It’s Sunday morning. You’re about to go to church. What have you been praying for before you leave the house?
In this month when we are praying for our local churches, it’s good to examine our prayers for our churches. I don’t just mean for the buildings themselves, but for the people inside them and for those who perhaps at the moment wouldn’t dream of setting foot in them.
Are we praying for those who will be leading us this morning? For those leading worship to be anointed by God’s Spirit and to have ears that hear what the Spirit is saying to them? For them to catch the wind of the Spirit and lead us to the throne room of God? We don’t just go to church to sing cheerful songs that will make us feel good or wake us up a little! As we sing, our hearts are gripped by the truth of the words we sing and our eyes are lifted to see the Holy One, mighty and majestic. Are we praying for each worshipper to come into God’s presence and be transformed into His likeness?
Are we praying for those who will minister the Word of God to us? Are we praying for them to be anointed, to bring us the bread of life, to bring us living words, to bring us food that will sustain us and nourish us? Just as we don’t need ‘junk food’ to eat, so we need nutritional food from God’s Word. We need more than milk. But then, if we are praying for meat, are we praying that we have the teeth to chew it? James warns us not to merely listen to the word and walk away from it unchanged. Are we praying for ears to hear beyond the voice of the preacher and the courage to do what God stirs us to do?
Are we praying for all those who will minister to people and to the Lord in whatever form? For those who greet people at the door? For those who make drinks? For those who minister the bread and wine to us? No job is menial; no job is unimportant. All that we do is holy, set apart for the Lord.
Are we praying for people who may not usually come to church? Are we praying for those we can invite to join with us? Are we asking God to remove all the barriers and excuses that people put up as defence mechanisms and move them to accept the invitation? Are we praying that God will speak directly into people’s hearts and lives and astound them with the fact that He knows us and loves us?
Let’s keep praying and let’s come to church expectant and obedient!