Friday, 8 September 2017
Brethren, pray for us. 1 Thessalonians 5:25
In this epistle, Paul has noted several times his prayers or petitions for those at Thessalonica, such as in verse 1:2 –
“We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers.”
Particular statements of thanks to God, or prayers to God, on their behalf are seen again in Chapter 2, Chapter 3, and Chapter 5. Now Paul specifically requests prayers be made on behalf of him and those with him. This request is all the more appropriately placed here because in just two more verses he will charge them to have the letter read to all the congregants.
His first word here, “Brethren,” has been used time and again in the letter. It would be no good to ask unbelievers to pray. God does not hear the prayers of people, except those who are redeemed through Christ. Once that happens, He can then mediate those prayers in His priestly role. And so the “brethren” alone are given the request. The word in Greek translated as “for” is peri, or “about.” He is asking for prayers which cover all of their needs – personal, ministerial, etc. Just as Paul has carefully noted various prayers on behalf of those at the church, so he is asking for prayers concerning himself and those with him.
As ministers of the gospel, they faced many dangers, they faced many persecutors, and they faced the same temptations as any other people. Paul considered the prayers for them as necessary in order to empower them to overcome these various things which would come their way.
Life application: If Paul, who had personally seen the risen Christ and who had been led by Him throughout his ministry, felt that prayers were needed for him to continue, should we feel any less so today? Rather, we should be more than grateful to receive the prayers of others so that we too can be strengthened in our continued walk in the presence of the Lord. Let us be willing to both pray for others, and be accepting of prayers from others.
Lord God Almighty, we have a wonderful avenue of access to You which is found in prayer. It is a clear and unobstructed highway which has been opened to us because of the work of Christ Jesus. Help us to remember to accept this precious path, and to use it often – in prayer for others, in petition for our own needs, and in notes of thanks and praise to You for Your kind hand upon our lives. Great are You, O God, and greatly are You to be praised. Amen.