Praying that leads to change
As for other matters, brothers and sisters, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you. And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil people, for not everyone has faith. But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one. 2 Thessalonians 3:1-3 (NIV)
From the text, the Apostle Paul was asking believers to include him and others that were spreading the message of salvation. He believed that the power of God unto salvation was through the Scriptures. “I want to preach it because I’m not ashamed of the good news. It is God’s power to save everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16). There are people in this period of time who doubt and are mocking the claims of the Word of God. This is what prevents people from listening and accepting the truth from God’s word. Paul knew that prayer will make a great difference so that people will respond to the teachings of God’s word. This is why he urged Christians in Thessalonica to pray for him and with him so that the “the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored,” just as it was with them. He also asked them to pray for their deliverance from people who were plotting to do evil things against those wanting to share the gospel. Real change could only take place in the hearts of people when they respond to His Word. It is when people listen and place their faith in God that they are made right before Him. “The good news shows God’s power to make people right with himself. God’s power to be made right with him is given to the person who has faith. It is written, “The one who is right with God will live by faith”” (Romans 1:17). Responding by faith to the good news of salvation is also placing the entire trust of one’s life to the hands of God. This is what transforms the life of people to be the person God wants them to be and to be able to live out His purposes for their lives. So Paul was appealing to Christians to continue to pray that people’s hearts will be open to hear God’s message of salvation when someone share it to them. The Lord Jesus Christ also asked His disciples to pray so that more believers will share the good news of salvation. Christ saw the emptiness in the hearts of people who have not responded in faith in the preaching of His Word. “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field” (Matthew 9:36-38). Have you prayed that the Word of God will continue to be shared to others? Are you praying for others you knew that need to respond to the good news of salvation? It makes a difference when those that placed their faith in Christ pray.