2 Thessalonians 3:1 “Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you:”
Paul asked that the church pray for the Word of God to have free course, meaning that the Word would be able to be delivered unto all that needed to hear it preached. He is asking that they pray for God’s will to be accomplished.
Now, as we look at that request, we can glean some truths about Paul. First, his desire was not for recognition; rather he wished the word to be delivered so that the recipients would glorify in the message of the gospel. We also can see his diligence; Paul would not ask for the saints’ prayers if he was ill equipped for the goal (meaning Paul had done all he could to prepare and understood that God would have to accomplish the rest). Lastly we can see Paul’s burden; his sole desire was to deliver the word to all that God would send him to.
Because of Paul, and many other diligent saints through the millenniums since, the Word was free to continue upon its course. In spite of the persecution, censorship and martyring of those that bore the gospel to the world, the Word was free to cross borders, barriers and take root in the hearts of countless millions. Yet, today the hinderances to the Word’s course are not external to the church: they are internal in the believer.
Paul with all confidence asked the church to pray for him, knowing that he (by the grace of God) would not be a hinderance to the Word’s journey. He had confidence in these saints and was convinced for their ability to move the heart of God with their supplication and intercession.
How many times has Christians of our age knelt in prayer trusting someone else would be the vessel that God would use? How many prayed for souls to be saved while they were oblivious to the fact that they were the ones preventing the gospel from reaching the lost? How many people go through the motions and think they do their part, yet are impediments to the free course God desires for the Word?
Paul asked for others to pray that the Word would be unhindered, knowing he was out of the way and those praying would not stand in opposition to the Lord’s will.
As children of God, we have a duty and obligation to always search our hearts for anything that obstructs the Gospel’s path to others. The power is not in the act of prayer, but the earnest communion with God to fulfill the calling He placed on the church. The act of passing out literature is not the task that save someone, it’s the Word being delivered by sanctified feet and accompanied by words fortified with the knowledge of God.
The gospel is more readily available today than it ever has been, so why do so few of the 7+ Billion people on earth receive it? Because someone is in the way. Some have laid chains on the Word by their indifference or ignorance. Some simply couldn’t care less about seeing God’s will done. Until the saints ensure that they are removed from obstructing the Word’s path, we will not see a change in how the world receives that Word.
Your fellowservant in Christ, Bro. Jordan Foster