1 Thess 5:17, Tell God What You Really Want.

Class Outline:

Sunday April 30, 2023

Theme: God wants us to ask Him and thus express our true desires.


Main passage:


1TH 5:16-18

Rejoice always; 17 pray without ceasing; 18 in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.



  1. Pray without ceasing (1TH 5:17).
  2. Meaning of adialeiptos (“unceasingly”)
    1. Not leaving the necessary occasion.
    2. Uses by Paul in 1TH 1:3; 2:13; ROM 1:9; 2TI 1:3.
  3.  Very expanded translation: pray without missing your morning and evening prayers, your closed door prayers, or your flare prayers from anywhere, nor your prayers for others, including your enemies, nor the prayers that someone asked you for yesterday, nor your prayerful meditation time with thankfulness - daily.
  4. God wants us to ask Him for our real desires.
    1. Ask God persistently and specifically and believingly.
    2. Bartimaeus: MAR 10:46-52 (parallel: LUK 18:45-53; MAT 20:29-34).
      1. "What do you want Me to do for you?" And the blind man said to Him, "Rabboni, I want to regain my sight!" 52 And Jesus said to him, "Go; your faith has made you well." (MAR 10:51-52)
    3. God wants us to ask.
      1. He could just do everything we desire that is in accordance with His plan, but He wants us to ask.
      2. Why does God want us to ask?
        1. Asking in faith expresses desire.
          1. Why did the Son of God come to earth - “To do your will, O God” (HEB 10:7). He expressed His desire.
          2. The world is in the shape it is because mankind expresses its desire to not want God.
            1. Man wants independence and pleasure and to be worshiped. His actions express his desires.
        2. Moment by moment we express our desire.
          1. Dreams we keep to ourselves.
          2. Actions in the pursuit of what we want in the moment.
          3. If we took the time, despite all of the thoughts and distractions of life (like those telling Bart to keep quiet) and we persisted in prayer, we would be expressing our desire for God’s good above and through all the noise.
      3. Persistency: desiring one day and not the next is ungrounded desire.
        1. Our will must be woven into who we are.
          1. Children tossed here and there by waves.
          2. Lust for pleasure is one thing to the next - all you want is stimulation and you’ll take anything.
        2. What we ask for reveals our expressed, deep-seated will.
          1. Parable of the persistent widow.
          2. Parable of the persistent neighbor.
      4. Specifically: “What do you want Me to do for you?”
        1. Do you want something that is not in God’s will?
        2. Would you specifically ask the holy Father for something unholy?
      5. Believingly: Worshiping God is an expression of faith in His love for you and His power to do what you ask.
        1. Faith means that you are willing to wait for His perfect way of doing what you ask.
          1. Asking Him and then seeking another way than God’s will is only lip-service.
        2. Waiting in faith is an expression of desire for His way and will above any other way and your own will.
    4. Application: Prayer is not floating up a passing, half-hearted desire.
      1. Christians sometimes think they’re praying when they’re not.
      2. Prayer is our full concentration on our Father, asking specifically, persistently, and believingly.
        1. You have plenty of time to do it.
        2. Not finding time reveals your desire to do something other than speak with your Father.
        3. Slow down your desire and bring it to the Father, searching His will for the specific issue or need and do so as much as necessary to maintain a consistent attitude like our Lord’s - “Your will be done.”
      3. Ask God for what you really want. Be honest.
        1. All of us will change our desire if we do this every day.
        2. None of us are perfect - expressing our wants in the perfect light of God’s holiness will have many effects upon us - all of them good.


Auxiliary Passages:


1TH 1:2-3

We give thanks to God always for all of you, making mention of you in our prayers; 3 constantly bearing in mind your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of our God and Father.


1TH 2:13

For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe.


2TI 1:3-4

I thank God, whom I serve with a clear conscience the way my forefathers did, as I constantly remember you in my prayers night and day, 4 longing to see you, even as I recall your tears, so that I may be filled with joy.


ROM 1:9-10

For God, whom I serve in my spirit in the preaching of the gospel of His Son, is my witness as to how unceasingly I make mention of you, 10 always in my prayers making request, if perhaps now at last by the will of God I may succeed in coming to you.


MAR 10:46-52

Then they came to Jericho. And as He was leaving Jericho with His disciples and a large crowd, a blind beggar named Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the road. 47 When he heard that it was Jesus the Nazarene, he began to cry out and say, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" 48 Many were sternly telling him to be quiet, but he kept crying out all the more, "Son of David, have mercy on me!" 49 And Jesus stopped and said, "Call him here." So they called the blind man, saying to him, "Take courage, stand up! He is calling for you." 50 Throwing aside his cloak, he jumped up and came to Jesus. 51 And answering him, Jesus said, "What do you want Me to do for you?" And the blind man said to Him, "Rabboni, I want to regain my sight!" 52 And Jesus said to him, "Go; your faith has made you well." Immediately he regained his sight and began following Him on the road.


LUK 18:1-8

Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart, 2 saying, "In a certain city there was a judge who did not fear God and did not respect man.  3 "There was a widow in that city, and she kept coming to him, saying, 'Give me legal protection from my opponent.'  4 "For a while he was unwilling; but afterward he said to himself, 'Even though I do not fear God nor respect man,  5 yet because this widow bothers me, I will give her legal protection, otherwise by continually coming she will wear me out.'"  6 And the Lord said, "Hear what the unrighteous judge said;  7 now, will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them?  8 "I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?"