A Short But Comprehensive Prayer
1 Thessalonians 5:23
And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly…

The apostle had told the Thessalonians in the beginning of his Epistle, that he always made mention of them in his prayers; and, now he is Writing to them, and closing his Epistle, he lifteth up his whole heart for them.

I. THE GOD TO WHOM THE APOSTLE PRAYS, namely, "the very God of Peace." He is sometimes denominated "the God of all grace," "the God of love," but here — "the very God of peace," not only because He is "the Author of peace," but also "the Lover of concord." There was a special reason for this: Paul felt that by the peaceableness and unity of the Thessalonians themselves they would best obtain those things for which he prays. God does not bestow His choice blessings on the members of a Church who are given to strife and disorder, but on those who are bound together in one by the golden cord of love. Such peace and fellowship are pleasant to behold both to men and angels; how much more to God Himself! (Psalm 133).


1. Sanctification. Not partial but entire — the whole man. Or, he prays that they may be more perfectly sanctified, for the best are sanctified but in part while in this world; and therefore we should pray for and press toward complete sanctification.

2. Preservation. Where the good work of grace is begun, it will be carried on, be protected and preserved; and all those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus shall be preserved to the coming of Christ Jesus. If God did not carry on His good work in the soul, it would miscarry; and therefore we should pray God to perfect it, and preserve us blameless, that is, free from sin and impurity, till at length we are presented faultless before the throne of His glory with exceeding great joy.

III. THE APOSTLE'S ASSURANCE ANENT HIS, PRAYER. "Faithful is He that calleth you," he writes to his converts, "who also will do it." The sovereign kindness and infinite love of God had already graciously appeared to them in calling them to the saving knowledge of His truth, and the sure faithfulness of God was their security that they would be Divinely helped to persevere to the end. Accordingly, the apostle assures them that God would do what he desired: He would effect what He had Himself promised: He would accomplish all the good pleasure of His goodness toward them. Verily, our fidelity to God depends upon God's faithfulness to us.

(R. Fergusson.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

WEB: May the God of peace himself sanctify you completely. May your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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