prayer BibleRemember that Paul and Silas went scurrying from Thessalonica because of persecution for having preached Christ. But their experience in that city would not be exceptional. So he writes back to them:

Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, as in fact it was among you. Pray also that we may be delivered from unprincipled and wicked men; for not all belong to the faith.
2 Thessalonians 3.1-2 MRI

At least five important lessons can be gleaned from this single prayer request.

#1. In spite of the need to correct doctrinal problems in the Thessalonican church, Paul’s focus continues to be evangelism. Nothing can deter from this mission priority.

#2. Prayer is for all people, by all God’s people. Even the apostles needed prayer. God’s power enters into action for his messengers through prayer.

#3. The great desire is for rapid growth. Spiritually, quick growth doesn’t necessarily mean bad growth. We want to win as many as possible, as quickly as possible.

#4. The Christian faith is represented by the word of God, since the word — for us, the written Word — is the power to save. Disciples are a word-centered people.

#5. Many who refuse the Good News will turn on the messengers. Prayers for protection are also needed.

Your heart, O Lord, is in the gospel. May ours be also.

Hold this thought: Prayer and Word belong together, / With both we face all kinds of weather.

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