Today’s Reading: 2 Thessalonians 2:1-17
Messages on prayer and meditation are like books on marriage. They may help point the way to the reality of a deep and precious relationship, but the reality is discovered and experienced in the act of marriage, not in talking or reading about marriage. The reality of communion with God – you speaking in prayer and God speaking through his written Word by his Spirit – is discovered and experienced in the act of prayer and meditation. If you want this reality – and Christians do want this reality – you will find it this year when the Word this morning moves you to the act of prayer and meditation where the reality is. You learn the secrets of prayer and meditation – communion with God through Christ – by doing it.
First, in 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14 we see how the prayer of thanks depends on the revelation in the Word of how God works in our lives. First Paul says, “We should always give thanks to God for you, brethren.” Thanks is one of the happiest responsibility in the world because real gratitude is one of the sweetest experiences the human heart can know.
The second illustration of this is in 2 Thessalonians 2:15-17. In verse 15 Paul tells us to stand firm and hold fast to the Word. Then in Verses 16-17 he prays that Jesus and the Father would strengthen us in every good work and word. So he shows that there is a connection between holding to the Word and praying for God to make the Word effective.
So how does our strength for good works and good words happen? By meditation alone? No. By prayer alone? No. By prayer for God to make the Word effective in our lives. Word and Spirit. Meditation and Prayer. Not either-or, but both together.
Donald Whitney writes: Meditation is the missing link between Bible intake and prayer. The two are often disjointed when they should be united. We read the Bible, close it, and then try to shift gears into prayer. But many times it seems as if the gears between the two won’t mesh. In fact, after some forward progress in our time in the Word, shifting to prayer sometimes is like suddenly moving back into neutral or even reverse. Instead, there should be a smooth, almost unnoticeable transition between Scripture input and prayer output so that we move even closer to God in those moments. This happens when there is the link of meditation in between.