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Paul’s Prayers: 2 Thess. 3:16

Our Devotional in Paul’s prayers continues.

2 Thessalonians 3:16 Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.

This is Paul’s benediction, he’s asking God to bless the Thessalonians as he concludes this letter.

One characteristic of Paul’s prayers that we haven’t fully emphasized is that Paul almost always grounds his prayer not just in the character of God, but in the appropriate and most pertinent characteristic of God. For example here he says “May the Lord of peace himself give you peace.” If God is a God who gives peace, and Scripture says that he is, then it it makes perfect sense to ask God based on the fact that he is a giver of peace to give peace to these people.

So if I need peace, which I do, often, where else should I go but to the God of peace? I can’t expect to find peace in the world, in human solutions, or inside myself, but if there is a God of peace, then I should go to him for that peace.

Paul says in his letter to the Philippians 4:6 that we should not be anxious about anything but in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving we should place our anxieties into God’s hands. As we do, he says, the God of peace will be with us. So even though Paul is asking God to give peace, there is also an element of human responsibility: we need to put into God’s hands the things that cause anxiety and worry and discontent, and expect him to respond according to his own character, and give us the peace he promises.

This is a prayer we can pray for ourselves, but, as Paul models, we should also pray it for others. Who do you know today who is in need of peace, who is worried, troubled, or in a difficult situation, who is in emotional turmoil, or faces the unknown. Pray for them that the God of peace will himself give them peace at all times and in every way.

Let the Peace of God Reign

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