Praying When Life is Hard

Pastor Bill West – August 9, 2020


We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing. Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring. All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering. God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. 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 glory of his might 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 make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by 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. (2 Thessalonians 1:3–12)

Thank God

We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing. Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring. (2 Thessalonians 1:3–4)

We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 1:3)

Future Hope

All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering. God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. 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 glory of his might 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. (2 Thessalonians 1:5–10)

Will not the Judge of all the earth do right? (Genesis 18:25b)

Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:16–18)

Worthy Life

With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith. (2 Thessalonians 1:11)

God’s Glory

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. (2 Thessalonians 1:12)

We Must Look to the End to Keep Growing in the Present!


1) We’ve been dealing with the Coronavirus for almost six months. What are some of the ways it has been hard for you?

2) Read Acts 17:1-7: How did Jewish leaders respond to those who began to follow Jesus in Thessalonica? What do you think it would have been like to be a Christian in that city?

3) How do you normally pray when life is hard for you? Bill said Paul’s focus: We Must Look to the End to keep Growing in the Present. Why is it important to focus on what God’s future is for us as we deal with the difficulties of our present situation?

4) Read 2 Thessalonians 1:3-4: What is Paul grateful for here? What can we learn from this focus that can help us now as we pray? Where does Paul see growth where we may need growth today?

5) Read 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10 and Revelation 21:1-3: Why would Paul focus on future Hope in his prayers? How important is Hope for you in light of all that our world is facing today? How do you feel about future judgment for those who reject the gospel? Anything shocking or motivating here for you?

6) Read 2 Thessalonians 1:11: What does it mean to “walk worthy” of God’s calling for our lives? How do we do that in light of COVID-19?

7) Read 2 Thessalonians 1:12: Discuss how does God’s glory fit into our prayers?

8) Of these four areas that Paul focuses on, which one do you think you need more today?

9) How have you seen God answer prayer during COVID-19? How can we pray for each other this week?

10) Pray…