11 Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus direct our way to you. 12 And may the Lord increase you and may you abound in love for one another and for all just as we also have abounded in love for you, 13 in order to strengthen your blameless hearts in holiness before our God and father in the coming of our Lord Jesus with all of his holy ones, [Amen].
11 Paul now transitions into a prayer in behalf of and for the Thessalonians. Paul first asks God to lead the company of the apostles back to Thessalonica. Paul uses the singular verb κατευθύναι (may direct/lead) (BDAG, 532) with the compound subjects “God and Father” and “Lord Jesus”. There are many reasons for this, but the most likely reason is that Paul has united both the Father and the Son for a single unified purpose. It is probably not a statement of unity as both subjects are preceded by the article (ὁ θεὸς καὶ πατὴρ ἡμῶν καὶ ὁ κύριος ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦς) which makes them distinct. See Wallace (Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, 482).
Paul asks that the apostles’ way may be directed back to the Thessalonians. ὁδός (way) within this context is defined by BDAG as “a way for traveling or moving from one place to another, way, road, highway” (BDAG, 690). The prayer here is for God to direct the apostles’ “way” back to Thessalonica, but only within God’s time and will, thus the use of the Voluntative Optative form of κατευθύνω (to direct) in this verse. Wallace defines the Voluntative Optative as “the use of the optative in an independent clause to express an obtainable wish or a prayer. It is frequently an appeal to the will, in particular when used in prayers” (Wallace, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, 481). It is Paul’s prayer that God’s will be done and that within his will that the way be made for Paul’s return to Thessalonica.