Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash
By Mike Chaffin
Brothers and sisters, pray for us. 26 Greet all God’s people with a holy kiss. 27 I charge you before the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers and sisters. 28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. 1 Thessalonians 5:25-28
Paul brings up two very important points in these last words. The first is to pray for us and the second is an emphatic, ‘read this letter to everyone’, or put another way, spread the Word!
Intercessory prayer should be an important part of every believer’s prayer life. Here Paul asks for prayer for he and his team of evangelists. Commands for intercessory prayer in the Bible include praying for the peace of Jerusalem, praying for the sick, praying for the church, among others. Praying for you enemy is even prescribed in the Bible.
The prophet Samuel said it was a sin not to pray for the family of God. Ezra instructed the citizens of Judah to pray for the king and his sons. (This king was the king of Persia.) Job prayed for his friends to receive forgiveness for their misguided thoughts about God.
Intercessory prayer leads us to better love others. It teaches us to lift each other up. It draws us closer to God and helps us grow in maturity.
Paul goes on to command they read his letter to all the brothers and sisters. He instructs the recipient to spread the Word of God, thus growing disciples and teaching those who don’t have a full understanding of the basics of Christianity. In this letter Paul talks about the resurrection of the dead, and Jesus second coming. He gives instructions on righteous living. A keynote in his discourse is 1 Thessalonians 5:16–22,
Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not treat prophecies with contempt 21 but test them all; hold on to what is good, 22 reject every kind of evil.
Great advice on Christian living. If I am in a constant conversation with God it is hard to get far from His will. It makes it easy to see the narrow road that leads to life everlasting. The last word here is don’t let prayer be the last thing you turn to.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for your love for us and your clear teaching to pray for others and to share your Word. Lord, I ask for ears to be open and eyes to see your love and offer of salvation. Give me the words to say and the opportunity to say them. In Jesus’s name, amen.