Church members should pray for the church. We would be hard-pressed to find a Christian who would disagree with that statement. When it comes to praying for our Church family, many of our prayers probably focus on the specific needs of our brothers and sisters. This should certainly be a part of our prayer lives and is to be commended. However, how should we pray for the corporate life of the church in general? In a recent blog, Jonathan Leeman offered “18 Things to Pray for Your Church.” He acknowledges the list is by no means exhaustive, but I believe it is a great starting point. Leeman suggested we pray:
- That we would have unity amid diversity—loving those with whom we have nothing in common but the gospel.
- That a culture of discipling would form in which making disciples is viewed as an ordinary part of the Christian life.
- That faithful elders would use Scripture to train members to do the work of ministry.
- That a hunger for studying the gospel would form among members so that they can guide and guard one another in it.
- That transparent, meaningful relationships would become normal and remaining anonymous strange.
- The preaching of God’s Word—that it would be biblically careful and Holy Spirit imbued.
- That elders would remain above reproach, kept from temptation, complacency, idols, and worldliness.
- That the church’s songs would teach members to biblically confess, lament, and praise.
- That the church’s prayers would be infused with biblical ambitions, honesty, and humility.
- That adult members would work to disciple teenagers and not just leave it to programming.
- That the church’s primary teachers grow in dedication to God’s Word even when no one’s watching.
- That it would grow in being distinct from the world in love and holiness, even as it engages outsiders.
- That members would share the gospel this week—and see more conversions!
- That members would be prepared for persecution, remembering to love, not curse, their persecutors.
- That hopes for political change would be outstretched by the hope of heaven.
- That giving would be faithful, as well as joyful, consistent, and sacrificial.
- That more members would use their careers to take the gospel to places it’s never been.
- That members would be good and do good in their workplaces this week. (You can read the whole post here.)
I think it would be wise practice to incorporate several of these suggestions each day into your prayer life. Let’s pray, asking God for fruit in these areas.