We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 1:2-3)

To put the matter at its most basic, Paul’s prayer is the product of his passion for people. His unaffected fervency in prayer is not whipped-up emotionalism but the overflow of his love for brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus.

That means that if we are to improve our praying, we must strengthen our loving. As we grow in disciplined, self-sacrificing love, so we will grow in intercessory prayer. Superficially fervent prayers devoid of such love are finally phony, hollow, shallow.

~D. A. Carson, A Call To Spiritual Reformation, p.85

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