2 Thessalonians 3:1-5
3 Finally, brothers and sisters, pray for us. Pray that the Lord’s message will spread quickly. Pray that others will honor it just as you did. 2 And pray that we will be saved from sinful and evil people. Not everyone is a believer. 3 But the Lord is faithful. He will strengthen you. He will guard you from the evil one. 4 We trust in the Lord. So we are sure that you are doing the things we tell you to do. And we are sure that you will keep on doing them. 5 May the Lord fill your hearts with God’s love. May Christ give you the strength to go on.
In this letter Paul pastors the Thessalonian church by encouraging and directing the people in following God; however, in these verses we see that Paul is not a lone ranger, but a team player. He supports the church in prayer and provides wisdom to help them stay healthy, but he also calls upon the Thessalonian church to pray for him and the work that God has called him to.
It can be easy for me to sit back and watch others go about serving God, passively waiting for someone else to encourage those in the congregation without work, or those who are in stressful situations, abdicating responsibility and saying to myself that someone else is praying for the leaders of the church, or for the people overseas on mission, for the scriptures teachers, the workers, the parents, the students, and the lost…. No. I belong to the body of Christ and I have a part to play.
God had a specific purpose for Paul’s life, to use Paul to spread the Good News far and wide, and to pastor new churches. Part of the role of the Thessalonian church was to stand with Paul and pray for him and the work God was accomplishing through him.
Lord, please help me to remember that I am a vital part of this body. My prayers make a difference. Help me to do what you’ve called me to, and to stand alongside your people and encourage them as they serve you. Amen.
Written by Beth Waugh