“Brethren, pray for us“
This verse brings us to the conclusion of First Thessalonians (5:25-28). Paul advises three concluding recommendations upon the congregation and then gives a final blessing.
The word “brethren” is emphatic in the Greek. Paul strongly pleads for the Thessalonians to pray for him. Paul clearly understood the pitfalls of ministry. He knew he could not go into ministry naked, without the help of God.
pray for us
The word “pray” is in the present tense indicating continued prayer. No one can do God’s work without prayer. Those who want prayer and who pray understand that they are not sufficient in themselves to do God’s work. They know they must depend on God to do it. Paul clearly understood his need for prayer (2 Thessalonians 3:1; Romans 15:30; Ephesians 6:18-19; Colossians 4:3.). Paul asked for prayer at the close of six of the thirteen letters he wrote.
The “us” here is the gospel team of Paul, Silas and Timothy that came to Thessalonica (1:1). Paul closes this letter as he began with an emphasis on prayer. He says in effect, “I prayed for you so you pray for me. We will pray for each other.” This is mutual Christianity.
“We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers…” (1 Thessalonians 1:2).
If we understand our role in the brotherhood of Christ properly, we would pray for our brothers in Christ more regularly.
How strong is your supportive tie to those in your church? Can they depend on your prevailing prayer for them? We fulfill God’s purpose in our lives through the prayers of our fellow Christians.
Living the Christian life depends on teamwork. If we play on a team, we depend on our teammates to fulfill their role. Soldiers depend heavily on other soldiers in their company. Their lives are at stake if others fail to fulfil their function. Every area of life needs teamwork. This is no less true in the church. Part of our teamwork is praying for one another. This is something that everyone can do.
“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, that I may be delivered from those in Judea who do not believe, and that my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints, that I may come to you with joy by the will of God, and may be refreshed together with you” (Romans 15:30-32).
“…praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak” (Ephesians 6:18-20).
“Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving; 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 4:2-4).