2 Thessalonians 2.16-3.5

Title: Praying for Your Vision Team

Text: 2 Thessalonians 3.1-2

Introduction: 2 Thessalonians 2.16-17: 16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, 17 comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.

How will he do this? Answer: Through prayer! Gk: Τὸ λοιπὸν προσεύχεσθε, ἀδελφοί, περὶ ἡμῶν; Finally, pray, brothers, for us;

·      Pray is a command; An imperative;

·      Specifically, for us. The word for is περὶ; Which means around – what a great picture! Surround us in and with your prayers!

Transition: But some may be asking just what to pray for? I’ve outlined 10 ways you can pray for your missionaries:

Pray:

1.     For God’s Word to make Tracks (1)

exp.: rd v 1; speed – τρέχω; to run or run ahead; Acts 19.28f; 28 When they heard this they were enraged and were crying out, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” 29 So the city was filled with the confusion, and they rushed together into the theater, dragging with them Gaius and Aristarchus, Macedonians who were Paul’s companions in travel. i.e.: as to rush into battle; Rev 9.9: they had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the noise of their wings was like the noise of many chariots with horses rushing into battle. Let me give you our itinerary so that you can pray for God’s Word to run ahead of us!

a.     Our Travel: flights – connection

b.     Our Wanderings

c.     Our flexibility

i.     We’ve been told that we won’t make reservations for hotels because we won’t know where we’re staying. Sometimes, the local police have asked our leader to leave the town. He also said that sometimes someone will invite the group to stay the night.

Transition: But, in all of our travels, pray that God will go before us as if he’s rushing into battle, preparing the way… The 2nd way you can pray for your missionaries is to Pray…

2.     For God’s Word to be Glorified (Honored) (1)

exp.: rd 1b: pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you; pres. pass.; God would glorify His Word;

a.     We must do our best, but only God can accomplish this task!

b.     Pray that if we get the chance to share, God would glorify His Word!

Transition: That God’s Word would speed before us; be glorified and continuing on; 3rd,

3.     For God’s Word to break down barriers (1c)

exp.: rd 1c; Someone shared Christ with you! Someone cared enough to share with you.

a.    Language barriers;

b.    Cultural barriers;

c.    Physical barriers (local police asked him to move on); we’ll be tired (different time zone; not sleeping well; not eating well vs. too well);

d.    Social barriers; ladies knocking on the door;

ill.: look at us, God’s Word has broken through everyone of these barriers that you and I might be saved today!

Transition: May he do the same in the midst of the ********! 4th,

4.     For Protection (2a)

exp.: Your missionaries are going into an area where the gospel is not welcomed by the ******* Govt.; More than likely, if we’re ‘discovered’ we’ll be deported back to the US. It’s possible that I might be detained. We could blow the cover of the missionary helping us. He and his family are then at risk; rd v 2a; wicked and evil men; Now we know that our battle isn’t against flesh and blood; but that is just who Satan uses: People! Within and without the Church!

exp.: one more note about protection; Americans aren’t as popular as they once were. They’re hated by many people in the world. Not just because we Christians, but also because we’re Americans. My understanding is that Koreans are having more success as missionaries than Americans.

app.: we need to pray for protection and deliverance from evil men within and without the church!

Transition: A 5th way to pray is to pray for…

5.     For the ******* to come to Faith (2)

exp.: rd v 2c – For not all have faith.; as of today, http://www.peoplegroups.org says there are 11,289 PG; 6,603 UPG; 3.9 Billion people; 2,971 (dropped by 2 this week) or 189 million people; How do you pray for 4 Billion people; Or 189 Million for that matter? Let’s focus on this group!

1.    A Person of Peace – someone who is search for God; God’s been at work in their life.

2.    A Home from which to begin reaching out

3.    We would see a ministry opportunity

a.    Nursing homes

b.    Orphanages

c.    Medical facilities

d.    Import/Export business

4.    We would see an open door to live in ******** (i.e.: boots on the ground)

a.    College students

b.    Business opportunities

Transition: God is at work, pray we’ll see Him at work and join him there… 6th, pray…

6.     For your VT to Trust God more (3)

exp.: rd 3a; Pray that our faith would be strong; the Lord is faithful; sometimes we forget or we think we know better; or we begin to doubt. Psalm 37.25 says: I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread. Remember: The Lord is faithful; we may be unfaithful, but the Lord is always faithful. He cannot be otherwise. We must watch against:

a.     Playing the Holy Spirit; we don’t see our expectations being met, so we run the risk of manufacturing some result.

b.    Trying to make the ********* like Americans. This was something that bothered Hudson Taylor. Book given to me by the Stout’s; many words in the ******** language already present the gospel! Pray that we’ll bring Christ to their Culture, not to bring our culture to theirs.

ill.: I remember when my dad died. The Korean Church came over, I was grateful, but I was also surprised when they sang 18th Century English hymns in the Korean Language. Yes, we can teach them how to worship, but just because it is a certain way in England or America, doesn’t mean that is what should happen there. Our goal is to win them to Christ, not to the American Culture!

c.     Trusting in made-made gimmicks or methods. We must Trust God for results! The Lord is faithful: we may be unfaithful, but the Lord is always faithful. He cannot be otherwise. We must trust Him and not our own devices, programs, methods.

Transition: 7th, Pray…

7.     For God to Establish His work through us (3)

exp.: rd v 3b; Luke 9.51 – He set his face toward Jerusalem; He was headed to the Cross, to accomplish the work His Father had set for him to do. He would not be deterred! Pray that God would move in our hearts in a similar fashion, that we would find out his purpose there and establish it.

Transition: Pray for God to Establish His work through us and pray, #8, …

8.     For the Body to Trust God (4)

a.     Sometimes, the church struggles in the pastor’s absence. Rd v 4;

i.     Attendance drops; please, don’t stop coming; be faithful, support those who carry the burden; encourage our youth who will be leading worship; our guests – I’ve lined up a couple of outstanding preachers.

1.     Richard Taylor – Director of Church Planting in the East Texas Area.

2.     Andrew O’Kelly – and Courtney are bringing their brand new baby! And he has a special message on missions for you.

ii.     Giving drops; maybe you feel ‘done’; but the work must continue here;

ill.: Govt shutdown – the church is at risk of the same; budget struggles;

iii.     Morale takes a dip; keep the faith, trust God is at work; keep praying; Satan would love to see you drop out for the time we’re over there.

b.     Sometimes, Satan wants to cause a stir; dissention; contention;

i.     Don’t let that happen; Don’t let Satan have the victory;

Transition: Pray for the Body to Trust God. 9th, …

9.     For God’s Direction (5)

exp.: rd v 5a;

a.     Into God’s Love – this is what drives ministry; for God so loved the world, how did he demonstrate that? He gave His one and only son. Pray that God would direct our hearts to his love. That’s where our motive comes from…that’s where our drive comes from…that’s where our passion comes from…direct our heats into His love and…rd 5b

b.     Into the Steadfastness of Christ (patient endurance)

exp.: Don’t you want to remain strong, firm, faithful – like Christ!

Transition: back to the beginning… rd 2.16-17 Finally, pray

10.  For God to Comfort and Establish our hearts.

a.     Comforted

b.     Established

i.     In every good work

ii.     In every good word

Observations & Implications:

1.     There is a sign up on line @ www.calvarytyler.org; for someone to pray every hour! Will you sign up for multiple slots? Will you sign up for one hour every, single day?

2.     Invitation to Prayer on the 9th; 6:15 pm Wednesday night

3.     Invitation to Bon Voyage; 6.30 pm Thursday night

4.     Pray in the night – that’s when we’ll be awake over there.

a.     At bed, we’re getting up

b.     In the dark hours – that’s when we’ll be ministering

c.     In the day hours – that’s when we’ll be tossing and turning in a weird place; Pray that we’re getting the sleep and rest we need.

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