Tuesday, 17 December 2013

The Version of Paul We Need To Be

Like we observed earlier, Apostle Paul’s prayers for each church often reflected his relationship with and perception of that church. In other words, he made custom-fit prayer points to address the pressing issues in their immediate environment. This was no copy and paste “I do not cease to pray for you…” jargon. There was purpose, there was passion and there was a lot of heart in these prayers. If you are looking, you can’t miss it.
In continuing the series of prayers by the Apostle, these are the three points from Colossians:
Heartfelt prayer at work...lol

1.       That ye might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;  That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;  Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and long-suffering with joyfulness;

2.       That your hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;  In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

3.       That God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:  That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak. (A prayer he sought for himself)

These are prayers that we ought to pray not only for ourselves but our local church body and management team and the body of Christ across the world.
This is not to whip up emotions but somewhere, at the moment, a missionary is being martyred, a vibrant pastor of a growing urban church is questioning his own faith and wondering if life is  all he’s believed it to be, a church member is going through ‘spiritual winter’ and God is at His farthest distance, the pastor’s spouse is going through long-term illness and the teenage children are wondering how merciful and loving God must be since He specialises in dishing out cancer to His own…

I just saw a site that claimed that 1,700 pastors leave the ministry every month! That’s in one country I guess. We can go on and on but you get the idea. Beyond praying these prayers for ourselves, let’s emulate Paul and pray with heart and soul for our churches. God knows we desperately need it. I believe prayer never goes to waste so even if you don’t see results, just keep at it.

If you are wondering where to start praying for the church, you can start with the most important prayer on Jesus’ mind even as His death loomed. 

Beloved, let us love one another. Love is truly expressed when we offer up heartfelt passionate prayers on behalf of our brothers. So take time today and be a Paul; pray for your church, pray for your pastor; pray for missionaries in forgotten places, pray for your next door neighbour. Let your love inspired prayers transcend race, gender, denomination and doctrine. We are better united than divided. For as Jesus said, “a house that is divided against itself cannot stand”. And contrary to what you think, it wasn’t Abraham Lincoln that said that.

Over a year ago, a dear friend founded and invited me to a small group that met weekly to pray for the church body across the world. We weren’t together for more than three months before everyone moved and we haven’t seen in over a year but till date, at the exact day of the week and time, I remember, and sometimes, I pray. 

My Question For You
What do you think your local church needs at the moment? Will you whine and threaten to leave the church or get on your knees and tell God? In what ways do you think your pastor needs your prayers?

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