7 Now I pray to God that you do no evil, not that we should appear approved, but that you should do what is honorable, though we may seem disqualified.
Verses 7-10 appeal to the Corinthians to repent because Paul’s visit will not be contentious if they do.
7 Now I pray to God that you do no evil,
Paul prays that the Corinthians would not take a confrontational approach when he comes.
not that we should appear approved,
The issue is not whether Paul’s team passes or fails the test. That was not paramount in their minds. Their reputation is not the point. He did not care whether he was proved right as long as they resolved the situation.
but that you should do what is honorable,
The apostle hoped that a clear-headed evaluation of the situation by the church would result in his vindication and the resolve to correct their problems.
though we may seem disqualified.
Even though some in the church may think that Paul is not a genuine apostle (“disqualified”), he still prays for a positive outcome. His team was not concerned about their reputation. Their interest was the wellbeing of the Corinthians, even if they would appear “disqualified.” Whatever the opinion of the team that the church had of them, their concern was for the development and maturity of the assembly.
A major duty of the pastor is to pray for his people.
There are several great prayers in the New Testament. Three that pray for congregations are Ephesians 1:18-19, Philippians 1:9-11, and 1 Thessalonians 3:10-12. It is a selfless act to pray for others.