Quite possibly, the greatest missionary work in the world is the work of prayer. While one may never cross the seas to share the gospel with another tribe or people, he can pray. Frankly, one cannot even experience salvation apart from the power and influence of prayer. How many testimonies of changed lives included, at some point, the power of a praying mother, father, or pastor? We must pray for the lost. We cannot casually live our Christian lives without expressing, in deep prayer, an overwhelming burden and desire for the work of God’s grace in the heart of the lost.
In examination of my own need to improve my prayers for the unsaved, I recently searched certain Scriptures regarding the subject. I suggest from these verses seven ways to pray for the lost…
(Note: I’m not talking about another 60 minute preaching service under the banner of “prayer meeting.” No, this a legitimate prayer service. No preaching…no offering…just prayer!)
Several months ago the Lord began working in my heart about prayer. Not just prayer personally, but corporately in our church family. I was faced with the reality that much of my time was dedicated to leading our church in programs, but very little was spent on leading our church in prayer. This moment was both embarrassing and enlightening at the same time. God used it to change me and, in the process, He is changing our church. One of the greatest things our church has ever been through is a purging process – not of people, but of programs. I’m thankful we have returned to the simplicity of calling on God above all.
One of the major adjustments we have made is dedicating an entire service to church-wide, corporate prayer on Wednesdays. We are viewing prayer not as much as an obligation as it is an opportunity. We get to come to a prayer service and we get to call on God. Corporate, church prayer was the engine of the first century church. Unfortunately, in the twenty-first century it has become the emergency bake. Let that not be said of Laurel Baptist Church. May we strive as ever before to passionately pursue God and His presence in our lives and in our church.
James 5:16 - …pray one for another… Pastors and ministry leaders that serve on a church staff should make it a priority to pursue God daily on behalf of one another. I found that one of the biggest challenges is knowing exactly what to pray and how to pray when praying for our staff. One day I took the word STAFF and used it as an acrostic to guide me in my daily pursuit of God on behalf of our staff. It helped me. Here’s how I pray for our church STAFF:
Pray for their Spiritual Growth
Pray the staff will grow in God’s grace, love His Word, and seek His face. Pray they will be godly husbands and fathers; godly wives and mothers.
Pray for their Time Management
Pray the staff will be good stewards of their time in the office and around the ministry making the best effort possible to get the work done.