Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Prayer for the Church


Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers.
Ephesians 1:15-16

For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Ephesians 3:14-19

I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.
Philippians 1:4-6

Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power, that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Thessalonians 1:11-12


This devotion, Prayer for the Church, is based upon the prayers of the Apostle Paul to the churches in Ephesus, Philippi, and Thessalonica shown above. But first, we must ask the question, for whom are we praying when we pray for the church, and who is the church?

In our day we tend to think of "brand" names (Baptist, Catholic, Lutheran, etc.) when we think of the church. However, this is not God's perception of the church; God's church consists of all true believers from the past, present, and future. Simply stated then, when we pray for the church we are praying for other believers.

If I were going to pick a person to be my best friend, I think someone like the Apostle Paul would be my first choice. It is evident from his prayers that his love was first to God, and then to other true believers. His life was truly selfless! Just look at how he prayed for the saints.

Ephesus:

I . . . do not cease to give thanks for you.

I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ . . .that He would grant you . . . to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man.

That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.

That you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height [of the love of God].

To know the love of Christ which passes knowledge.

That you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Philippi:

I thank my God upon every remembrance of you.

In every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy for your fellowship in the gospel.

That He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.

Thessalonica:

We also pray always for you.

That our God would count you worthy of this calling.

That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you.


How do you pray for other believers? Do you even pray for other believers? How often do we find Christians warring with one another instead of praying for one another?

Pray that God would keep you focused on your true mission, to be a testimony to the lost around you. Pray that God would find you continually, without ceasing, to be in prayer for the Church of God.

God Bless You,
Linda

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