“Finally, dear brothers and sisters, we ask you to pray for us. Pray that the Lord’s message will spread rapidly and be honored wherever it goes, just as when it came to you.”
2 Thessalonians 3:1 (NLT)
As believers, our purpose is to know God and make Him known. This means that after knowing God, we ought to make efforts to let others know about Him too. While there are various ways to spread the gospel, in fulfilling this Great Commission, we often miss an important strategy and that strategy is prayer.
Our anchor text shows Apostle Paul asking the believers in Thessalonica to pray for the prosperity of the gospel in the cities he was going to. From this instruction, we see that prayers are essential in establishing the gospel around the world. What then should we pray about?
As our anchor text indicates, we ought to pray that obstacles, hindrances and restrictions are removed to allow God’s word to spread rapidly and freely. One of the greatest hindrances to belief in the gospel is stronghold in the hearts of men (2 Corinthians 10:4-6). We ought to make it our daily prayer that hearts are softened to our message of hope.
Other obstacles include government restrictions and policies that are against the spread of the gospel. In these places, we also pray for protection and perseverance to continue the work even in the face of opposition or difficulties (2 Thessalonians 3:2, Ephesians 6: 10-20).
Also, we ought to pray that doors of opportunities are opened for the effective spread of the gospel (Colossians 4:3-4). Open doors can include invitations, expectations and access that make it easier for the gospel to spread in a particular region.
We see an example in Acts 16:9 where, through a vision, the Apostle Paul knew that the people in Macedonia desired to hear the gospel. This invitation caused the spread of the gospel in a region that may not have been reached otherwise.
Thirdly, we ought to pray for boldness to declare and preach the gospel (Ephesians 6:19). Tied to boldness is accuracy. In a world where there is a temptation to preach what people want to hear, it is important that we fortify ourselves through prayer and declare that the gospel is preached with boldness and accuracy. We can determine that like the Apostle Paul we would only preach the gospel as it is presented to us in the Word (1 Corinthians 2:1-2).
Finally, we pray that the preaching of the gospel is accompanied with many signs and wonders. While we know that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation to all who believe, we must also acknowledge that God has given us the manifestations of His Spirit as proof of the truth of this message (Hebrews 2:4). We must make it our daily prayer that the power of God is revealed through diverse miracles as the word is preached.
Listen, if we would truly see all men come to the knowledge of truth, we cannot undermine the role of prayer in our evangelism. The book of Acts shows that there was great rejoicing in the cities where the gospel prospered. This could be your testimony about the city, state, country & continent that you currently reside in.
Bible Reading Plan:
Luke 2:41-52, Ephesians 4:17-24, Psalm 119:57-64, 1 Kings 12