3 Finally, brothers and sisters,[a] pray for us, so that the word of the Lord may spread rapidly and be glorified everywhere, just as it is among you, 2 and that we may be rescued from wicked and evil people; for not all have faith. 3 But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one.[b] 4 And we have confidence in the Lord concerning you, that you are doing and will go on doing the things that we command. 5 May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.
Paul was one of the most prolific writers among the early followers of Jesus. Thirteen of the letters included in our New Testament come to us under Paul’s name and influence. The early church considered Paul’s words to churches and church leaders to be scripture – the very Word of God. In wondering what God might say to us in our time, I have been reading the closing remarks in some of Paul’s letters.
As Paul concludes his second letter to the Christians in Thessalonica, he asks for their prayers. He asks them to pray that the word of the Lord may spread and that God be glorified everywhere. Paul contends, that since not all people have faith, the Christians in Thessalonica should pray for protection from those who are wicked and evil. And he ends with assurance that God will direct their hearts to the love of God and the steadfastness of our Lord Jesus.
What should Christians encourage other Christians to do? Pray for one another. In a world where wickedness and evil still emerges, we should pray for one another. In a world where God’s word needs to spread so that God will be glorified, we need to pray for one another.
God, give me the passion and power to share the good news of what You have done for me in Jesus Christ. And God, give power, passion, and protection to all my sisters and brothers in Christ who are gladly sharing good news too. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.