“He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it. Brethren, pray for us. Greet all the brethren with a holy kiss” (1 Thessalonians 5:24-26).
We can view this portion of Scripture in terms of three attributes; one belonging to God and two held by the people of God.
The first attribute involves God’s faithfulness. While co-workers, business associates, subordinates, family members, news outlets, governmental leaders, or others may prove untrustworthy, God still remains faithful. In fact, God’s faithfulness is an intrinsic part of His nature for the New Testament epistle of 2 Timothy tells us, “…if we are faithless he always remains faithful. He cannot deny his own nature” (2 Timothy 2:13 Phillips). Unlike those who have proven unworthy of our trust, we can rely upon God to demonstrate His faithfulness even in those periods when the events of life might seem to suggest otherwise.
The second attribute (prayerfulness) belonged to the recipients of this letter: “Brothers and sisters, pray for us too” (NET). Just as Paul the Apostle prayed for the church at Thessalonica, he now asked the Thessalonians to reciprocate in their prayers for him. Although Paul held an important position as an Apostle of Christ, he still felt the need to ask others to pray on his behalf. In fact, Paul made a similar request in several of his Biblical letters…
“Now I beg you, brethren, through the Lord Jesus Christ, and through the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with me in prayers to God for me” (Romans 15:30).
“meanwhile praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in chains, that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak” (Colossians 4:3-4).
“For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:19).
As we’re reminded in the New Testament epistle of James, “…The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” (NIV). With this in mind, we might ask how today’s spiritual leaders might benefit from our prayers. For instance, we might pray for health, strength, wisdom and discernment for a ministerial leader and the opportunity for that person to fulfill his or her calling. If Paul the Apostle humbly asked for prayer from the members of the Thessalonian congregation, how much more might today’s spiritual leaders benefit from our prayers on their behalf?
We’ll consider the third attribute of this passage next.