Praying in 2017- Day 24: Praying For My Church

Hear my prayer, O God; give ear to the words of my mouth. (Psalm 54:2, NASB)

Day 23- Praying For My Friends

Day 24- Praying For My Church

Praying for your own local congregation is something we all need to be doing daily. So let's concentrate on our churches today. But as you go about your day, also pray for every church you drive past. Pray for churches in other lands as well. Collectively, we are all part of the bigger Body of Christ, and we need to lift each other up.

  • we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. (Ephesians 4:15-16 ESV) 

Let’s ask the Lord to help our church “grow up,” not to act old and stodgy, but to be mature and strong to minister. Each member of the congregation is needed for the church to function as well as possible.

  • And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, (Ephesians 4:11-13 ESV)

It is not just our pastors that have jobs in the church; nor do just the deacons and elders hold responsibility. Each person in our church has been gifted spiritually to minister. Let’s pray that this year there is an explosion of members walking out their spiritual gifts. Think how blessed our pastors would be (and the rest they would get!)

  • And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. (Hebrews 10:24-25 ESV)

One of the reasons we gather weekly to worship the Lord is because it encourages us to keep fighting the good fight. The more evil and unsure the times, the more we need each other. We need to ask the Lord how we can minister to the members of our church. It is easy to neglect each other in our busyness, so we need the Lord’s help with this.

  • They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. (Acts 2:42)

We know this verse contains the perfect game plan for a healthy church because it describes the early church. This church went from a few bedraggled disciples to a world-shaking force that sent missionaries all over the ancient world. They didn’t focus on programs, but on the basics: the Word, loving each other, and prayer. Let’s pray the Lord would give us vision in our churches to focus on His priorities.

  • Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest." (Matthew 9:37-38 ESV)

As members of the Body of Christ we need to actively pray for the Lord to send laborers out with the gospel. Of course, there is a danger that He might send us! We need to ask the Lord to send workers to the lost, but we also have to be willing to be one of those workers.

  • Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you, (2 Thessalonians 3:1 ESV)
  • At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ,  (Colossians 4:3a ESV)
  • that the gospel of the kingdom may be preached in all the world. (Matthew 24:14, KJV)

I pray 2017 will be a year where the word of Lord speeds around the globe, pushing doors open, declaring Jesus, and spreading the gospel. I can’t think of a better prayer than that.

  • Lift up your heads, O gates! And be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD, strong and mighty, the LORD, mighty in battle! (Psalm 24:7-8 ESV)

I am praying that this year the churches of America would lift their heads and open their doors to the King of glory. That the churches of our land would stop substituting programs for ministry, stop worrying about membership and start working on evangelism, stop closing the doors to the needy and start caring for them instead. The Lord who is strong and mighty wants His church to be the same.


Prayer Day 24

Dear Lord,

Thank You that You designed us for relationship and that You established the church for a place of godly relationships here on earth. I ask You to bless my church that it would grow and mature even more this year, to do Your work and build Your kingdom. 

Help all of us, in the congregation, to walk in our spiritual gifts. Bless our pastors and keep them from weariness and temptation. Surround them with Your care and Your leading. May the Body function as it is supposed to and keep us from looking to the staff to do all the work. Help us to help each other by loving, exhorting, and empowering one another. Please bless our church relationships that they would be a picture of You to the world.

You say the harvest is plentiful, so I ask You Jesus to send workers into the fields. Help me to be willing to go wherever You send. I ask You to embolden Your church to take Your Word to the world this year in new and exciting ways.

Lord, I ask You to open new doors to the gospel this year. May it spread into places never thought possible. May to reach those who have never heard. May it penetrate hearts that have been hardened. Please help my church be a part of that however You can use us.

Oh Lord, may the churches of America throw open their doors to You. May You rush in and breathe Your Spirit on us. Please send revival that transcends denominations and petty rivalries. May we rally behind You and go into every battle You send us.

May the world see us, the Body of Christ, and through our love for each other have a visible witness of You. Help us throw away all that is not of You, and enable us to follow hard after You to Your glory and the building of Your Kingdom.

Amen


Today I am not just praying for my church, but I am daring to ask the Lord what He wants ME to do in the Body of Christ. It is a bit scary, I admit. But how else will 2017 be the year of breakthrough unless I am willing to go wherever He leads?

If you want to join me, leave a comment below. Let's encourage each other to press forward! 

  • Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. (1 Thessalonians 5:11 ESV)

Day 25- Praying For Our Nation