Expository Studies

Play Video
Play Video

Daily Encouragement

Play Video

September 3, 2010

Building Strong Friendships in Christ

Pray for Us Today

“Brethren, pray for us.”

 1 Thessalonians 5:25, Page 1851

       Have you ever said to your friends seeking prayer requests, “I don’t like to pray for myself and what I need because that is selfish”?  I have heard many people utter those words.  People who say that do not understand the basic concepts of prayer, and their view of God reflects their own ignorance of Him.

        In 1 Thessalonians 5:25, page 1851, Paul not only invites prayer for himself, he commands it.  In fact, he commands the Thessalonians to pray for the entire ministry team.  When is the last time you asked for anyone to pray for you or your ministry team?  Are you even a part of a small group of men or women pursuing ministry together?  Paul knew the value of prayer and he knew that God loves to hear from His children and lead them in triumphant grace.

       In 2 Thessalonians 3:1, page 1853, Paul again asks the Thessalonians to pray for himself and the ministry team.  He specifically seeks prayer for the spread of the word of the Lord, and rescue from perverse and evil men.  Paul’s prayer request here lets his friends in Christ share in God’s plans for the ministry team.

       Prayer also recognizes the need for God’s power in your life.  Without God working, your ministry will go nowhere.  You will not see people asking Christ to forgive them.  You will not see disciples being made in Christ.  You will not be forming new friendships in Christ and you will not watch the Body of Christ growing and being edified.  Everything that happens for good upon this earth, and in the universe, depends upon God as the source of that spiritual activity.  I praise God that Jesus said: “I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18, page 1530).

       If you are reluctant to ask other people to pray for you, not only are you thinking that you run your life without God’s help, or at least conveying that impression to others, but you are also teaching others not to seek the prayer support of others.  In John 17:1, page 1689, Jesus prayed for Himself.  He asked God the Father to glorify God the Son  (Himself).  Of course Jesus prayed for Himself, and so should we.  In fact, we need to ask for our friends in Christ to pray for us.   Remember the words of God: “You have not because you ask not” (James 4:2, page 1891).  Your prayer requests for yourself should be one way you share God’s purposes for your life and ministry with your friends in Christ.  Furthermore, Jesus commanded His disciples to pray for themselves (Matthew 6:9-13, page 1509; Matthew 26:41, page 1551).

       Consider also the claim that: “I do not ask other people to pray for me because that would be selfish.”   We have already seen that Jesus prayed for Himself, and Paul commanded other people to pray for him and the ministry team.  I recall an illustration from a famous preacher.   He talked about a small fish taking water in a huge river through his mouth to breathe.  He breathed slowly, for fear he would exhaust all the oxygen in the water.  He had no idea of the tremendous, limitless supply of water and oxygen available to him.  People who never request prayer support for themselves must lack a sense of God’s power, care for them individually, and His great personal love.  People somehow must think that God must be too busy to listen to their prayers about themselves, and so live in ignorance of God.  God hears all things, knows all things, is present everywhere, has all power, and never changes.  He knows every thought you have, and knows all the future and all the past of your life.  In fact, he knows the number of hairs on your head at any given time, past, present and future (Matthew 10:30, page 1517).  So, never let your small, fishy view of God hamper you from praying for yourself, and from sharing your prayer requests with other believers.

           So, we learn some more about building strong friendships in Christ.

      ●  Strong bonds of friendship form when we ask our friends in Christ to pray for us.

     ●  Strong bonds of friendship grow when we pray for one anther, and share from the heart our prayer requests with each other.   

       ●  We harm our bonds of friendship when we do not share our spiritual needs, purposes, and desires with out friends, and ask for their prayer support for our lives.

Application for Today

        Today, I want to share my prayer requests with my friends in Christ.  I love to pray for my friends, and frequently pray with friends in person and on the telephone.  Will you share you personal prayer requests with anyone today?


 Christ Assembly Basics 

Christ Assembly provides free access to various studies from the Bible, the Word of God. The studies in this website are not inspired, but God produced the Bible, consisting of sixty-nine books (39 Old Testament and 27 New Testament). The Holy Spirit inspired authors to produce original autographs of the Bible in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. Those original authors wrote over the course of many centuries. They wrote divinely inspired words and every word was divinely inspired. The authors communicated in their own styles, and with their own vocabulary, but God breathed out every word of the final autographs. The words in the Bible really matter, and deserve careful study. 
As we study, we seek to love Jesus more because His word has instructed us so that we learn His ways. Eternal life consists in knowing God the Father, and Jesus Christ Whom God sent. As the eternal God of Glory, One with His Father, the Son of God took flesh and dwelt among us. Because of His death, He used His blood to purchase our redemption. He was raised for our justification. We now live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved us and gave Himself for us. By the grace of God, the Holy Spirit abides in every born-again believer and fills us with His presence and blessings. He leads us into all truth. Jesus is the truth, and the way, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Jesus, our Lord. 
We look forward to His imminent return to the clouds of earth, to snatch away the believers alive on earth, so that we may be forever with the Lord. When He returns to the clouds, He will bring with Him all those people in Christ who died before His return to the clouds. We encourage one another with the promises of God, Who makes our path grow brighter and brighter, until the full light of day shines forth. We love Jesus and look forward to seeing Him soon. After Jesus removes the believers from the earth, then a terrible period of seven years follows where God brings measured and precise judgments upon the people alive on earth. God cut those days of  Tribulation short, or no flesh would have been saved. Jesus will then return to earth, slay His enemies, and place His feet on the Mount of Olives where He ascended to heaven. He will then reign on earth for a thousand years, and believers will reign with Him. After the Millennial Reign of Christ, all unbelievers will be judged at the Great White Throne Judgment, and they will suffer according to their deeds done on earth. They will be cast into the Lake of Fire, a place of torment night and day for eternity, because they never received the free gift of salvation while alive on earth. One day, every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord, to the glory of God. Today we invite you to come and see Jesus, and learn from Him, for He is gentle and humble in heart. Take His yoke upon you, for His burden is easy and His yoke is light. He will give you rest for your soul as you trust Him. We receive salvation only from Jesus, by faith alone in Jesus, Who gives us the free gift of eternal life. 
We accept the teaching of the Word of God. As born again believers, baptized by Jesus with the Holy Spirit, the anointing from God teaches us all things. We love to study the Word of God as we abide in Christ Jesus our Lord. God blesses all of us when we read His word, hear His word, and heed His word. We share original studies of the Word of God without cost and we do not receive donations. We support the finances of this ministry through private means, so that we are not a burden to anyone. We oppose charging people to read books, articles, journals or other studies of the Word of God. Such work should be supported by donations, but not in prescribed amounts and not as a requirement to gain access to what God has freely provided. What God has freely given, we should freely share. Just as Paul worked making tents, so we work to support this ministry. 

 Christ Assembly License

The author of all original material on this website retains all legal and equitable rights to the properties at issue. The author granted Christ Assembly a limited-use, revocable license to publish material on this website, while reserving all ownership rights to the original author. You may use any original material on this website to the glory of God, but you may not receive anything of value for such use. You may not receive any donations related to any original material on this website. All use of original material on this website is subject to the revocable, limited license above. You must conspicuously indicate on any use of the original material that it originated from ChristAssembly.org.  Any revocation of the license shall be posted on this website and all rights to use material may be revoked without prior notice. By copying and using any original material from this website, you consent to such license. Christ Assembly opposes any payment for access to studies, articles, journals, or other publications of studies concerning the Word of God. As God has freely given, so also the products of His grace should be freely shared.