Today I read 2 Thessalonians- my 17th book of the Bible in as many days. Like 1st Thessalonians, this letter was penned by Paul, Silas and Timothy. It’s a little shorter than the first, but full of encouragement!
First, they encourage the church to continue with what they are doing- and that they are continually praying for them.
Then, they encourage the church not to be alarmed- the return of Jesus hasn’t happened yet. They remind the people of what is to come and the regardless of how bad it gets, Jesus still reigns victorious.
Finally they encourage the believers to pray for them- that the Gospel is spread quickly and that they will be rescued from evil people. They also remind them to avoid living an idle life dependent upon the church- they encourage them to work to earn their own living.
As I read this the call to prayer really stood out to me. Because in each prayer- both the one for Thessalonica and the one for Paul, Silas and Timothy- focuses around advancing the Kingdom.
“So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do. Then the name of our Lord Jesus will be honored because of the way you live, and you will be honored along with him.” – 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12a
“Finally, dear brothers and sisters we ask you to pray for us. Pray that the Lord’s message will spread rapidly and be honored wherever it goes, just as when it came to you. Pray too that we will be rescued from wicked and evil people, for not everyone is a believer.” -2 Thessalonians 3:1-2
It made me reflect on my own prayer life. How often do my prayers reflect this? Sure, I pray for ministries, fellow pastors and those I want to see come to Jesus- but if I’m honest a lot of my prayer time goes toward people who are physically injured or ill.
Now, I’m not saying that these prayers are wrong at all! But these passages did make me think that I need to spend more time praying over and for the mission of the church- both locally and globally! A new personal challenge perhaps?
Tomorrow I will be reading the book of Job! Thanks for following along!