Paul’s Plea for Prayer
2 Thessalonians 3:1-5
Humanity has been blessed by Saul (later Paul) and his conversion on the road to Damascus. Not only did early Christianity have one less persecutor to worry about (and Saul was the worst), but we gained the legacy of his insight into the Holy Trinity through his many letters to the emerging church.
Paul constantly asked his brothers and sisters in Christ to pray for him, an action that is good for all of us to emulate. His requests for prayer are found here in 2 Thessalonians as well as in the books of Romans, 2 Corinthians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, and Philemon.
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“Finally, dear brothers and sisters, we ask you to pray for us. Pray that the Lord’s message will spread rapidly and be honored wherever it goes, just as when it came to you. Pray, too, that we will be rescued from wicked and evil people, for not everyone is a believer. But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one. And we are confident in the Lord that you are doing and will continue to do the things we commanded you. May the Lord lead your hearts into a full understanding and expression of the love of God and the patient endurance that comes from Christ.”
2 Thessalonians 3:1-5 NLT
Paul knew that the prayers of others would help advance the faith, especially if the Word was allowed to spread freely. Theologian David Guzik remarks that “Paul’s prayer request makes us wonder how often the work of God’s Word is hindered by our prayerlessness.”
Those “wicked and evil people” Paul was telling the people of Thessalonica about were very familiar to him, since he had been saved by the grace of God from spending the rest of his life in that crowd. He then goes on to bolster the confidence of the church by assuring them that not only will the Lord protect them from the advances of the evil one, but that they are doing a great job of advancing the Lord’s work. This must have been a thrill to the Thessalonians!
Paul’s epistle ends with a prayer for love and patience, something the Thessalonians would need for continued faith and strength against those who would persecute them.
I chose these verses today as an illustration of the power of prayer to raise the assurance of others. I humbly ask you to pray for the continued growth and effectiveness of the Heaven On Wheels ministry, and ask you to continue to send us your personal requests for prayer.
David Guzik, Study Guide for 2 Thessalonians 3, Blue Letter Bible