Missionaries Need Prayer
Loving Father, I thank You that the truth of the Gospel makes me free for wonder, love, and praise.
Read 2 Thessalonians 3:1-5
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION
Paul shows in this passage that prayer is an important priority for him. Is prayer your first choice or your last resort?
Paul prays earnestly. Having prayed for the Thessalonians he now asks prayer for himself and his ministry. His prayers focus on the spiritual growth of those whom he has led to faith. He wants prayer for the continual advancement of Gospel preaching. He never focuses so much on those who have already come to faith that he loses his desire for the continual spread of the Gospel. Sometimes he asks prayer for his own courage in proclamation (Eph. 6:19), but here he focuses on the rapidity with which the message is spread and accepted (1). While he has said that the day of the Lord has not yet arrived, he is conscious that there is a time pressure on building a network of Gospel churches throughout the world as the visible presence of God among humanity. We also know that he had his own strategic plan for accomplishing this (Rom. 15:24). Against this task there are opponents who will be overcome not by force, but by prayer. Do we have the same desire for the Gospel to be established in the entire world?
Paul is such a good pastor that he can’t ask for prayer without again praying for the Thessalonians. As soon as he mentions the opponents of the Gospel he is concerned for the believers. It is this affection that is so apparent in all that he writes. The faithfulness of God in preserving them is the basis of his confidence and his prayer. He can pray for them on the basis of God’s revealed will for his people. This is true biblical praying: approaching God to ask him for what he has already covenanted to give to his people. Paul never sees geographical advances as a substitute for the work of God in the lives of believers.
What does it mean to have your heart directed to God’s love and Christ’s perseverance? Who can you pray for today?
Holy Lord, I feel so much like the disciples who asked Jesus to teach them to pray. Forgive me for praying so little, and create in me a hunger for prayer.
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