Among the things that I find striking in each of Paul’s letters recorded in the New Testament are his written prayers. For example, we find these words in the opening chapter of Philippians:
I give thanks to my God for every remembrance of you, always praying with
joy for all of you in my every prayer, because of your partnership in the gospel
from the first day until now. (Philippians 1:3-5)
As you read these words, you get the impression that the apostle Paul spent a lot of time praying for his fellow Christians. However, when we consider the convictions that Paul held about God and the world, this practise makes total sense. Paul knew that God is powerful and sovereign and yet, as a Christian, he had the incredible privilege of addressing this same God as Father. The same is true for Christians today. As we remember who God is, and all that he has done, it makes sense that we too should be committed to praying for God’s people, especially those in our own church family.
While we might know the importance of prayer in theory, the challenge is always putting this into practise – and persevering! One reality of the Christian life is that we often find prayer a struggle. For this reason, I wanted to let you know about three resources that I hope will encourage you as you seek to pray for our church:
1) Praying with Paul: a call to spiritual reformation - This book reflects on each of Paul’s prayers recorded for us in the New Testament. Not only will this book encourage you to pray, it will shape the content of your prayers according to the pattern of the apostle Paul.
2) 5 Things to Pray for your Church - Each chapter in this little book is only two pages long and contains a list of 5 things you could pray for your church based on a short Bible passage. One way you could use this book is to read one chapter every time you pray. With 21 chapters in the book, it will give you plenty of encouragement to pray for our church.
3) Prayermate App: If you use prayermate, you could subscribe to the SNAC prayer feed. Each day, you’ll be encouraged to pray for one aspect of our church. You can find out more info at www.snac.org.au/prayermate. Alternatively, you could create your own prayer list for church and include different topics to pray through regularly.
However you choose to pray for our church, let’s commit together to praying that God would grow his church for the praise of his glory!