Summary: One of these fall mornings when the temperature drops, you're going to walk outside and when you breathe, you'll see a vapor cloud. Watch how fast it disappears: That's the length of your life according to the Bible.
A few weeks ago, I was channel surfing on my satellite radio, and I heard a pop song that kept repeating, “What do you want from me?” I tend to baptize, or biblicize everything I hear, so that phrase made me wonder if people ever stop and ask God, “God, what do you want from me?”
It is a glorious truth that the Creator of the Universe wants to have an intimate relationship with you. In other words, God WANTS to know you and He wants you to know Him. But have you ever wondered what God wants to do in and through your life?
There are a couple of ways for you to discover the answer to this question. First, you can find God’s will for your life in the Bible. And second, you can find out what God wants to do in and through you by praying.
Prayer really works. One day three guys named Dave, Bob, and Sam were hiking and they came to a fast moving river. Dave lifted his eyes to heaven and said, “Dear God, give me the strength to cross this river.” So he dove in and swam like crazy. It took him almost an hour and he almost drowned, but he finally made it. Bob prayed, “Dear God, give me the strength and the tools to cross this river.” He looked around and saw an old boat tied to a tree, so Bob hopped in it and started rowing across. The boat leaked and he capsized, and hung on for dear life, but after about thirty minutes, he made it. Sam looked at his two exhausted friends on the other side of the river, and decided to pray a different prayer. He said, “Dear God, give me the strength, the tools, and the intelligence to cross this river.” Poof! God turned Sam into a woman; she looked at the map and then walked a hundred yards north and walked across a bridge.”
In this second letter to the believers at Thessalonica, Paul writes about the final victory of Jesus when He comes to judge sinners. And then he breaks out in a prayer for them. Let’s read his prayer in 2 Thessalonians 1:8-12.
“He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you. With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
The most basic truth we can gather from this great prayer is that it is good for us to pray for one another. Paul concluded his first letter by writing that they should “pray continually.” And here he tells them that he is praying for them continually.
The greatest thing we can do for each other is to pray for one another. I need you to pray for me and the other leaders of our church. We need to pray for our church and for our nation. When spiritual awakening comes to America, it will be as the result of a mighty revival of prayer. You can never pray too much, but you can certainly pray too little.
The worst thing about prayerlessness is what it says about your attitude toward God. A prayerless person is saying, “God I don’t really need your help. I can handle it by myself.”
And Paul was very specific about his prayers. He didn’t just write, “I’m praying for you.” He told them exactly WHAT he was praying for them. When we dissect this short, powerful prayer, we discover three answers to the question, “What Does God Want with Me?”
I. GOD WANTS TO MAKE ME WORTHY OF HIS CALLING
His first prayer was, “We constantly pray… that our God may make you worthy of his calling.” God is calling you, are you listening to His call? His first call to you is the call of salvation. He says, “Come to Jesus for forgiveness!” In John 6:44 Jesus said no person can come to Him unless the Father draws him or her.