By Beth Holmes
Sometimes it’s a wonderful place to be, but sometimes it can be a frustrating place. Sometimes I can’t wait to get there, and sometimes I can’t wait to leave. But regardless of how I feel, my local church is the place God has given me for this season to work, serve, worship and learn about Him. Because the church is so important to God, we need to pray for our churches, their leaders and our service there.
We are partners for the gospel.
Philippians 1:3-5 says, “I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.”
Regardless of our age, life circumstance, socioeconomic status or any other dividing factor, those with whom we go to church are our co-workers for sharing the Good News of Jesus. We must make praying for those co-workers a priority.
In Colossians 4:2-4, Paul tells the believers in Colossae, “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should.”
- Thank God for the privilege of serving with other Christians.
- Pray for open doors for believers to share the message of salvation.
- Pray that we will speak with boldness and clarity when we have the opportunity.
We are learning and growing on the journey.
Colossians 1:9 says, “For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.”
Regardless of how long we have been walking with Christ, we are still growing in our knowledge of God, His Word and His will for our lives. As we grow up in Christ, we must pray that others in our church are doing the same so we can move forward as a body of believers in knowing God’s will.
- Thank God for His Word, the Bible.
- Ask God to help you grow as you study His Word and seek His will.
- Pray for others in your church, that all will seek God’s will for their own lives and for the church as a body of believers.
We must respect and pray for our church leadership.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:12, Paul says, “Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you.” Our church leaders — pastors, associate ministers, deacons, elders, directors, teachers and anyone else in a position of leadership — deserve our respect and our prayers.
Will they always be perfect? No. Will they always make the right decisions? No. But because God has placed them in this position of leadership, we must follow His Word and show our respect and appreciation.
Often, church leaders hear about the things they are doing wrong, rather than the things they are doing right. Consider sending a note to someone with whom you work closely at church, maybe a small group leader or one of the ministers. Let him know how much you appreciate what he does, and commit to praying for his ministry.
- Thank God for your church leadership.
- Ask God to protect your leaders — physically, mentally, spiritually.
- Ask God to protect their marriages and their children from harm.
Praying for our churches and for our church leadership is a responsibility, but it is also an honor. God uses members of His churches to tell others the good News of Jesus Christ, and we are partners in that task with Him. Take some time now to thank God for including us in His great plan, and commit to praying for your own local body of believers as you work to share the gospel in your city.
Beth Holmes writes from her home in Owensboro, Kentucky, and thinks the best Friday nights are spent playing board games with the college students at her church.