1 Thessalonians 5:25-28
Brothers, pray for us.…
I. HE ASKS FOR THEIR PRAYERS. He, the great apostle, begs for the prayers of these neophytes, these babes in Christ. It shows:
1. His humility.
2. The value of prayer. A good man has said, "Prayer is possession. Faithful prayer is the sure possession of all that the redeemed will of man can desire. The man who is full of prayer is full of power. I would rather have the gift of a brother's faithful prayers than of his plentiful substance. And I feel that when I have given to a brother my faithful prayers I have given him my best and greatest gift."
3. The duty of praying for the clergy. They have a great charge, an awful responsibility. They might well shrink from the burden, conscious as they are of sin and weakness. But they work, if they are faithful, in the strength of God and in the strength of prayer - their own prayers and the prayers of the Church. The prayers of the Church are their due, for it is the commandment of the Lord. When they fail in energy, in self-denial, in holy example, it may be in part the fault of those who do not pray, as they are bidden, for the ministers of God.
II. THE KISS OF PEACE. St. Paul four times, St. Peter once, bid Christians to salute one another with a holy kiss. The practice was universal in ancient times; it was associated with the Holy Communion. Now it exists only in the Coptic Church of Egypt. The outward form has passed away; ancient customs may be disused when changes in habits and feeling render them no longer suitable. The sacred duty of brotherly love remains unchanged forever. "By this shall men know that ye are my disciples, when ye have love one towards another."
III. THE EPISTLE TO BE READ IN THE CHURCH. Mark his earnestness: he adjures them by the Lord. It was his first Epistle. This solemn injunction was more needed now than afterwards. Then the Epistle was to stand on a level with the ancient Scriptures; it was to be read publicly, as Moses and the prophets were read in the synagogues. It was to be read to all. The open Bible must be given to all. All need its holy lessons; all have a right, by the gracious gift of God, to the blessings which it offers.
IV. THE GRACE OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. He begins his Epistle with grace; he ends it with grace. The grace of God is the beginning and the end of our salvation. "By the grace of God I am what I am;" "By grace are ye saved." All our truest happiness here, all our hopes for blessedness hereafter, come from the grace of God.
1. Try to realize the great value of prayer; desire the prayers of the saints.
2. Pray for the clergy; it is a sacred duty.
3. Love the brethren.
4. The Bible is a precious book; see that you prize it. - B.C.C.
Parallel VersesKJV: Brethren, pray for us.