How many churches do you see on your daily commute? Around your neighborhood? On the way to the grocery store or mall?
Posted in , Aug 21, 2017
A friend of mine was being considered for a pastoral position at a church I pass frequently in my travels. So as I drove by one day, I said a quick prayer for him and for the church. That’s when it dawned on me: What if I prayed for every church I pass?
I’m not sure why it took me so long to think of it, but I started doing that, and it’s been a blessing to me—and, of course, I hope for the churches I prayed for.
The Bible tells us to “always keep on praying for all the Lord's people” (Ephesians 6:18, NIV). That seems like such a big task; all the Lord’s people? But how many churches do you pass by on your daily commute? Around your neighborhood? On the way to the grocery store or mall? Why not make a habit of praying briefly for each one you pass?
What should you pray? Anything that comes to mind, of course, but a good place to start is with scripture, such as Paul’s prayers for various churches:
“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him” (Ephesians 1:16–17, ESV).
“That you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God” (Colossians 1:9–10, ESV).
“That our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith” (2 Thessalonians 1:11, NIV).
The more I pray for churches I pass, the more prayers come to mind. Here are some other ideas:
--For unity and love among the church members
--For the pastors and church leaders to make wise decisions
--For the church to reach out well to its neighbors and have a positive impact on the surrounding area
--For the church members to support and care for each other and experience true community
--For the church’s elderly, widows, widowers, and other people in need to receive attentive and generous care
--For the youth and children in the church to learn and grow well and see good examples in their elders
--For all who worship in the church to grow in love for God and others
Those are just a few ideas, of course. But that’s often the directions my own prayers take—along with Paul’s prayer for “those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be his holy people, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours: Grace and peace…from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 1:2-3, NIV).