This is my 11th post in a series on 1 Thessalonians 5:11-25. This week we are looking at what I’ve numbered as the 20th (out of 22) commandments/guidelines Paul lists on how to live our lives worthy of the gospel.
(20) pray for us
In the past few weeks three HUGE prayer requests have been answered for friends. HUGE, meaning life and death. One friend, had three strokes and found out she has a hole in her heart. We fervently prayed for her complete healing – she is now home and has no signs or residual problems from her three strokes and awaiting surgery to close the hole in her heart. Another answer came for the brother of a dear friend who had been ill for years using pain medication and alcohol. After the death of his longtime sweetheart, we all feared he would fall deeper into depression, sickness and addiction so we prayed and prayed. It brought tears to my eyes when I heard last week he had been sober, well, going to church and meeting with a support group in the past few months. And, drum roll please . . . just last night my friend Carey received the lung transplant we have been praying for her to receive. She is in surgery as I type this morning. “Pray for us!” Paul says.
Prayer is powerful!!! When Jesus walked this earth He used prayer to heal the sick, bring the dead to life, heal the demon possessed and make the blind see. Read Mark 9:14-29 for the story of when He healed the demon possessed and take note of His last words. He [Jesus] replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer.” Mark 9:29 Also, when Jesus raised Lazarus (who had been dead four days) he prayed this, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.” John 11:41-42
Even the most perfect person who has ever walked this Earth, Jesus, the Son of God, prayed when in need and to give thanks. Living the Christian life means reaching out to God to give thanks for who He is, was and always will be. It means giving thanks for all the blessings we have and it praying for others and ourselves. Living the Christian life includes interceding for others who are sick, hurt or afflicted with our prayers and petitions.
Who in your life needs prayer? Will you make a commitment to carve out a little time each day this week to spend in prayer with God? I pray you will and that He will show you that He is present and listening.
Therefore (1) encourage one another and (2) build one another up, just as you are doing. We ask you, brothers, to (3) respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and (4) to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. (5) Be at peace among yourselves. And we urge you, brothers, (6) admonish the idle, (7) encourage the fainthearted, (8) help the weak, (9) be patient with them all. (10) See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but (11) always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. (12) Rejoice always, (13) pray without ceasing, (14) give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (15) Do not quench the Spirit. (16) Do not despise prophecies, (17) but test everything; (18) hold fast what is good. (19) Abstain from every form of evil. Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it. Brothers, (20) pray for us. (21) Greet all the brothers with a holy kiss. I put you under oath before the Lord to (22) have this letter read to all the brothers. 1 Thessalonians 5:11-25 (numbers aren’t verses, but the numbers I gave them for each directive/commandment)