Thessalonians Series #8
A Shepherd's Prayer
2 Thessalonians 3:1-5
We have such a sweet closing to this and many of Paul's letters. Here it is as if thinking ahead, he realizes he is about to close this letter and he doesn't want to close it. He loves these people and he doesn't want to let go. His Pastor's heart comes out in these first 5 verses of Chapter 3
1. Request for Prayer
1. I need your prayer as your pastor and leader
2. daily, weekly, when I come to mind, "help him Lord" - I heard of a young preacher who had a sweet sister that sat right down front and encouraged her young Shepherd along each Sunday. His messages weren't that perfect or beautiful, but when she felt he needed it, she would say, "Help Him Lord". Every now and then when he didn't quite get it right she would say "Forgiven him Lord." Till one Sunday he really was fired up and preaching against specific sins, she was right with him "help him Lord, "help him Lord", "that's right, help him Lord" until he went TOO FAR and stepped on her "pet sin" to which she quickly replied, "oh he's on his own now Lord."
3. I Need Your Prayer - I only "LOOK" Confident - you don't know how many times on the inside I am insecure and frightened. Wondering if I will have a job tomorrow or if you will still love me if I get into a "no fly zone"
4. Pray for me - you may find that if you pray for me my messages will get better. Or just maybe if you pray hard for me, you will expect to get something and God will give you something
Ephesians 6:19,20 - says "Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should."
B. Prayer For the Gospel
1. that the gospel may spread rapidly
a. every ministry goes through seasons of growth, decline and plateau
b. pray with urgency
- Do you understand the reality of what Satan is doing and trying to do in the world?
- Scripture says that he comes to "steal, kill, and destroy" but I don't think we really believe that
- have you looked around? Who do you think is the author the Lies this world is believing?
- "If I work, harder, make more money, forget about my family, get ahead, so I can provide more and more, then I will REALLY be happy" - Who do you think is telling that Lie?
- "My kids don't need ME around, they need things FROM me"
- Who do you think is telling that LIE?
- "This marriage isn't what I thought it would be so I'm just going to get out and start over, I'll be better off, my kids will be ok, I can get something better, I don't need to keep my covenant"
- Who do you think is telling that LIE?"
- "You don't need to wait until you get married, have fun, test the waters, see if you are compatible"
- Who is telling that Lie?
- "These substances I'm putting in my body won't hurt me, they help me, they help me relax, they help me get through the day, and besides, I CAN'T Lick this habit, so I'll just make the best of it, and it won't effect my witness and my life"
- WHO do you think is telling those lie?
John 8:43-44 "44why is my language not clear to you? Because you unable to hear what I say. 45You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the Beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is not truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies, 46Yet because I tell you the truth, you do not believe me!'
- Satan is a murderer in that he conspired to convince Adam and Eve to NOT believe God and they sinned which brought death
- He lied to them he lies to you and me and he is lying to this world
- You want to short circuit Satan?
Tell the Truth - Speak the Word of God
- You want to short circuit him at work, Spread the Truth
- who is the Truth - Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Speak Jesus into your circumstance if you want to defeat the Liar
- Your Office needs more Jesus
- Your classroom needs more Jesus
- Your Marriage needs more Jesus
- Your Home needs more Jesus
- Your Neighborhood needs more Jesus
- Your election booth needs more Jesus -
Speak the Truth, Live by the Truth, speak it and live in with honor, dignity, humility, and love and TRUST GOD to deal with the results - trust God with your Job, your pocketbook your livelihood
Hebrews 4:12 - "the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart."
- Let me just say here, that we often LET FEAR Affect how we vote -
We vote for a Democrat because we are afraid of the Republicans
We vote for a Republican because we are afraid of the Democrats
We vote for ungodly people who don't match our belief systems and values because we are afraid to lose a couple of dollars
LIVE by the Word of God and as The Writer of Hebrews goes on to say
13- Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account, Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess."
Stand on the Word of God, Jesus Christ,
Trust in your High Priest Jesus Christ
And God will honor you
We need to Speak the Truth, Spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ
c. the gospel doesn't need to spread rapidly because this preacher or this church needs notoriety. It needs to spread rapidly because the message is needed. It is the life-giving message that the world needs
2. That it may be honored - NOT that we may be blessed but that IT, the Gospel, may be blessed
a. blessed - happily received, worshipped, praised
b. who's going to be "blessing" or honoring the Gospel? That only happens in the heart that receives it
Why? John 1:12 "to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become the children of God -"
c. pray for the soil that receives the seed.
d. pray for fallow ground to be broken.
- It may be a painful circumstance,
- may be a tragedy that breaks up the ground
- whatever it takes to cause the seed to fall on fertile ground and grow
3. just as it was for you
a. don't forget what Christ did for you
- Eph 2:12-13 "remember that at hat time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the Blood of Christ."
b. don't lose your excitement
c. don't become callous
d. tell your story - don't tell MY story, or someone else's story, Tell YOUR story
e. someone needs to be set free like you have been set free
f. I'm praying for a holy, sweet, reminder today in your life followed by the "joy of your salvation" that will be contagiously broken and spilled out into the world
C. Prayer for Intercession
1. not everyone loves me like YOU do
2. not everyone is happy when the Word of God goes forth
3. not everyone is happy to see God moving and his church reflect heaven
4. pray for deliverance from wicked and evil men
a. wicked - perverse - def = < morally bad … disposed to or marked by mischief … > Would there be people in the church that are predisposed to create mischief or evil towards God's anointed Leader?
- GREEK - out of place, improper - unrighteous - harmful
b. evil - def = < morally reprehensible … arising from bad character > in the church? Surely not
- GREEK - full of labours / hardships - bringing toils; bad nature, condition
c. delivered - rescued def = < to be set free … to take and hand over to another …> There are some people Paul says that we just need to be set free from, we need to be handed over to another or they do.
- GREEK - to draw to one's self, rescue, to deliver
5. we want to reach and transform every soul we can, but now and then there are some people who don't want to be and we may need deliverance from them. Pray for wisdom to know the difference and receive that deliverance from God
I need you to pray for me
C.W. Renwick - "The only footprints on the sands of time, that will really last, are the ones made by knee-prints"
I'm going to stop here today … I have two more points from the passage but I'm going to come back to them next Sunday
I'm calling us to our knees today
1) Pray for this Body that we will be and continue to be rescued from those who would be used, aware or unaware, by Satan to short circuit what God is doing in this place
2) Pray for me as your Pastor and Undershepherd, your Leader in following Christ - I'm nothing more than the Lead Sheep - Pray for
d. favor with God and man
3) Pray for the Gospel to be Spread Rapidly and honored
a. pray specifically for those who you know that need Christ
b. pray for those you don't know who need to hear the gospel, that God will bring them to this place, but more importantly that God will bring them into relationship with people in this body who can lead them to Christ
c. Pray for Yourself and other members of this body
- pray for gentle boldness
- a clear witness
- contagious love to come from every pore that your witness may be received
d. pray for someone here today that needs to receive Christ - that they will open their heart today
(remainder picked up the following week)