2 Thessalonians 1:1-4, 11-12 (NRSV)
Chapter 1Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Verse 2Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Verse 3We must always give thanks to God for you, brothers and sisters, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of everyone of you for one another is increasing. Verse 4Therefore we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith during all your persecutions and the afflictions that you are enduring.
Verse 11To this end we always pray for you, asking that our God will make you worthy of his call and will fulfill by his power every good resolve and work of faith, Verse 12so 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.
It has been my privilege to know of "Granny M" since my now twenty-something children were in kindergarten. She was the caregiver for our neighbor's children — their grandmother. I met her at the bus stop as she watched over the children who congregated there every morning. What I did not know until many years later was that she was not only a physical presence; she was then and still is actively involved in intercessory prayer, her chosen ministry. She spends hours each day praying for the needs of many.
Paul prays for the people in the church in Thessalonica in a similar way. Though not present, he tells them in his letter that he is praying for their many needs, especially that they may be strengthened in the persecutions they are experiencing. He gives thanks for their love for one another. We too are blessed by the prayers of others, those known to us as well as those who are not. We have the promise that Jesus, the intercessor between God and humankind, prays for us as well.
Faithful God, we give thanks for all who offer their prayers on our behalf. Bless them and their compassion for others. Give us the will to pray for others and their needs so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you. Amen.