In our study of 2 Thessalonians chapter three, we will look at Paul's teaching on how important it is to not only learn the Word but to actually live it. Paul always preached the gospel with words but also with action and he ends this letter to the Thessalonian believers by urging them to follow his example.
"Finally, brothers, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you." NIV translation
Paul begins to close this letter by asking for prayer for the ministry. It is interesting to note what he prays for as he does not pray for finances or the like but instead asks them to pray that the Word of God would quickly spread and be followed. Sadly, today, more time is spent praying for money and things like that than actually praying for lives to be changed. We need to follow Paul's example too.
"And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men, for not everyone has faith." NIV translation
The better translation of the word "evil" here is unreasonable and Paul is asking for prayer that they would be able to overcome the schemes of those that are servants of darkness (wicked) and those that simply will not accept facts no matter what. When you are trying to serve the Lord, there will be those that want to oppose you and many times they profess to be followers of Jesus Christ. They will not listen to the Word of God and if you ask them to open up the Bible to check to see what it says they will probably refuse.
"But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one." NIV translation
Paul asks for prayer to be delivered from wickedness but he is also quick to point out that the Lord is in charge. Just as the Lord was with Paul through his many struggles, He will also be with us. This is the same thing that Peter was talking about in 1 Peter 1:5.