Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Opening Prayer

Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you,
(2 Thessalonians 3:1 – ESV)

The first thing Paul says is that I need you to pray, and to pray for the success of the message. This was Paul’s heart, and like any godly shepherd, the pastor’s pulse depends on the people’s prayer. When Paul is asking for prayer here he is asking them to keep on doing it, to keep on praying for the ministry of the word. It isn’t a one-time event, but an ongoing commitment (Ephesians 6:18-20 / Colossians 4:3-4 / 1 Thessalonians 5:25).

He asks them to pray specifically, that the word would keep on running, in other words, for open doors – that others might hear the word. And to pray that the word would keep on being glorified, in other words, for open hearts – that others might receive the word.

When you pray for your pastor, or missionaries, or for you and your friends’ personal evangelism, pray for the spread and the success of the message, as it goes out during the sermon, on the CD, on the Internet, on the television, on the radio, in the books, at the grocery store, at the gas station, out to the mission field, and wherever it may travel. Psalm 147:15 says His word runs swiftly, and that is what we should pray for. In 2 Timothy 2:9 Paul says that even if he is bound, the word of God is not bound. Even if something were to happen to the messenger, pray that the message of the word of God would continue to move with speed and success.

Paul also wanted the Thessalonians to pray that what had happened among you might also happen abroad as he spread the Good News of the gospel. In other words, for more open testimony – that others might grow in the word. The Thessalonians experienced a genuine and powerful encounter with the word of God (1 Thessalonians 1:5-9). They were to keep on praying for open doors, open hearts, and for more open testimony. The word had ran and been honored among them and it was growing among them (2 Thessalonians 3:3-5).

Paul wanted to see continually more fruit, more believers, more churches, more leaders, more open testimony to God’s grace like it had happened with the Thessalonians. If we keep on praying then the word keeps on running and keeps on being glorified and then we and others will keep on growing. This is my prayer for us, that we would keep on keeping on and seeing more come to saving faith, more believers being baptized, discipled, filled with the Spirit, set free from addictions, and living lives on fire for God and giving Him glory in all they do, having churches and their surrounding ministries shining forth as a light of Christ to their communities and wherever the message may travel with the members.

May the Lord give us grace so that we may reflect the light of Christ as we turn from our own selfish desires and turn to God with a desire for God’s glory to be reflected in others. Is the word forging ahead in your own life and are you going through the open doors looking for open hearts? Don’t you want the same thing to happen to others that has happened to you? Don’t you want your church to be a beacon of light to your area? Do you want to see areas closed off to the gospel opened up? If so, then open up the pipeline of God’s power, pray for it.

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©


Even So... said...

The comments are open...

Craver Vii said...

No kidding, JD. Traffic has been light at my place, too. What gives?

I'm headed home now, and I think I'll forego dinner and take a little nap. I was up late last night, shoveling snow, and then up early to do it again this morning. (yawn)

Even So... said...

I'm not sure, but I'll be praying about it, for sure...