How to Pray for Missionaries
2 Thessalonians 3:1
1. The Partners Paul Seeks
a) The Importance of Prayer Partners
b) The Involvement of Prayer Partners
2. The Petitions Paul Shares
a) The Race He Was Running
b) The Pace He Was Running
3. The Purpose Paul States
a) The Results of Sharing the Word
b) The Rewards of Sharing the Word
1. The words ''missions'' and ''missionary'' are not found in the Bible; however, the words have become a part of our Christian vocabulary (or at least should be). Where do the words come from and what do they mean?
2. Our English word ''mission'' comes from the Latin word ''missio'' which was derived from the Greek word ''apostello'' which means ''to send, one sent forth.'' The Oxford English Dictionary says the word was first used in 1598 and by 1729 was used in terms of world evangelization.
3. When we speak of missions we are speaking of reaching people of all races, cultures, and countries with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When we talk about missionaries we are speaking of those who have been sent by God to take the Gospel to people of all races, cultures, and countries.
4. Even during the many years I was a pastor I often said that the greatest work anyone could be involved in was missions. I feel honored of God that He has allowed me to work as a missionary and to be involved in the work of missions.
5. In our text we find the greatest missionary that ever lived. Paul was a missionary, one sent forth by both God and the church to take the Gospel to those who had not heard the Gospel and were not being reached with the Gospel.
6. On his first missionary journey Paul traveled 1,400 miles, on his second, 2,800 miles, and on his third, 2,700 miles. Over the course of his 35 years it is estimated that he traveled over 13,000 miles which is equivalent of half way around the world. And all this was before there were cars, trains, airplanes. Every mile would have been made by either sailing or walking.
7. If were ranking missionaries, Paul would be at the top and there would be a large gap between him and next. Paul depicts the missionary model. He defines the missionary mandate. He declares the missionary message. Yes, the Apostle Paul was the greatest missionary that ever lived.
6. In his words we find him asking for prayer. As we look closer at His words we learn how to pray for missionaries. Let's examine his words and learn how to pray for missionaries. Every word in his statement is instructive and enlightening.
7. First, we see:
1. THE PARTNERS PAUL SEEKS
1. Paul says to the believers at Thessalonica, ''Finally, brethren pray for us.'' Paul is asking these believers to pray for him. He is seeking prayer partners, those who will lift him up to God in prayer.
2. As Aaron and Hur held up the hands of Moses, missionaries need those who will hold them up in prayer (cp. Exo. 17:10-11). Paul's words indicate that he needed people praying fo ...
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