One might ask, “why should we pray for the Church? I thought the Church is suppose to pray for us”. And there are also some who wouldn't see anything wrong with this question.
I understand that a good number of us are used to asking for prayers from men/women of God and other Christians we believe are above us spiritually. We've normalised the habit of being the victim of spiritual challenges at all times and requesting for prayers. But have we ever stopped to ask ourselves whether other Believers need prayers also? How often do we pray for others compared to the rate at which we pray for ourselves?
First of all, the Church is not a local assembly where Christians attend services. The Church is not a denomination; but instead, it is comprised of all genuine Christians on earth. As the Bible says, that the Lord knows those who are His (2 Timothy 2:19); the true Church is made up of all these people whom God knows as His own. The Church is the Body of Christ on earth.
If asked, “do you often pray for the Church?”, I assume some will be quick to say, “yes, I always pray for my church and my pastor”. But that only makes evident the extent to which religion and religiosity has harmed the end time Church. Praying for our denomination is good, but Jesus never said that the Church ends at our denominations.
John 10:16 KJVAnd other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
The Pharisees were also like a good number of members of some denominations today. At some point they became curious and out of bitterness, asked Jesus whether He was also going to preach to the Gentiles (apart from the Jews—which the Pharisees were part of). And Jesus responded with a resounding, “Yes! I have other chosen people among the Gentiles also!”
I think we need to get rid of this attitude of making prayer selfish in our different denominations; if truly our denomination is built on the true foundation, which is Jesus Christ.
In John chapter 17, when our Lord Jesus prayed for the Church, He did not pray for a denomination. He didn't pray only for His disciples or the multitude that always followed Him. He prayed for the chosen ones; everyone to whom the Father sent Him—for they are the true Church.
John 17:9,12 KJVI pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.  While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.
But why is it that in today's Christianity, it is difficult for certain church members to pray for someone who isn't a member of their denomination? And even when they find someone in dire need of prayers, they demand the person must become a member of their denomination before they can offer proper prayers and help to them. Why?
Well, here comes the question once again, do you often pray for the Church?
Why We Should Pray For The Church
There are many important reasons why we should pray for the Church. Let's take a look at some of them below.
Jesus Did And Still Does. We Should Do Same
Our Lord Jesus left us a great example. Before the culmination of His ministry on earth, He spent quality time praying for the Church. The chapter seventeen of the Gospel of John is almost all about the Lord's prayer for the Church.
Besides that, after the Lord had ascended into Heaven, He continued interceding for the Church via His office as a High Priest. Even as I'm writing this blog post, Jesus is still praying for the Church.
Hebrews 4:14 KJVSeeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
Hebrews 7:25 KJVWherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
The Church Is Going Through Difficult Times
It's no new news that the Church is going through intense persecution in the last days. The entire world is going through but you'd agree with me that it is genuine Christians who are going through the most. What if we made it a habit to pray for one another, wouldn't that be helpful? I'm sure it would be great!
John 16:33 KJVThese things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
I believe that in these days and times, the need to intercede for the Church cannot be overemphasised.
The Church Is Under Attack
We must understand that every genuine Christian is under attack—not one, but all true Christians. Even those we ask prayers from also need prayers.
John 17:15 KJVI pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
If Jesus prayed asking the Father to protect every member of His Body from the evil one, we can and should emulate Him. Pray for protection of every genuine Christian on earth.
The Church Needs To Be Perfected
According to scriptures, our Lord Jesus is coming for a Church without spot or blemish. What this means is that the Church has to [collectively] attain maturity in Christ—“unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ”.
Ephesians 4:13 KJVTill we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.
One of the things that is holding back the return of Jesus is the present state of the Church today. The Church doesn't need just sermons to attain perfection, but also prayers.
The Church Needs To Make Impact
The enemy attacks every genuine kingdom business. The goal is to ensure that the Gospel does not go out and people are not saved and delivered.
In some countries of the world right now, Bibles are confiscated. You see, the attacks may seem subtle but the enemy is not playing.
2 Thessalonians 3:1 KJVFinally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you.
How many of us are still praying that the Gospel goes out without any hindrance from the enemy? That should become one of our prayer points.
The impact of the end time Church is suppose to exceed that of the early Church. If the Apostles turned the world upside down, we should be able to do more than twice of that. Pray that the Lord continues raising mighty men and women who will make impacts in the end time Church.
It Is A Form Of Partnership With God
Praying for the Church is entering into partnership with God. If truly we belong to Him, we should be willing to partner with Him (through prayers) in order to birth His will on earth.
Prayer For Church
I believe that from all that has been said so far, we have adequate information on how to (individually) craft our prayer points for the church.
- Thank You Father for choosing us in You, even before the foundations of the earth (Ephesians 1).
- Thank You Father for sending Your Son, Jesus Christ to redeem Your chosen ones from the curse of Sin.
- Lord Jesus, You said that none shall be able to pluck Your chosen ones out of Your hands (John 10:28). Lord we ask that You preserve and keep the Church safe in this evil world, till the day You come again. Amen.
- Holy Spirit I ask that You strengthen and comfort everyone who is currently going through persecutions, tribulations and trials in the Church. Give them reasons to not give up. Amen.
- Father, the harvest is great but the labourers are still few. I ask that you raise men and women with a heart after You and a passion for the Gospel, to fill the needed spaces in the end time Church. Amen.
- Father, just as You promised in Your word, we ask that You give us shepherds after Your own heart, to guide and lead the sheep to the finish line. Amen!
- By the authority of Jesus Christ, we come against every Satanic weapon fashioned against the spreading of the Word of God. We declare that the Gospel shall have a free course, in the Name of Jesus Christ.
- Father, I ask that You raise more Intercessors in the end times; selfless prayer warriors and midwives who will see to it that Your will is birthed on earth through prayers, just as it is in Heaven.
- Father we know that the enemy prowls like a lion seeking whom to devour, but you are always ahead of Him. We commit every genuine Christian into the safety of Your Mighty Hands. Amen.
Prayer For Church Growth
Church growth isn't about making more people become members of our denominations. It isn't in the number of people we use all manner of tactics to trick into becoming our church members, lest we become worse than the Pharisees and Scribes:
Matthew 23:15 KJVWoe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.
Church growth is about winning more souls, discipling and helping their transformation into the image of likeness of Christ. This is how the Lord adds to His Church (the Body of Christ).
Acts 2:47 KJVPraising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
If we must pray for the Church and church growth, I believe this guide is clear enough on how we can better do it.
God bless you!
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