Over the last couple of weeks we have looked at various areas in our lives that need prayer. I close our study with the need to pray for the ministry of the church.
Matthew 9:35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
I have a friend in Ohio whose youth ministry has this mission statement – ‘To Turn Teenagers into Fully Committed Followers of Jesus Christ.’ Fulfilling this mission requires both a teen’s salvation and their transformation. Jesus commanded His disciples to – “go and make disciples of all nations… teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” (see Matthew 28:19-20) First, lead them to a saving knowledge of Christ as their Savior, and then disciple them to live in a Christlike manner.
Turning people into fully committed followers of Jesus Christ is not only the mission of a particular youth ministry, it is the mission of the church. It is what we are all about. To do this, we need lots of prayer. How should we pray for the church? Here are a few suggestions.
We Should Pray for Our Church’s Leaders
Paul wrote to the Thessalonians – “Brothers and sisters, pray for us.” (1 Thessalonians 5:25) It means so much to me whenever someone tells me that they are praying for me and I know that they mean it.
We Should Pray for Workers in Our Various Ministries
Jesus said, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” We should always be praying that the Lord will place the right people in the right places within our church.
We Should Pray for Open Doors of Opportunity
Colossians 4:3 And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ…
Jesus told the church of Philadelphia – “I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut.” (Revelation 3:8)
We Should Pray For Spiritual Strength and Boldness
Colossians 4:4 Pray that I may proclaim it (the gospel) clearly, as I should.
Though we often view Paul as a spiritual giant, he knew that his help must come from the Lord. Therefore he encouraged his fellow believers to pray for strength and courage.