That church that you drive to every Sunday — that group of 20, 200, or 2,000 believers that you meet with every week — was meant to change the world.
That’s what the Bible says.
We have been praying over our world and our nation in this series of posts. We have been asking God to make a difference in the lives of people. But as we pray for light to enter darkened hearts and for God to work in circumstances beyond our control, we keep mentioning the churches of the world and the churches of our nation. We pray that churches would stand strong under persecution, that churches would share love in their communities, that churches would hold fast to the truth…
Because it is largely through the Church that God says He will work.Our churches were meant to change the world! Click To Tweet
As Jesus was leaving Earth, He had these final instructions to the disciples:
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you…” (Matthew 28:19-20).
And then all through the book of Acts, the Holy Spirit brought together groups of Christians to fulfill that commission together.
Your church, be it big or small, is there to grow disciples, to point your community to Jesus, and even to share hope with the world!
I know I tend to get caught up in the routine of church. Sunday morning, I wake up and get into some nice clothes, grab teaching materials for children’s church, help Benjamin practice some music or put something together for the service (he’s the ministries coordinator). I talk to my friends, I find a seat, I follow along with the schedule of the service.
And I often miss the heart. I forget that this is a group of people that God wants to work through. I forget to pray for our church and for what God is doing there. I forget that nothing about worshiping our Savior, serving fellow believers, or reaching our community should be routine. This is eternity-impacting stuff!
So, as I am learning to pray for my church, here are 4 ways that you can be in prayer for your local church too:
1. Pray for your pastor.
In leading and shepherding the church, our pastors have a very tough, very important job. James 3:1 shows just how important their job is, saying, “My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.”
Pray that your pastor would lead with God’s wisdom, that God would keep growing him in his personal walk, and that he would stand against temptation and spiritual attacks that come from serving in ministry.
I love 1 Corinthians 15:58, a command to all believers, but also a reminder of how we can specifically pray for pastors — We can pray that they will be “steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”
2. Pray for the ministries of the church.
This looks different for every church — from music ministries to children’s ministries to community outreaches to world missions… We need to pray that God would be working in them and that the workers would be following the Bible and listening to God’s Spirit and direction. 1 Corinthians 3:7 says, “So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.” Let’s pray that as our church works for Christ, we’ll depend on Him, not our gifts or our methods, to give all the increase.
3. Pray for unity.
The stories floating around about churches splitting angrily over the placement of a piano or the color of the seats or a misunderstood comment… It’s so sad. Ephesians 4:16 describes the church as a body that has to work together, saying, “from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.” Pray that that’s how your church will work.
4. Pray for the hearts of the people.
Pray that each person at your church will be growing in Christ, sharing the hope of salvation with others, and focusing on what will matter in eternity.
Our God can work in amazing ways through any group of people, from the biggest and most equipped to the smallest and most unlikely. Who knows what He will choose to do through your church! Let’s pray that our churches will be open to whatever He wants to do!
Share your story! How have you seen God working in your church lately? What do you regularly pray over your church? Is there anything you do to remind yourself to pray for your church?