2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.
This pastoral prayer is indeed a great example of the kind which we should emulate on behalf of those under our spiritual oversight and all our loved ones. What’s so great about it?
Firstly, it is great because it stems from a revelation of God’s gracious love, eternal comfort and good hope for His children. All believers who know that they are beloved of God, have found the restful peace of the Spirit and are enthused about the Parousia, are unstoppable!
Secondly, this pastoral prayer is great because it petitions God to continue His work in the hearts of believers. Let every parent, leader, friend, sibling and shepherd please take note: sometimes the best prayer you can make for those you love is just to ask God to work in their hearts and lives. Just ask God to establish them in every good work and word. Quite often we literally pray amiss!
Observe that this divine work is twofold. Firstly, our hearts need constant encouragement and comfort. How many times have you been tempted to quit, throw in the towel and give it all up? Well, that’s why you and I need continual inner encouragement, which only God by His Spirit can give.
Secondly, we need to be established in every good work and word. We need God’s help to keep living holy lives and doing the right. We need His help to always speak life, truth and blessing (Pro 18:21). Otherwise we will ruin our God-given potential and purpose. Otherwise we will sabotage our own destinies by speaking death, complaints and lies. That’s not your portion!