A Request and a Prayer
“Finally brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you, and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men. For not all have faith. But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one. And we have confidence in the Lord about you, that you are doing and will do the things that we command. May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.” 2 Thessalonians 3:1-5
Paul is wrapping up his second letter to the Thessalonians. And in it, he not only prays for them but asks for prayer from them as well. Paul knew that his ministry would succeed and prosper even more with the prayers of God’s people. This is why we ask others to pray for us and why we pray for people. I have seen it with my own eyes and heart. When a group of people commit to pray for someone, they can be praying collectively, all together or they can be scattered about but when the focus is on one thing, God’s heart can and will be moved in that direction. Paul knew the faith of the Thessalonians and he desired for them to pray for him.
Specifically he prayed to be delivered from wicked and evil men. Paul dealt with the wicked and the evil men who were against his ministry just as we have those people against christianity today. Paul was probably praying against physical persecution, whereas at least here in our part of the world our persecution might be in the way of ridicule. We know there are people in parts of the world dealing with the physical persecution. We are seeing it unfold on the other side of the world with people dealing with evil. This is why we need to pray for them. But this is why we need to pray for each other as well. And we remember that the Lord is faithful!
If we walk in the light of his word and his grace, He will guard our hearts and minds. I love the words “establish you”! I looked up establish and one definition is “achieve permanent acceptance of recognition for.” When we are walking with Him, putting our faith and trust in Him, giving our lives to Him, we will be established. We have a permanent acceptance. We are recognized by Him by and for our faith. And when we are His, Satan can’t have us anymore. Oh he will still try to do everything he can to trip us up. But we are sealed if we have asked Jesus to live inside of us. He is there to help us out of everything that we may get ourselves into. He is there to guard us against the temptations that will lead us down the wrong path. We are His and He is ours. When we live like that, we have protection!
Paul then prays for the Thessalonians that their hearts will be directed to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ. God’s love never changes. He is the same today as He was yesterday and as He will be tomorrow. He is Yahweh, the very air we breathe. His name is I AM. He is the creator of the universe, He is the keeper of my heart, He is the first and the last, He is my counselor, my comforter and my friend. He is Jehovah-Jireh, my provider, he is Jehovah-Nissi, my banner, He is El Roi, He sees me, He is El Shaddai, Mighty and He is Adonai, MY LORD! He is worthy to be praised. He is steadfast and His love is for me and it is for you too. I pray that your hearts will be directed to the love of God today! And that you will be established in Him!