“Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified, just as it is with you, and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men; for not all have faith. But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one. And we have confidence in the Lord concerning you, both that you do and will do the things we command you. Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ.”
II Thessalonians 3:1-5 NKJV
When I started the prayer chair seven years ago, I had no noble cause or lofty goal. I just wanted something to do during the five hours I spent sitting in a recliner dialyzing. Over time, it became a ministry, having a positive effect in the lives of others and fostering greater intimacy with God in my own life.
One of the desired effects was an increased focus on prayer in the lives of some of the people to whom I sent messages. Often I would hear that getting that message from me would prompt them to pray for me, and then pray for others.
I have learned that telling someone you are praying for them is a great blessing, because more often than not, the message is coming when they need it most. Though I usually have a routine, God knows when people need to hear that prayers are being lifted up.
Reading in II Thessalonians chapter 3, brought to mind the need to pray for other followers of Christ, because many of us are facing struggles in our lives, and some are even facing persecution. The church at Thessalonaica faced a good deal of pressure from the culture around them. In many ways, they were in a situation we are finding ourselves going into here in the west.
Paul urged those followers to pray for he and his fellow ministers, and to pray for each other. The only way to deal with opposition from unreasonable and wicked people, is to take it to the Lord in prayer.
There is great power in reciprocal prayer, where people pray for each other. There is a sense of greater unity in the Spirit, and all those who participate experience a greater intimacy with God. In that greater intimacy with our Creator, we have endurance and confidence, even in the most dire of circumstances.
When we pray, we are inviting Jehovah Sabaoth into our situation, Almighty God to walk with us and go before us.
I think of the early followers of Christ, who went house to house, breaking bread and worshipping together. Even under great threat to stop preaching in the name of Jesus, they persisted and found power in prayer. As they met, they found the power to continue and fulfill the ministry to which God had called them.
“Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.” And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.”
Acts 4:29-31 NKJV
In the coming trouble, we are going to need prayer more than ever. Even as I began my day, I found myself in prayer, as the Lord brought needs and names before my mind. There is much to pray for, as the evil one is making his play because he knows his time is short.
We have been called to ministry, to serve the Lord and tell of Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. Having given us this calling, He will be faithful to enable us to follow through.
Brothers and Sisters, the darkness is coming. Rejoice in the love of our God who will guide you and establish you. He who is for us, is far greater than he who is against us. We can not be defeated. Even if our bodies are killed, we know that we live on into eternity with Jesus.
We have been given great cover in the work we are to do, as the Lord has provided armor.
“Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—”
Ephesians 6:13-18 NKJV
Let us pray always with prayer and supplication in the Spirit, lifting each other up in the heat of battle.
I urge you you to pray for each other. Dealing with the wiles of the devil is unbearable alone, but with the prayers of the saints we can endure. We are going into twilight, as evening approaches, and soon it will be night. But remember this, my people, the Son rises in the east, and will race to the west.
“For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.”
Psalms 30:5 NKJV
““Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”
Matthew 24:29-31 NKJV
Until that great Day, lets endeavor to pray for each other, to look out for each other, to be alert to each other’s needs. The darkness is coming, and we will all need light. May we be the light for one another, setting a path in the darkness.