1 Thessalonians 5:25
Brothers, pray for us.
It is useless for any man to pray unless he has, even to every human being, this brotherly feeling. True prayer is the outflowing of a kind and loving heart. Ministers need specially the sympathies and prayers of their people on account of —
1. The difficulties of their work.
2. The peculiar trials of their work; and
3. The twofold results of their work.
I. THE DIFFICULTIES OF MINISTERIAL WORK. The first difficulty here is to be always in a proper mental mood for mental work. There is —
1. A work of preparation for the pulpit, and —
2. A work of communication in the pulpit. The result in either case depends upon the atmosphere which surrounds the preacher's soul — upon the current of his inmost feeling. It is the duty of every Christian minister, however great his mental culture and creative genius, to make special and careful preparation for the pulpit. To keep clear of all disturbing forces, so as, at the proper time to retain the power of fixing the mind upon the subject to be investigated, and to be just then in a state of spiritual repose "in the spirit," the state which is the condition of spiritual perception, as the truth is spiritually discerned, requires great grace. The second difficulty is the finding of a variety of subjects — subjects which shall —
(1) Be taken hold of by the preacher's own mind.
(2) Be relished by the people; and —
(3) Prove permanently profitable to both.
II. THE TRIALS OF MINISTERIAL WORK. The first of these trials arises from a deep consciousness of personal weakness and inadequacy for the work. These trials arise from want of success.
III. THE TWO-FOLD EFFECT OF MINISTERIAL WORK, The final result of every human work is solemn. The day of final reckoning is solemn to every one, but yet the issues in that day, of ministerial work here, will be perhaps the most solemn of all solemn things. I have spoken of the minister's need of an interest in your prayers. I have spoken of the cheering influence which an assurance of this will have upon his own spirit, how it will actually give a richer tint to the glorious truths of God's Holy Book as they will be, from time to time, presented in his discourses. But, as all forces in nature are reciprocal in their action, so does prayer act upon him who prays as well as upon him for whom the prayer is offered. If you wish to be profited by the preaching, pray for the preacher.
(Evan Lewis, B. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Brethren, pray for us.