Bible Reading: 2 Thessalonians 3:1-5
“Finally brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you” (2 Thessalonians 3:1).
Despite all our efforts to evangelise and to spread God’s Word, in the end, it is God who works to expand His kingdom. We are just His instruments who, in reality, slow down the progress of His work. Yet, God’s love compels Him to involve us so that we may grow to know Him and serve Him. God gives us the opportunity because He loves us.
Now, no matter how hard we try, how efficient our evangelical strategies are or how eloquent and charismatic our gospel presentations are, no human words or human actions can grow faith in a person. It is only the work of the Holy Spirit and the Word. And so, our biggest battle for the gospel’s advancement is in prayer. We must pray for the expansion of the kingdom. We must pray that God works amongst us and uses us to spread His gospel. We must pray for our leaders who are leading the causes for the gospel.
On top of the fact that only God can work, Satan is also trying to sabotage the spreading of God’s kingdom. There are evil and wicked men who try to oppose the spreading of the kingdom. We are nothing against Satan. As mere humans, we face a being with thousands of years of experience in deceiving people. Satan is very clever and deceitful. He will humiliate us if we do not cling to Christ. That said, Christ has won the end battle, so we must trust in Him and stand firm in His Word and promises.
The battle always starts in prayer. If you want to be used by God, pray. Pray for your church; pray for the ministry in your church. Pray that God gives you an opportunity to be used by Him. Men who are used by God know that the battle is first fought and won in prayer.
Here is a prayer of the puritans called God’s Cause taken from The Valley Of Vision:
Thy cause, not my own, engages my heart,
and I appeal to thee with greatest freedom
to set up thy kingdom in every place
where Satan reigns;
Glorify thyself and I shall rejoice,
for to bring honour to thy name is my sole desire.
I adore thee that thou art God,
and long that others should know it, feel it,
and rejoice in it.
O that all men might love and praise thee,
that thou mightest have all glory
from the intelligent world!
Let sinners be brought to thee for thy dear name!
To the eye of reason everything respecting
the conversion of others is as dark as midnight,
But thou canst accomplish great things;
the cause is thine,
and it is to thy glory that men should be saved.
Lord, use me as thou wilt,
do with me what thou wilt;
but, O, promote thy cause,
let thy kingdom come,
let thy blessed interest be advanced
in this world!
O do thou bring in great numbers to Jesus!
let me see that glorious day,
and give me to grasp for multitudes of souls;
let me be willing to die to that end;
and while I live let me labour for thee
to the utmost of my strength,
spending time profitably in this work,
both in health and in weakness.
It is thy cause and kingdom I long for,
not my own.
O, answer thou my request!