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How to Pray for Our Churches
When others know that I follow Jesus Christ, they may watch to see what God does when I pray. I pray with His desires in mind so that when He answers my prayer, all can see that HE is the true focus of my attention in what I am asking for. My desire should always be that God is seen and followed by others because of what He is doing when I pray. This is especially true when we live out our faith and are visible in prayer to our families and those in our workplaces. In this way, those around us every day, who should know us as Christians, will know when we pray and what God does when we pray. They will not be drawn to us but to God — whom we serve. When they see God working in response to prayer, He will be honored and glorified by me, and others may join in giving him glory!
I go to the one and only true God who knows what I need before I ask, as Jesus taught us (Matt 6:8). He already knows what I need and stands ready to give it. Jesus’ logic is impeccable: Pray to the One who knows what you need even before you ask. Just as one might go to the hardware store because they know what is needed (and have it!) for your project before you even come in to as them for it, God knows what you and I need and is the One who we should petition for what we truly need (not what we think we need). How often have you gone to the hardware thinking you need one thing and come home with something that you really needed instead?
There are a few things we can pray for that will be of eternal value to our assembly – that God will honor and fulfill without question:
First, pray that God would involve himself in all our church’s decision-making processes and planning! We often make plans and then pray that God would bless them, mistakenly assuming that our plans must be His will! How might our church benefit if we invited God into the planning stages and strategies that our church carries out?
Pray for strong marriages and families. As the family is the basic building block of society, so it is also the backbone of Christ’s church. Without strong marriages and families, there will not be a strong church. It is no accident that Paul related in Eph 5:22 – 6:4 that the marital relationship between husband and wife conveys the church’s message to the world of Christ’s love for his church!
Pray for an evangelistic spirit to permeate the members of the church. Pray that each week members of your church will pursue and have clear opportunities to build relationships in their neighborhoods, living missionally and to share the Gospel as God intends (Acts 2:46-47)
Pray for a generous spirit to prevail in the hearts of church members and attenders. Pray that your church will be filled with cheerful givers (2 Corinthians 8:7-9; 9:7).
Pray for volunteers to be trained to do the work of the church. Pray that there will be enough volunteers to cover all the ministries of the church. Pray that volunteers will not be stretched thin and burned out on serving but will maintain a balance between serving and being served. Acts 6:3-7
Pray for those who lead in worship arts. Pray that their preparation time will be a time of worship for them personally as they seek the leading of the Holy Spirit and that the worship service will not be a ‘show,’ but an offering of praise. Psalm 150
Pray for a spirit of unity to prevail in the church. Too many churches are divided over personalities, worship style, minor personal preference issues, and other non-Biblical concerns. Pray that this spirit of division will not pervade your church, but that yours will be a church known for its peace and unity because believers have the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:4-11; 4:2-3)
Pray for those who serve the church on staff or as pastors and elders and deacons and deaconesses, that God would protect them from their own worst excesses and sin and that the Holy Spirit would guide them to walk in step with Him (Galatians 5:25).
Pray that visitors to the church will have a positive first experience, from the parking lot to the invitation, and come back for more. Pray that the Lord will grow His church by bringing to it the people that He wants to serve in that location – people of all ages, races, and classes. We are all one in Christ. Acts 2:47