The Force of Prayer
1 Thessalonians 5:25
Brothers, pray for us.

What is the prayer for which I ask? It is not the self-willed importunity of him who thinks he shall be heard for his much speaking. It is not the opening to God of thoughts which His love has not anticipated. It is not the pleading of our personal wishes as isolated objects of Divine favour; say, rather, it is the humblest, tenderest, most unquestioning expression of our dependence, the confession of our wants and weaknesses, as we have felt them, the firmest resolution to rest in God's will, and to make His will our own; the energy of a spiritual communion by which we realize our own well-being in the well-being of others; the endeavour to quicken and chasten and hallow every prompting of duty by the light of heaven. In this sense, "brethren, pray for us." Such prayer corresponds —

I. WITH OUR CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP. We are not, we cannot be, alone. In itself the fact is fitted to oppress us with the feeling of our powerlessness. But it can be transfigured. And to pray one for another is to transfigure it. When St. Paul speaks of Christians being "in Christ," he has gathered up the gospel in two syllables; he has proclaimed the unfailing bond of fellowship, the adequate provision for effective ministry, the victorious sovereignty of redeeming love.


III. WITH OUR DIVINE ASSURANCE. Christianity deals with social problems, not accidentally, but in virtue of its existence. For us the Incarnation is the rule and the motive power. The Resurrection is the sign of God's purpose for all material and transitory things, the transfiguration of the completeness of human life. The Christian Church is, as we believe, the present organ of a living Spirit. We claim for it, in virtue of the assurance of the Lord, not simply the right of existence or the power of self-defence, but the certainty of conquest.

(Bp. Westcott.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Brethren, pray for us.

WEB: Brothers, pray for us.

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