Recently I discussed using the Lord’s Prayer as a template for prayer. Then, the other day an insight from Pastor Al Mohler introduced a mind-blowing point.
Jesus’ Prayer is not said in the first person.
It says “give us, deliver us, forgive us…” Me or I aren’t found anywhere.
It is less about the individual and more about the body of believers. It could be said for a family, but in a greater sense, it is to be said for the family of God – the church.
This brings two truths to mind:
1) We ought to pursue praying with other believers.
2) Petitions for the church should be included in our daily prayer time.
As our world strays farther and farther from the truth, the church must remain as the beacon of light and hope. In order to stand for Jesus, it needs to be Spirit-filled, holy, committed to the Word, loving to those within and compassionate to those outside, and steadfast in faith in the fires of persecution.
As Peter wrote: “…you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9
This all takes serious prayer. We cannot represent and share Christ on our own strength. Many issues in the church, such as hypocrisy, disunity, and false teaching, also cannot be solved without seeking the Lord on our knees in humility.
“With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints…” Ephesians 6:18
To support our countless ministries, pastors, and seminaries, all the saints – like you and me – must be faithfully praying for the Church as a whole.
So what should we pray? Here’s 5 ideas:
Ask the Lord to fill churches with Spirit-filled preachers who will teach solid doctrine from Scripture. Pray for your own pastor, that he would be committed to studying and explaining biblical truth every Sunday and beyond. Pray that he would shepherd the flock God’s given him with wisdom and grace.
Restrictions on religious liberty and hostility toward Christians are escalating around the world. Believers in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa are experiencing severe adversity and danger for living for Christ. Our brothers and sisters desperately need prayer as they encounter threats, loss of loved ones and homes, and barriers to meeting together. Voice of the Martyrs is an amazing ministry to follow to learn of specific prayer needs.
Biblical Manhood and Womanhood
The family unit is quickly crumbling in our culture as feminism and liberalism replace God’s blessed purpose for marriage and parenting relationships. Such divergence from the Lord’s design is leading to immeasurable heartbreak in and out of the Church.
Pray that Christians would know the Word and live according to the Word, so we can shine the Gospel through faith-filled families. Ask the Lord to build up Spirit-led men to wisely and uprightly lead homes and churches, and for dignified, pure, God-fearing women to adorn His love. Pray that parents would prioritize their marriage vows and dutifully disciple their children under biblical principles.
Pray that believers would have the courage and conviction to share the Gospel in every community. Petition the Lord to raise up another redeemed generation to preserve the church, particularly among today’s youth.
Unity and Repentance
A major portion of Jesus’s prayer before the cross was concerning unity amongst believers (see John 17), without compromising biblical truth.
Pray that believers across borders, church groups, denominations, ethnicities, etc. would unite in love under the true Gospel and God’s Word. Racism and cultural bias sadly still exist in many churches. Ask the Lord to stir up repentant and humble hearts, that the church may follow God’s commands to love one another and to value every person made in His image.
This is just a start to what we can bring to the Lord regarding His beloved people. I hope it expands your view of what prayer can be!
To learn more about prayer, see my post A Christian Woman’s Mini Guide to Prayer.