind here that the Gospel would be accepted and respected as saving truth. He reminds the Church that this is how the Gospel was received among them. It was joyously received.
2. Paul asks that we pray to be delivered from the evil/wicked ones. There are several aspects of deliverance that are in mind here.
Deliverance from those that are wicked. In the context of the local church, those that attend are a mixed crop of wheat and tares (Matthew 13:24-30). Simply put, some are Christians and some are not. Sometimes those non-believers are major sources of conflict, luring others away to sin, and doctrinal perversity
Deliverance from those that are evil – those actively and aggressively promoting sin, bringing hardships, and conflicts.
3. We need to ask God to make us stable/strong in Him. This encompasses faith, doctrine, trust, and other issues relating to God strengthening His people.
4. He will guard us against the wiles of Satan and his demons.
5. He will teach us to be obedient to the Holy Spirit’s leading and to His Word. That our minds would be renewed by His Word.
6. Pray that God would direct our hearts. Here, Paul prays that Christian hearts would be directed specifically into the love of God and the steadfastness of Christ.
To the love of God – this could involve both being directed to God’s love as well as the believer loving God more. Either case would have a major impact on a believer’s sanctification. A deep love for God and dwelling on God’s deep love for the believer drowns out lesser loves and affections.
To the steadfastness (patience) of Christ – How often do you reflect on the patience of Christ? Specifically, why He is patient with his children? There is divine patience that the believer experiences because of who they are in Christ. There is rest and peace that is found in the completed work of Christ and is a reminder that there is no more condemnation for the believer. This prayer could also be for Christlike patience. Which of us couldn’t use more of that?
7. In conclusion, there is no better thing for us to regularly pray for ourselves, our pastors and for each other than successful delivery of the Gospel, deliverance from evil men, for the Lord to make us stable, protect us from evil, and guide us into obedience. Along with those things, we should pray that our love and endurance would blossom as we look at Christ.