1 Thessalonians 5:12-24 (NRSV)

12 But we appeal to you, brothers and sisters,  to respect those who labor among you, and have charge of you in the Lord and admonish you; 13 esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. 14 And we urge you, beloved,  to admonish the idlers, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with all of them. 15 See that none of you repays evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to all. 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise the words of prophets,   21 but test everything; hold fast to what is good; 22 abstain from every form of evil. 23 May the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound  and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do this.   

1 Thessalonians 5:17 (NRSV)

17 pray without ceasing,

DEVOTION – Tom Gregg

While repairing my house, I slid off the roof, caught my foot in the ladder, and hit the patio deck.  I did not know if I had broken any bones, but I knew I was hurt.  Ginger, my wife of 50 years, heard the thud and can running.  I later learned that I had torn a tendon in my foot.

Before I had surgery, members of my church made a prayer blanket for me.  When Church members, friends, and family prayed for me, they tied a knot along the edge of the prayer blanket.  I took my prayer blanket to the hospital and asked my medical team to tie a prayer knot I it.  Some tied a braided knot.  My surgeon tied a surgeon ‘s knot, one that I used to secure stitches.  Most people tied a granny knot.  Some prayed for me aloud; others closed their eyes and prayed silently.  A woman from El Salvador prayed in Spanish and cried as she prayed.  Their prayers were uplifting.  I could feel the spirit of the Lord moving with each tied knot.  Sometimes, when I was feeling a lot of pain, I held the knots in the blanket, knowing that each knot represented someone’s prayer for me.  My recovery will take nine months.  During that time I will continue to pray for those who prayer for me, counting each knot as I do.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Praying for others is a blessing.

PRAYER: Dear God, give us the courage and desire to pray for others.  Teach us to “pray without ceasing.”  Amen.