“Finally, brethren, pray for us that the word of the Lord will spread rapidly and be glorified, just as it did also with you; and that we will be rescued from perverse and evil men; for not all have faith. But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one. We have confidence in the Lord concerning you, that you are doing and will continue to do what we command. May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ.” 2 Thessalonians 3:1-5
I came across this passage this week and it struck me. I pulled out four prayers from this scripture that I’m asking people to pray for us during our time in Malawi.
First, I ask people to pray that “The word of the Lord will spread rapidly and be glorified.” Our goal during our time in Malawi is to see lives changed through the power of the Gospel. We will be evangelizing and discipling the students at Malawi Children’s Mission. Pray that we will teach the word with boldness and rightly discern the word of truth. Pray that the hearts of the people we minister to will be good soil where the Gospel can take root.
Second, I hope people pray “we will be rescued from perverse and evil men.” Every country has evil people. Malawi is no different. There are dangerous people with evil intentions. We are taking every precaution we can to stay safe. However, we know the truth of Psalm 127:1, “Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman keeps awake in vain.” We pray that He will be our rescuer.
Third, I desire for people to pray God, our loving Father, will “strengthen and protect you from the evil one.” Without strength given from the Holy Spirit we won’t be able to stand against the attacks Satan is sure to bring against us. The more we let the Lord use us, the harder Satan will work to make us ineffective. Only through the power of God and the strength of His armor will we be able to wage war. Pray that we will “Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:11-12
Fourth, I ask people to pray that Christ will “direct [our] hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ.” Pray that we do everything in love, so that we aren’t merely “clanging cymbals”. We want Christ to direct our hearts into the love of God so that we can be a representations of Christ himself like scripture commands. “Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.” 1 John 4:11-12 We also need the “steadfastness of Christ.” In no way do we expect this to be easy. Committing to serve others daily will be tiring and full of physical and spiritual burdens. However, we believe the Lord can bless us with patient endurance to “run the race” He has clearly set before us.
These four prayers that Paul lays out in his letter to the church at Thessalonica are what we ask people to be praying for us. Without prayer backing us, we will be wholly ineffective for the kingdom of God. That is why we need you to partner with us in prayer. Please join us in prayer as we prepare and as we go. We are blessed to have each of you a part of our lives.