Summary: Praying for one another is a powerful weapon in our arsenal because it brings us into the very presence of the most powerful Being in the universe and HE is able.
1. Are you ready for his return? A young woman was expecting a date. She was dressed up and waiting patiently. However, by the time he was an hour late she figured she’d been stood up. So, she took off her makeup, put on her pajamas, gathered all the junk food in the house and sat down to watch TV with the dog. As her favorite show was just coming on, the doorbell rang. It was her date. He stared at her wide-eyed: “I’m two hours late, and you’re still not ready?”
2. In biblical times a groom would prepare a room at his father’s house and then, when the room was ready, he would go and retrieve his bride so they could marry. As the groom, his best man, and friends approached the town, the young engaged women would wonder if this was the wedding party for them. Each had to be prepared in case it was her groom coming for her. There is obvious application for us and the return of our groom for his bride, the church
3. The apostle Paul wrote regarding confusion over the second coming
a. In light of the return of Jesus he writes in 1 Thessalonians 5.11 11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
b. Then, he continues encouraging them in 2 Thessalonians, and especially notice 3.1-5
Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you, 2 and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men. For not all have faith. 3 But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one. 4 And we have confidence in the Lord about you, that you are doing and will do the things that we command. 5 May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.
c. One of the most powerful tools we have is prayer. It connects us to God and invites Him to fulfill His purpose.
d. Sometimes we treat God as an app on an iPhone when the truth is, He is the OS.
4. Jake B’s testimony of praying for a friend and within a couple of months his friend was baptized into Christ
5. Three priorities that should consume our intercessions for one another:
I. Priority #1 – The Word of the LORD (vv.1-2)
Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you,
Paul requests personal prayers SO THAT certain things happen
A. The Word of the LORD May Get Out
1. No One in church is indispensable – the word of God is indispensable
2. All that the church does is rooted in the word of God – NOT popular opinion or the comforts of men
B. The Word of the LORD May Get In
1. It is one thing to hear with ears
2. It is another thing to hear with heart Psalm 138.1-2
I give you thanks, O LORD, with my whole heart;
before the gods I sing your praise;
2 I bow down toward your holy temple
and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness,
for you have exalted above all things
your name and your word.
C. The Word of the LORD May Diminish Opposition (v. 2)
2 and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men. For not all have faith.
1. “Evil men” = morally insane
2. Opposition – pagans; some religious Jews; False teachers; those lacking faith
II. Priority #2 – The Faithfulness of the LORD (vv. 3-4)
A. A Blessed Assurance – the LORD is Faithful – “Emunah” (Exodus 17)
B. The LORD is Faithful to do What Needs to be Done FOR Us (3)
3 But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.
1. Salvation – 1 Corinthians 1.9
9 God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
2. Temptations – 1 Corinthians 10.13
13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
3. In Confessions – 1 John 1.9
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
4. Every Circumstance – Lamentations 3.22-23
22 The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;