The Third Chapter – 2 Thessalonians

TLB 3:1 Finally, dear brothers, as I come to the end of this letter, I ask you to pray for us. Pray first that the Lord’s message will spread rapidly and triumph wherever it goes, winning converts everywhere as it did when it came to you. 2 Pray, too, that we will be saved out of the clutches of evil men, for not everyone loves the Lord. 3 But the Lord is faithful; he will make you strong and guard you from satanic attacks of every kind. 4 And we trust the Lord that you are putting into practice the things we taught you, and that you always will. 5 May the Lord bring you into an ever deeper understanding of the love of God and of the patience that comes from Christ.

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Believers are the focus group of Pauls appeal for prayer. “Pray for us. Pray first that the Lord’s message will spread rapidly and triumph wherever it goes, winning converts everywhere as it did when it came to you. Pray, too, that we will be saved out of the clutches of evil men, for not everyone loves the Lord.”  

We have become a society of people who have made productivity a “little g” god.  A good portion of what follows Paul’s appeal for those prayers is his admonition to people of faith not to live in laziness, loafing, refusing to work and wasting time.  That seems like an odd combination for us to find an application for life today.  

What if our laziness, loafing, refusing to work and wasting time is really all about our choice to overlook prayer in favor of productivity?  Prayer is the quiet part of faith, often without recordable results. It’s also meant to be protection that keeps “us out of the clutches of evil men.”  We can clock our time in devotional study…√.  We can clock our time of service in the Lord’s name…√. We can clock our time of church participation…√.  Only the Lord can honestly clock the time we spend in prayer, “but the Lord is faithful.”

Maybe that is why Paul has chosen to remind me “not to live in laziness, loafing, refusing to work and wasting time” and make sure prayer IS consciously a bigger and better part of my productivity.  Mea Culpa! 

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