We can never pray too much. Our church leaders and members are in need of your prayers to continue to be useful for God’s work. To that end I hope this post offers some help on what you can pray for:
- Ask God to give us an inclination to his word and not to money or to fame or power (Psalm 119:36), and to open our eyes to see wonderful thing when we read his word (Psalm 119:18), and to have our hearts united in fear of God rather than fragmented over many concerns (Psalm 86:11), and to be satisfied in his steadfast love (Psalm 90:14). [This is the IOUS acronym used by John Piper]
- Pray for purity that we do not come into temptation. “Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41). It is easy for us to not sin in the flesh, but our minds can get corrupt which is weakening to our spiritual life and ability to lead.
- Pray for humility that we do not pridefully lord it over the sheep. “So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”” (1 Peter 5:1-5).
- Pray for our biblical, doctrinal faithfulness. An elder “must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it” (Titus 1:9). “Keep a close watch on . . . the teaching” (1 Timothy 4:16). Pray that a hundred years from now the leaders of Cross Cultured Church will believe and love and teach “the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27).
- Pray for solid, joyful, Christ-exalting marriages where dad leads in daily family devotions and where dad leads his wife in times of prayer with just the two of them. “Fathers… bring [your children] up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). “Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way… so that your prayers may not be hindered” (1 Peter 3:7).
- Pray for our boldness in witnessing to the truth and beauty and necessity of Christ as the only way to escape the wrath of God and enjoy the pleasure of God’s presence. “When they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness” (Acts 4:31). “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people” (Acts 18:9-10).
- Pray for converting power. We do not want to counsel and pray and lead and plan and teach and preach powerlessly and without eternal effect. Pray that what happened with Paul and Lydia will happen in our ministries. “On the Sabbath day we went outside the gate to the riverside, where we supposed there was a place of prayer, and we sat down and spoke to the women who had come together. One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul” (Acts 16:13-14). Ask the Lord to open hearts and save people through our ministry.
- Pray that we would be a small part of a great, global awakening of fully biblical, doctrinally complete, Christ-exalting, God-centered reformation in the church and awakening in the world. “Pray then like this: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done,on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:9). Don’t pray prayers that are too small. Pray that you and we will be swept up by the Spirit in a great new work in our day that has the supremacy of God in all things at the center of it.
- Pray that we would nurture a culture of discipleship and discipline. We long to see the members of Cross Cultured Church willingly submit to be disciplined and nurtured in doctrine and practice. We also must pray that we will actively discipline those who wander away from the path of light so that they may be encouraged to repent and turn back to righteous living.
May God bless you for praying and seeking his face for his church.
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