May our Lord . . . encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word. (2 Thess. 2:16–17)

Graduation time brings great joy for the accomplishment and hard work of students. Parents, guardians, and friends are grateful to God. The tradition in my church was to have everyone graduating—from preschool to graduate school—stand at the altar for prayer. Led by the pastor, the entire congregation would ask the Lord to protect the students in all their endeavors.

Paul ended this chapter as usual, with prayer. Although the prayer is short, it is powerful because of who he prayed to—”our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father.” Who else can answer his prayer? Only the One who gave his life to save our lives. Only the One who rose again and lives today. Only the One motivated by love who offered his one and only Son. Only the One whose grace has appeared and offers salvation to all people. Only the One who is the giver of eternal life in Christ. Paul prayed that they would be comforted and strengthened in all good works and words. He petitioned that their lives would be wholly lived out in the truth of righteousness given to them. He asked that the power of God would establish them to live holy lives.

Appeal to God on others’ behalf, based on the One who can establish our steps for every good thing based on the love and grace he gave us.

Pray for the church to be established in every good deed and word.

Ladrienne Cage McFarland enjoys spending time with family, listening to music, VBS, crafting, and studying God’s Word.

© 2019 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.