Sombody Please Pray for Me: Summary of Sermon for 2/19/12

Note this is not the full text just a brief summary
Scripture2 Thessalonians 3:1-3 Finally pray for us, brethren

Here we have Paul arguably the most prolific writer, preacher, and apostle in the New Testament. Paul at this particular juncture in his life is about to leave the Thessalonians and possibly be in harms way for many sought to kill him. Therefore Paul is now asking if the Thessalonians could pray for him.

The Thessalonians were recent converts to Christianity, their walk with God was unpolished, their perspective on Christian principles at best was fresh, and at worst damagingly contorted. In fact, Paul’s chief aim in writing this second letter to the Thessalonians is to be used by God to correct the new converts from the false teaching they had accepted from those who were trying to “bewitch” them.

Be that as it may Paul still is asking the Thessalonians to pray for them. Paul was in so great a need for pray that he did not let his didactical discourse with the citizens of Thessalonica whom had begun to admire him, keep Paul from asking them to pray for him.

We live in a world saturated with people who are similar to Paul and are asking “somebody please pray for me” As my minds eye surveys the landscape of society I can see
Single Mothers with three kids and two jobs and receiving little to no child support saying “Somebody please pray for me.”
I can see college students trying to pay an ever increasing tuition while pleading “Somebody please pray for me.”
I can see young men just released from prison, with no skills and no positive support system and are looking for a job asking “Somebody please pray for me.”
I can see someone just diagnosed with a terminable disease begging, “Somebody please pray for me.”
I can see someone in a marriage on the verge of breaking up and the children about to be split up saying “Somebody please pray for me.”
I can see a woman who is getting abused at home silently crying, “Somebody please pray for me.”
I can see a child who is being molested at home with tears in their eyes silently crying, “Somebody please pray for me”
I can see a father who is struggling to support his family and their needs off his meager salary saying, “Somebody please pray for me.”
I can see a man/woman trying with no avail to give up life in the streets shouting, “Somebody please pray for me.”

We need to realize that John Donne’s words are applicable to Christians as well. No man is an island of himself, every man is a piece of the continent a part of the main.

Beloved the first step, if we seek to have someone pray for us, is for us to reach out. Paul in this text was reaching out to the Christians in Thessalonica to pray for him and his companions. The first thing to notice about Paul’s action is that he is here reaching out to the recently converted Christians in the land to pray for him. The unfortunate problem for us is that we can reach out to everybody else in the world except true believers in God. I know this may sound trite, but often times we look for help from the wrong people. God places godly people in all of our lives. As a result if a prayer is needed all you have to do is ask.

The next thing you should do if you today are asking “somebody please pray for me” is to loose your pride. Most likely you already know the people in your life whom you can ask to pray for you. However, we do not ask them to do such because of your pride. You do not want others to know your struggles, and problems. For you have secrets which you have kept for a while. There are some things about you that your pride will not allow to share with other people. You do not want their perception of you to change. Therefore, you refuse to ask them to pray for you even though you know how badly you need some help. Well friend the Bible teaches us in Proverbs 16:18 “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”
Please do not let your pride keep you from obeying the voice of the Lord. If you need help Be like Paul who although was a well accomplished man, did not let pride get in the way and ask someone to pray for you. Yes you can pray for yourself, Paul prayed for himself. But Paul knew that there is much power in prayer, and that you can never have enough prayers.

The final reason why we fail to reach out to ask, “Somebody Please pray for me” is because we are too judgmental.
Sadly, we don’t ask others to pray for us because we don’t think they are on our level. We believe that because of their past or their lifestyle that they cannot pray for us. We cannot see them for who they are today because we only see there yesterday. This skewed view prevents us from looking at them as an asset but only a liability.
God is showing us an example in the Bible of how we should act. Even though Paul knew how wicked the Thessalonians were he still asked them to pray for him. Paul being their leader was not so judgmental that he could not ask those who looked up to him, who confided in him, to pray for him. Paul knew they were not perfect he also knew they were being perfected and that’s why he could say to them, Somebody please pray for me!
Paul above anyone else, knew how God could change the hearts of anyone. For not long before he wrote this letter God changed Saul who was an executioner of Christians and to Paul and made him an apostle and evangelizer to the Gentiles.
Paul knew that God could use anybody thats why he did not mind asking the faint-hearted, easily deceivable Thessalonians to pray for him.

Paul must have remembered how wicked he was when he first met the Lord, but Ananias still came and prayed for Him. Paul must have remembered how Wicked Jacob the liar was before his daddy Isaac prayed for him, Paul must have thought about David who while he had lust in his heart still needed a word from the prophet Nathan which caused him to pray after he committed adultery. Paul must have remembered Peter and how Jesus said to him, “Satan has desired to sift you as wheat, but I have prayed for you.” Paul must have realized that if Jesus could pray for Peter whom he knew would deny him 3 times then Paul knew that Jesus could pray for Him and the Thessalonians so it does not matter which Christian prays for you it could be the preacher or groundskeeper because Jesus prays for us all. In fact that’s why its important to end your prayer in Jesus name because then it is added on to the list of things that Jesus is asking for, if its in God will. For the Bible says Jesus now sits at the right hand of God and the only way a prayer gets to God the Father is through Jesus, God the Son, and the Holy Spirit is literally praying for you making intercession because often times we do not know what to even pray.

Therefore if you have no body to pray for you, do not fret, remember Jesus is your advocate He always is pleading your case to the Father.

At times like this I am reminded of an old song which says, “Somebody Prayed for me, had me on their mind, took their time, to pray for me, I’m so glad they prayed, I’m so glad they prayed for me. Yes my mother prayed for me. Yes my daddy prayed for me but never forget Jesus has prayed, is praying, and will be praying for you. For He sits at the right hand of God advocating on your behalf. He also sends us people who we can ask to pray for us as well. Whatever it is you are going through never forget you can always pray to God about it. As I stated before I know you can pray for yourself but many times if we are honest we may not always feel like praying. Life has us so wrapped up. That is another sermon for another time, but rest assured today you can always feel free to ask other believers to pray for you.
Perhaps though you are not a believer yourself. Well right now I invite you to meet Jesus Christ. He is waiting on you. If you would only confess and believe that you are a sinner saved by the Grace of God through His Son Jesus Christ who lived and died for your sins and God raised Him up on the third day with all power. If you just confessed that CONGRATULATIONS my sister/brother in Christ and welcome to the family. If you are in the Mobile area I invite you to come visit with us at St. Paul A.M.E. Church but if not please join a Christ-centered church nearby and make your confession known.
Lastly, if you need prayer for whatever reason nothing is too big or too small for God please let me know by sending me prayer request through the tab at the top.
Until next time be blessed, and be a blessing

Rev. Robert R.A. Turner
Pastor St. Paul A.M.E. Church
Mobile, AL