The next circle we are adding to our prayer time is the Church. Time and time again in the New Testament we are encouraged to pray and to specifically for each other.
- Jesus prayed for His disciples – John 7:12
- Jesus prayed for us – John 7:20
- The Early Christians prayed for the Apostles – Acts 12:5 & Acts 13:3
- The Apostle Paul prayed for the churches – Romans 1:10, Philippians 1:4, Colossians 1:3, 9
- The Apostle Paul requests prayer – Romans 15:31; Ephesians 6:19-20, Colossians 4:3-4; etc.
We not only see this exampled for us but we are specifically commanded to pray for one another. I don’t use that word commanded lightly. It wasn’t written as a suggestion. The language is imperative and carries a “you must do this” intentionality.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
Ephesians 6:18 (NIV)
With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith.
2 Thessalonians 1:11 (NIV)
13 Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
James 5:13-16 (NIV)
In these verses, we see the importance of praying for each other. And this isn’t just a passive kind of praying. We need to be curious about brothers and sisters in Christ and learning how best to pray for them. When I listed that praying for the church would be part of our focus this week, I was asked by one of our members how they could be praying for us more specifically. That was such a great thing to hear because it is that kind of curiosity we need to embody. “How can I pray for you?” is such a wonderful question. I have never been offended by anyone asking me that question.
As you pray for your church family, also pray for Keystone, a local expression of the body of Christ. Pray that we would be effective in sharing the good news of Jesus. Pray that we would have discernment as we navigate an unprecedented season of ministry. Pray for favor as we submit our ReOrient plans to the township planning commission this month. Pray that God would provide the resources needed to sustain our ministry. Pray for our leaders and our volunteers. The list can go further, but that is a great start.
As you pray today, pray for your family of faith!