A Prayer of Encouragement
“Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.” 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
Paul has been explaining the end times and things that will happen to the Thessalonians. He is actually talking to them about the “lawless one” and that his activity is of Satan and that he will come with all power and false signs and wonders. But he is encouraging the Thessalonian Christians to stand firm. He has simply told the Thessalonians just before he gets into this prayer.
“So then brothers, stand firm and hold to the tradition that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.” 2 Thessalonians 2:15
We can take these words to heart as well. When we look at all that is going on in the world, we know that there is much lawlessness taking place around us. I have said before that I am not smart enough or theologian enough to know if the things going on are the beginning of the end or not. But whether these things are the beginning of the end times, the middle of the end times, or if Jesus were going to come back today or tomorrow, the message for Christians is still the same. We are to stand firm on our beliefs. We are to hold to the traditions we have been taught! And then we can pray this same prayer that Paul prayed for the Thessalonians for ourselves and for each other.
Paul first recognized what Jesus had already done for us. He recognizes Jesus and the Father for who They are and he claims the love and eternal comfort and hope we have already received first. Then he asks God for more comfort for our hearts and that we will be established in our work and in our words. The timeliness of this message is not lost on me. When we started the prayers of Paul there was not a war going on on the other side of the world. I know that many people, us included are watching as things unfold and we are wondering and we are praying for the people who are in the midst of this war. I can’t suit up and go over there and fight for the Ukrainian people. But what I can do is to make sure that I am standing firm here. I can be sure that my work and my words count for something. I can pray for them and I can say this prayer for myself and for my friends that we will be comforted and established in our work and in our words.
As we continue to watch as the craziness unfolds, please let’s continue to pray for the innocent people who are in the path of the craziness. I don’t personally know anyone who would be there. But I know people who know people who are there and they are scared for their friends and for their family. Please pray for them that they will be able to stand firm in their faith and that they will receive comfort. And while we pray for others, let’s remember what we have already received and pray to receive comfort and that the Lord would establish our work and the words that we speak so that we may be light and life to others.