Pray for your leaders 1
Little things do matter. And this includes the well being of church leaders. Yet, this is among those things that are taken for granted by church members. This then underlines the importance of the request for prayers by Apostle Paul. He had had a fruitful ministry in the region of Thessalonica, and now in a final exhortation, he pleaded: “Brethren, pray for us.” He had prayed much for them, and he, in turn asked for their prayer. Paul was a preacher who prayed; “night and day praying exceedingly”, yet he never outgrew the need for the “effectual fervent prayer of a righteous” Church, which “availeth much”. The Church of the Thessalonians was “taught of God to love one another”; they had been exhorted to “increase more and more” in such pure love of God, expressing their practical love towards “all the brethren”. The final charge is not given merely on the strength of Apostolic authority, but on the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. “I charge you by the Lord”, Paul said. This epistle and all the epistles and indeed the whole Bible, “all scripture”, is sent forth with God’s authority and to be read and studied by and “unto all”.
“Brethren, pray for us”. This short and serious challenge is loaded with solemn and far-reaching implications. Paul and all other leaders in the Bible, from Abraham to Zacharias, prayed for the people of God. The prophets, pastors and apostles counted it a sacred duty to pray for the church. “Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way” (1 Samuel 12: 23). Yet, the saints have often failed in the sacred and exalted ministry of praying for their shepherd-leaders. Whenever the church faithfully and fervently prays for their pastors, great manifestation of Kingdom power is always experienced (Acts 12: 5-24).
“Brethren, pray for us.” Since this is part of “all scripture given by inspiration”, it is an inspired command. And the Apostle makes it very clear what we should pray for.
(1) “That I may be delivered from them that do not believe.”
(2) “That my service may be accepted of the saints.”
(3) “That I may come unto you with joy by the will of God, and may with you be refreshed.”
(4) “That utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel.”
(5) “That I may speak boldly as I ought to speak.”
(6) “That in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified.”
(7) “That God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ: that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.”
(8) “That the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you.” (9) “And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith.”
Further Reading (King James Version): 1 Thessalonians 5:25-28; Romans 15:30-33; 2 Corinthians 1:11; Ephesians 6:18-20; Philippians 1:9-20; Colossians 4:2-4; 2 Thessalonians 3:1,2; Philemon 22; Hebrews 13:18,19; 1 Thessalonians 5:26; Genesis 27:26,27; 50:1,2; Exodus 18:7; Ruth 1:1-18; Luke 15:20-24; Psalm 2:12; Romans 14:16-21; 15:1-4; 1 Corinthians 8:11-13; 9:22-27; Acts 10:24-27; 1 Thessalonians 5: 27, 28; Colossians 4: 16; Deuteronomy 31: 11,12; Nehemiah 8; 1-3,8,13; Isaiah 34:16; Acts 8: 29-35; 2 Corinthians 3:14-18; 1 Timothy 4:13-16; Revelation 1:3. Acts 17:11, Jude 24.
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