The Most Important Support for Leaders
Topic: Supporting your Leaders Verse: 1 Thessalonians 5:25–5:25
“The Most Important Support for Leaders”
1 Thessalonians 5:25
Theme: The greatest way to support leaders is to pray for them.
- The Appeal for Prayer – “Brethren, pray for us.”
- The Reciprocation of Prayer
- Numerous times throughout this epistle, Paul informed the Thessalonians that he, together with Silas & Timothy, were praying for them – cp. 1:2; 3:10.
- One of the foremost ways that a person enters into the love for another is to pray for them.
- Now, Paul appeals that the Thessalonians engage in praying for them as well – cp. 5:17, and our text here in 5:25.
- Addressing them as “brethren” [Ἀδελφοί] emphasizes the mutual commitment and relationship that all the saved enjoy in the presence of our Heavenly Father.
- The Reliance on Prayer
- Paul emphasized repeatedly his own dependency upon prayer.
- His own frailty and vulnerability was demonstrated on his consistent appeals for prayer:
- … for safety – Romans 15:30 – “No Now I urge you, brethren, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God for me, that I may be rescued from those who are disobedient in Judea, and that my service for Jerusalem may prove acceptable to the saints;”
- The Reciprocation of Prayer
2 Corinthians 1:8-11 - For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life; indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead; who delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us, He on whom we have set our hope. And He will yet deliver us, you also joining in helping us through your prayers, so that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the favor bestowed on us through the prayers of many.”
- … for boldness – Ephesians 6:18-20 – “With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.”
- … for clarity – Colossians 4:3-4 – “… praying at the same time for us as well, that God will open up to us a door for the word, so that we may speak forth the mystery of Christ, for which I have also been imprisoned; that I may make it clear in the way I ought to speak.”
- Of greatest treasure granted by God’s people to a spiritual leader is the prayers of those he is serving.
- Such prayer warriors are those on whom the true power in ministry rests – the enabling prayer partners provide is of inestimable influence in ministry.
- Parentally, praying for one another in marriage becomes the greatest support and source of power in parenting as spouses intercede for one another, seeking God’s wisdom, power and grace in parenting.
- The Appeals of Prayer
- Pure Motives: I desire to be motivated by the prospect of the glory of Christ and not by self-interest!
- Diligence & Hard Work: I desire to study hard because the well of spiritual knowledge is deep and my soul is shallow!
- Doctrinal Stability: I desire to remain founded upon the “faith once delivered” and avoid frivolous discussions, needless debates, and unprofitable controversies that veil the beauty of Christ
- Clarity of Teaching: I desire to teach in such a way that the meat of the Word needed by the saints will at the same time be milk for newborns as the Spirit leads us into all truth
- Dependence upon God: I desire to prevail with God to give you faith and repentance so that I can prevail with you to believe and repent!
- Meekness toward Men: I desire to have such confidence in the sufficiency of Scripture that I need not be quarrelsome or harsh.
- Humility: I desire to maintain a sobriety of spirit so that I will remain a learner at the feet of the Master and never assert myself as a master.
- Balance: I desire to allow the tensions found in truth to remain taut so that my life and ministry does not become myopic or tunneled in vision.
- Zeal: I desire that the truth affect my soul first before I ever present it to you and that my passion will be genuine
- Reverence: I desire to refuse to patronize sinners through entertainment but preach under the judicial gaze of a holy and awe-inspiring God.
- Compassion: I desire to be troubled by whatever hinders the likeness of Christ in you and to be pleased by nothing more than what profits you toward the likeness of Christ Jesus.
- Patience: I desire to instruct even those who are in opposition so that all might come to the knowledge of the truth of God’s marvelous Word