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Paul’s Prayer Request
2 Thess. 3:1-2


The Apostle Paul is a man of prayer. In all his Epistles, you can see him praying. No doubt, his prayers are always answered by the Lord though his requests are not always granted. We are now in the last part of this short letter and the first 5 verses are a prayer for stability in the lives of the Thessalonians. As we have seen, prayer is a major theme of the Thessalonian epistles (1 Th. 1:2-3; 3:10-12; 5:17, 23, 25; 2 Th. 1:11-12; 2:16-17; 3:1-2, 5, 16). God’s people are to be praying people! God’s churches are to be praying churches!

I. The Need for Prayer
A. Preachers need prayers also, and Paul did not hesitate to ask his brethren to pray for him
1. He asked those in Rome to pray for him – Rom. 15:30-33.
2. He asked those in Ephesus for their prayers – Eph. 6:18-20
3. He asked those in Colosse to offer prayers in his behalf – Col. 4: 2-4
4. He asked the brethren Hebrews (Heb. 13:18).
5. He asked Philemon to pray for him (Phm. 1:22).

Illustration 1: Why Pray
One of the great paradoxes of the Christian faith is that God wants us to talk to Him about everything that is going on in our lives, even though He already knows everything. So why pray?
If you’ve ever wrestled with that question, perhaps the thoughts of the 19th-century preacher R. A. Torrey can help. Among the reasons he gave for prayer are these:
Because there is a devil, and prayer is a God-appointed way to resist Him (Eph. 6:12-13, 18).
Because prayer is God’s way for us to obtain what we need from Him (Lk. 11:3-13; Jas. 4:2).
Because prayer is the means God has appointed for us to find “grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:16).
Because prayer with thanksgiving is God’s way for us to obtain freedom from anxiety and to receive “the peace of God” (Phil. 4:6-7).
Besides these reasons, it’s enough to read the command in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray without ceasing,” and realize that God wants us to talk with Him. Yes, He is all-knowing, but He also desires our fellowship. When we seek God’s face in prayer, we strengthen our relationship with Him. That’s the most important reason to pray. —JDB Our Daily Bread, November 25, 1998

II. The Prayer request (2 Thess. 3:1-2)
A. He asks for prayer in two categories:
1. The word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, (v. 1)
a. Paul’s primary concern in prayer was for the expansion of the gospel. This is a prayer that the word of the Lord would advance unhindered and without obstacles. Note first that the focus here is on the message rather than the messenger for in the final analysis it is the message that transforms people.
Again, we get a glimpse of Paul ‘s confidence. It is in God and His precious Word. Second, the very nature of such a request call to mind the fact that Satan and this world is always at work to throw up hindrances or barriers against the message. If the message is to run swiftly, it must have the sovereign work of God make clear the way (1 Thess. 2:18 with 3:11-13).
b. The second need spelled out in this first request is that the message may continue to be glorified. The verb here is continuos present of “doxazo”to honor, magnify, praise. The idea is that God ‘s message, and thus God Himself, may be honored among men as they recognize its authority and submit their lives to its glorious truth in faith and continued obedience and growth. For an example of this and as a further encouragement to the Thessalonians, he quickly added, “just as it was with you”. This recalls the amazing success of the message in Thessalonica as described in 1 Thess. 1:5, 6, 8 and 2:13. This is the kind of response Paul and his team wanted to see wherever the gospel is proclaimed.

Illustration 2: Prayer, Its Importance.
The old adage used to run, “To labor is to pray.” I prefer to turn it around and have it read, “To pray is to labor.” We can all pray people into the Kingdom when every other means or agency has utterly failed. If I could have fifty people in my church who would promise to work unremittingly for souls, and five who would covenant to pray without ceasing for souls, I would unhesitatingly choose the latter. —Rev. John Balcom Shaw, D.D. The Evangelistic Cyclopedia: A New Century Handbook of Evangelism.

2. Protection from evil men (v.2).
a. The word “delivered” means to be rescued from, preserved from. Paul asks for prayer for the personal protection of his gospel team while they spread the gospel. “Unreasonable” literally means out of place but denote unbecoming, not befitting. The idea in this passage is outrageous belief. They were perverse, belligerent scoundrels. They diverted people away from truth into absurd false doctrine. “Wicked” means active wickedness. These
malignant people had a serious flaw. They were degenerates theologically because they tended to corrupt others. Paul’s enemies act against the principles of reason and are responsible for absurdity and irreverence toward the gospel.
b. for not all have faith The word “for” gives the reason these men were
perverse: they did not have “the faith”]. Not everyone embraces the gospel. It divides people into two classes – those who personally trust Christ to forgive their sins and those who do not.

Illustration 3: Things to Pray for
1. We should ask God to make the gospel message clear (Col. 4:4).
2. Pray for boldness in the one doing the evangelism (Acts 4:29; Eph. 6:19).
3. Pray that the individual believes the Word of God (Rom. 10:17; 1 Thess. 2:13).
4. Pray that Satan is bound from blinding them from the truth (2 Thess. 2:13).
5. Pray for the safety of the messengers (2 Thess. 3:2).
6. Pray for the success of the gospel and that they will believe in Christ as their Savior (John 1:12, 5:24, 6:27-29; 2 Thess. 3:1).
7. Pray that the one who receives Christ as Savior may grow spiritually and bear fruit (Matt. 13:23; John 15:16; Col. 1:6, 2:6,7).
The Scocaster, Vol. 40, No. 10, March 7, 1999, p. 3

III. Conclusion:
Preachers not only church members need prayers also. We should pray for one another. The prayer request of Paul here is for the Word of God to be preached unhindered, even if Satan and the world is there to oppose. Also, that the Word of God, and Christ Himself will be glorified. He also included in his request to pray for his protection and his gospel team. My friend, pray for your Pastor, pray for your church, pray for the successful preaching of the gospel so people will get saved.

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