1 & 2 Thessalonians

by Sim Kay Tee

Day 28

Read 2 Thessalonians 3:1-5

Paul sprinkled prayer throughout his two letters to the Thessalonians (see 1 Thessalonians 3:11-13; 5:23; 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17; 3:5, 16). Praying for his spiritual children characterised his parental care. At the same time, the apostle also spoke of his own need for spiritual support. He was always ready to expose his own vulnerability, asking believers to uphold him in prayer (2 Thessalonians 3:1; see also Romans 15:30; Colossians 4:3-4).

Though he was a great intercessor himself, Paul was neither afraid nor embarrassed to ask for spiritual support from his spiritual children.

This was a mark of Paul's humility. It reflected his respect for the believers and his dependence on them. Though he was a great intercessor himself, Paul was neither afraid nor embarrassed to ask for spiritual support from his spiritual children.

Notice that Paul does not ask his brothers and sisters to pray for anything that would bring him financial or material benefit. Instead, he focusses on the needs of his ministry and mission team: ″Pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honoured, just as it was with you″ (2 Thessalonians 3:1). What mattered most to Paul was that the closed doors of human hearts would be readily and speedily opened to receive the Good News. This was the burden of his heart and of his work.

Paul also asks the Thessalonian church to pray that he and his fellow evangelists would ″be delivered from wicked and evil people″ (v. 2). Wherever Paul went, people would oppose or even harm him to prevent the preaching of the gospel. This also happened in Thessalonica, where he faced such great opposition and danger to his life that he had to be sneaked out of the city at night for his own safety (see Acts 17:1-10). Just as ″not everyone has faith″ (2 Thessalonians 3:2) and wants to hear the gospel or believe in Jesus, not everyone wants the gospel to be preached.

Paul responded to these challenges by directing his hearers' attention to the Lord whom they all served. Echoing the petition in the Lord's Prayer to ″deliver us from the evil one″ (Matthew 6:13), Paul assures the Thessalonian church that ″the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one″ (2 Thessalonians 3:3). He also echoes the assurance he had given to them in his first letter, when he said: ″The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it″ (1 Thessalonians 5:24).

Then the apostle concludes his prayer by reminding his readers of God's love: ″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 3:5, NLT). Paul wanted them to remain steadfast, even as they waited patiently for Jesus' return.

Think through:

Do you ask younger friends or your children to pray for you? How often do you do this? Why or why not? What do you ask them to pray for?

Jesus taught us to pray for deliverance from the evil one (Matthew 6:13). Do you think that Christians in general tend to neglect this important prayer need? Why?




About Author

Sim Kay Tee is a Bible teacher and writer of Our Daily Bread Ministries. Based in Singapore, K.T. writes for the Discovery Series Bible Study guides, the Journey Through Series devotional, and is a regular contributor to the Insights for Our Daily Bread. K.T. has taught the Bible in various countries. He has three daughters and one granddaughter.

Author of Journey Through Series:

Our Daily Bread Journey Through® Series is a publication of Our Daily Bread Ministries.

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