TEXT: 2 Corinthians 1:1-11
1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, unto the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia:
2 Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;
4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.
5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.
6 And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.
7 And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.
8 For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life:
9 But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead:
10 Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;
11 Ye also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf.
We are in a series of messages titled “Praying Through the Bible: A Series on Every Passage and Verse Regarding Prayer in the Bible.” The purpose of this series is to encourage and motivate you to pray to the God of the Bible. We highlighted each of these over 500 verses and passages in the Prayer Motivator Devotional Bible. So far, we have completed 259 messages in this series.
This is message #260 titled, How to Help the Work of God, Part 3.
William Barclay said, “The greatest of saints is not ashamed to ask for the prayers of the least of the brethren. We may have very little to give our friends; but, however little of this world’s goods we possess, we may give them the priceless treasure of our prayers.”
What happens when we help the work of God by praying for those who are doing that work as the Corinthians did in this passage? Paul describes the end result of the Corinthian believers praying for him and his missionary companions by saying, “for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf.” While being delivered from their trouble was certainly a gift of the grace of God, the end result of the believers’ prayers is not just deliverance from physical trouble, but it is also the fact that because of their deliverance, “many” were able to hear the Gospel.
The Gospel message and the ability to preach was also a “gift bestowed upon” Paul and his companions. They went from city to city, traveling by land and by sea, sharing this good news. They faced difficulty, persecution, and distress because of the message they bore. They could have had a life of ease if they hadn’t been engaged in the ministry, but the devil attacked them because of the “gift” that they were trying to share with others.
Paul tried to get this “gift” into the hands and hearts of “many persons.” He and his companions told anyone who would listen, and even some who wouldn’t, about Jesus dying on the cross to save their souls, deliver them from eternal punishment in hell, and restore their relationship with God. The devil tried to stop that message from getting to the people who needed it. He worked through natural and supernatural means to hinder these missionaries. He put the heat on them and turned it up so high that they thought they were going to die. But, God’s people in Corinth were moved to pray for them. And those prayers had a great impact.
God answered the prayers of His people and delivered them from a near-death situation. Paul was able to continue on his journey and deliver the Gospel message to “many people.” While many believers gave thanks for answered prayer and for Paul’s deliverance, many nonbelievers who later became believers because of the Gospel message Paul delivered also gave thanks as well. If Paul and his companions had given up in the face of adversity, that message may have never been delivered. If the Corinthian believers had not interceded on Paul’s behalf, that message may have never been delivered. So, don’t despise the work of prayer. It may seem like a small thing, but the feeblest prayer can have the mightiest impact in getting souls into the Kingdom of God.
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Now, if you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your first prayer needs to be what we call the Sinner’s Prayer. First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.