Keeping with the theme of prayer, the text of 1 Thessalonians 3:11-13 is another helpfully worded prayer by the Apostle Paul. In particular, the language emphasizes the interconnectedness of the church. This interconnectedness is seen in several elements among which is the call to “increase and abound in love for one another.”

The end purpose is not merely to create some feeling or mere emotion of love, but rather the purpose centers around God – that they would be established before him. In verse 13, the ESV reads “so that he may establish…” in which it is God who establishes peoples’ hearts in holiness.

Here is where the community of believers and their love for one another comes into play. Living the Christian life “without blame in holiness” is not just a private matter for an individual to pursue on one’s own. Rather, the Christian life is a matter that is tied to the whole, the church. All of us are to increase and abound in love for one another and all of us are to be established without blame in holiness before God. How do believers within the church display the kind of love that God commands us to have for one another? Part of the answer is prayer. We all are to pray similarly for one another and also to expect and covet the prayers of those who might pray for us within the church.

O the challenge for the church to increase and abound in such prayerful love for one another!