1 Thessalonians 3:11-13
Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way to you.…
In these profoundly interesting words we have one of the most unfeigned and earnest prayers of the apostle. He desired to be directly instrumental in the farther spiritual benefit of the Thessalonians; and the only way to do so while at a distance was by prayer for them, together with his writing or sending to them.
I. THE HEARERS OF PRAYER. Prayer is made to God, even the Father and our Father, and also to Christ, even our Lord Jesus Christ; therefore Jesus Christ our Lord is God, even as God our Father is God. Prayer is to be offered to God as our Father (Matthew 6:9): so Jesus taught His disciples, and so the Spirit prompts them to pray (Romans 8:15). And prayer is not only to be offered up to Christ as our Lord and Saviour, but in the name of Christ as the Lord our Righteousness.
II. THE THINGS PRAYED FOR. He prays that he might have a prosperous journey to them, by the will of God. The taking of a journey to this or that place, one would think, is a matter depending so much upon a man's own will, and lies so much in his own power, that Paul needed not by prayer to go to God about it; but the apostle knew that we depend upon God in all our motions and actions as well as for the continuance of life and being — that Divine Providence orders all our affairs, and that it is owing thereto if we prosper therein — that God our Father doth direct and order His children whither they shall go, and what they shall do — that our Lord Jesus Christ in a particular manner directs the motions of His faithful ministers, "those stars which He holdeth in His right hand." He prayeth, too, for the prosperity of the Thessalonians, whether he should see them or not; and there are two things he desired for them, which we should desire for ourselves and our friends, namely — that they might "increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men;" and that they might be established unblamable in holiness. This last-mentioned spiritual benefit is the effect of increasing and abounding love. Our desire should therefore be — to have our hearts established in holiness; for then we shall be found blameless at the last advent of our Lord Jesus Christ. He will surely come, and come in His glory; and when He cometh, His saints will come with Him. And then the excellency, as well as the necessity of pure and perfect holiness, will appear, because without such a state no hearts shall be established at that day, nor shall any one be unblamable, or avoid everlasting condemnation.
Parallel VersesKJV: Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you.