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Building God's Church at Center Point through Prayer, 2 of 4

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 TEXT:  I Thessalonians 5:16                                       

TOPIC:  Building God’s Church at Center Point through Prayer

Bobby Earls, First Baptist Church, Center Point, June 4, 2006

          What’s the greatest thing you can do for your church?  You might think the greatest thing I could do for my church would be:

¨     Support my church, with my presence, my attendance, and we need members who support their church;

¨     Serve my church by getting involved in leadership, and we need members who serve their church;

¨     Give to my church, my time, my talents, my tithes and offerings, and we need members who do all these things!

But the greatest thing you can do for your church is something that too few members rarely if ever do.  What am I talking about?  I want to say to you this morning that the greatest thing you can ever do for your church is to pray for your church.

You see, I am convinced that any member who prays, I mean really prays, consistently, strategically, powerfully prays for their church, is also a member who will support their church, serve their church, and give their time, talents and tithes to their church.  So the greatest thing you can ever do for your church is to pray for your church.

This morning, I want to share with you how you can or should pray for your church.  I’m going to give to you four concrete ways you should pray for your church.

But first, let’s look at the Scriptures.  Open to James 5.

1.   PRAY CONTINUALLY

          If we want our church to reach its full potential and accomplish the will of God and do the work of God, we need to pray for it all the time.

          Creative ways of remembering to pray for your church:

A.   Whenever you think for your church, pray for your church.

B.    Whenever you ride past a church, pray for your church.

C.    Whenever you make plans to come to church, pray for your church.

2.   PRAY STRATEGICALLY

 

          Begin praying for the people and the ministries of the church.

A.   Pray for the anointing of God’s Holy Spirit upon the pastor and staff.

B.    Pray for people to come to Christ at every service.

C.    Pray for newcomers to be drawn to the church.

D.   Pray for power as God’s people pray on Wednesday nights

E.    Pray for revival to come to the church.

F.     Pray for wayward and backslidden church members.

G.   Pray for deacons, Sunday School teachers, small group leaders, etc.

H.   Become aware of special events occurring at the church and begin praying for them.

3.   PRAY GEOGRAPHICALLY

 

          There is great value in physically moving to the places where ministry takes place in the church and praying for the people who will minister there.

          John Maxwell prayed in the nursery.  Placing his hands on the cribs he prayed for the children who would be cared for there.  “Maybe the next Billy Graham would be playing in one of those cribs the next week.”

4.   PRAY POWERFULLY

 

          If you want to pray effectively for your church, pray with power.  There are two ways to do that.  First, be filled with the Holy Spirit so that you have the power of God

flowing through you to touch heaven and earth.  Second, pray according to God’s word.  When you pray for the church, use Jesus’ prayer as the model and pray the following:

PRAY FOR BELIEVERS TO EXPERIENCE TRUE WORSHIP

·        Pray for an outpouring of God’s glory in His church as people acknowledge Him not only with their lips but with their lives

·        Ask God for a spirit of worship to manifest itself in your church.

·        Pray for revival in our church and the churches across the nation and the world.

PRAY THAT BELIEVERS WILL KNOW, ACCEPT, AND OBEY THE WORD OF GOD

·        Pray that God’s word will be preached powerfully and consistently in this church

·        Pray for spiritual understanding (wisdom, James 1:5) and faith to obey God among the people.

PRAY FOR UNITY IN THE CHURCH

·        Pray for humility among the church’s leaders and body of believers

·        Pray that a spirit of humility, brokenness and repentance will rise up among all believers

PRAY FOR SOULS TO BE WON TO CHRIST

·        Ask God to give our staff a vision for reaching the lost.

·        Pray for workers for the harvest—for believers who will consistently share their faith.

·        Pray that local churches across the country would reach out to the lost in their communities.

PRAY FOR JOY IN THE HEARTS AND LIVES OF BELIEVERS

·        Ask God to reveal our church’s potential to your leaders and the people.

·        Ask God to bring genuine joy and enthusiasm to your leaders and the people of the church.

Finally, let me invite you to become involved directly in one of the church’s many prayer ministries. 

PASTOR’S PRAYER PARTNERS

WORSHIP AND PREACHING INTERCESSORS

UPPER ROOM PRAYER MINISTRY

PRAYER CHAIN MINISTRY

WEDNESDAY NIGHT PRAYER MEETING

In the near future, I hope to share with you about a challenging new prayer ministry called “Lighthouses.”  There is also a new prayer/evangelism ministry known as “Family to Family.”  We have a limited number of brochures about each of these great prayer ministry ideas.

Whatever you do, pray.  Remember, the greatest thing you can ever do for your church is simply one thing, pray.

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