|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
1:1-11 We are encouraged to come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. The Lord is able to give peace to the troubled conscience, and to calm the raging passions of the soul. These blessings are given by him, as the Father of his redeemed family. It is our Saviour who says, Let not your heart be troubled. All comforts come from God, and our sweetest comforts are in him. He speaks peace to souls by granting the free remission of sins; and he comforts them by the enlivening influences of the Holy Spirit, and by the rich mercies of his grace. He is able to bind up the broken-hearted, to heal the most painful wounds, and also to give hope and joy under the heaviest sorrows. The favours God bestows on us, are not only to make us cheerful, but also that we may be useful to others. He sends comforts enough to support such as simply trust in and serve him. If we should be brought so low as to despair even of life, yet we may then trust God, who can bring back even from death. Their hope and trust were not in vain; nor shall any be ashamed who trust in the Lord. Past experiences encourage faith and hope, and lay us under obligation to trust in God for time to come. And it is our duty, not only to help one another with prayer, but in praise and thanksgiving, and thereby to make suitable returns for benefits received. Thus both trials and mercies will end in good to ourselves and others.
Verse 11. - Ye also helping together by prayer for us. St. Paul had a deep conviction of the efficacy of intercessory prayer (Romans 15:30, 31; Philippians 1:19; Philemon 1:22). By the means of many persons; literally, from many faces. Probably the word prosopon here has its literal meaning. The verse, then, means "that from many faces the gift to us may be thankfully acknowledged by many on our behalf." God, he implies, will be well pleased when he sees the gratitude beaming from the many countenances of those who thank him for his answer to their prayers on his behalf. The word for "gift" is charisma, which means a gift of grace, a gift of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:4).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
You also helping together by prayer for us,.... Though the apostle ascribes their deliverance solely to God, as the author and efficient cause of it; yet he takes notice of the prayers of the saints for them, as helping causes or means of their obtaining it. It was a very laudable practice in the churches, and worthy of imitation, to pray for the ministers of the Gospel, and especially when under affliction and persecution; see Acts 12:5, and the prayers of those righteous ones were heard by God, and often effectual for the deliverance of them, as they were in the present case: for
by the means of many persons, who wrestled together in prayer with God,
the gift of deliverance from so great a death, which the apostle looked upon as a wonderful mercy, "a free grace gift", was "bestowed upon" them, which was granted for this end,
that thanks may be given by many on our behalf; which is but reasonable, and ought to be observed; for since many were concerned in asking for, and obtaining the mercy, they ought to join in thanksgiving for it: and the apostle's view in this is to stir them up to a joint acknowledgment of the deliverance with them, which better became them than to side with the false apostles in their charge against him.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
11. helping together by prayer for us—rather, "helping together on our behalf by your supplication"; the words "for us" in the Greek following "helping together," not "prayer."
that for the gift, &c.—literally, "That on the part of many persons the gift (literally, 'gift of grace'; the mercy) bestowed upon us by means of (that is, through the prayers of) many may be offered thanks for (may have thanks offered for it) on our behalf."
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