Request for Prayer
v1: [… pray for us..]. Some Christians think only the more spiritual Christians should pray for the less spiritual Christians. No so with Paul. Paul, as apostle, an elderly brother, a teacher, a missionary, asked the young Church at Thessalonica to pray for him. Christians workers many prayers to uphold his works for the Lord.
v1: […the message of the Lord may spread..]. Paul prayer request was not for him own personal needs, it was for the spreading of the gospel of the Lord Jesus.
v2: […be delivered from wicked and evil men..]. The Lord Jesus taught us to pray to deliver from temptation. (Matt 6:13)
Warning Against The Idleness
God created men and gave work to man, before man fall (Gen 2:15). Men and women should work and be productive. For women who stay at home as full time mom is work. The writers were mainly concerned about Christians who do not work, but expect others to support them. Not only they do not work and stay idle, they were busybodies (v11).
Missionary, teaching and pastoral and other Christian workers have the rights to be supported financially by other Christians (Gal 6:6, 1 Cor 9:3-14, 1 Tim 5:17-18).
However Paul and his coworkers did not use this right (1 Cor 9:12, 2 Thes 3:9). They worked night and day, laboring and toiling (v8) to support themselves. This was a repeat of 1 Thes 1:9. These are the reasons why Paul and his coworkers worked to support themselves:
- But in order to be example of the rest of the brothers and sisters, [..how you ought to follow our example] (v7), [..to make ourselves a model for you to follow] (v9)
- they do want to be a burden to the people they served (v9)
- do not want to hinder the gospel, for someone might misunderstood their motive. (1 Cor 9:12)
Paul did not reject all financial supports from everyone. The Philippi church supported Paul financial, when Paul was in Thessalonica (Phil 4:16).