This past Sunday my pastor, Carl Muller, preached an excellent sermon on 2 Thessalonians 3:1, one of my favourite Pauline texts. He emphasized first that Paul was “passionate about seeing God glorified in the saving of many souls through the ministry of the Word.” This should be true of us as well. The text also sets forth, Pastor Muller asserted, a pattern for us—the pattern of being a person of prayer. I was struck by one point especially with regard to this second main point. We are to “pray,” he said, “with a sense of history.”
He drew this from the phrase “as happened among you” (ESV). The Thessalonians were being urged to remember how the Word of God had impacted their lives, and pray for the same results to happen in Corinth where the Apostle was labouring.
In other words, when we pray, we are to remember how the Lord has moved in the past and pray with a due sense of the greatness of his power and grace. A very helpful connect of history and prayer.