Pastoral Perspectives

Join Me In Prayer For Our Church (2020)

As a wrap-up to the sermon series that kick-started this year’s pulpit ministry – a Worshipping Community, a Caring Community and an Evangelising Community – I have crafted a prayer that we can all use to pray for our church as we journey through 2020. It is a prayer that is informed by the Word of God, and if we pray according to His Word, we will be praying according to His will. If we pray according to His will, we can be confident that God will hear us and answer our prayers (1 John 5:14-15). You may want to pray this prayer in sections (if you find it too long) or you may want to pray the whole prayer at one go. When we make a commitment to follow Christ, we have also made a commitment to be part of his body. One way to show our commitment is to pray for the body. Therefore, it is my prayer that you will pray regularly for our church and for ourselves. So here it goes…

“Our great God, our great King above all gods, we come before you with adoration and thanksgiving because you are our Creator. You spoke the whole of creation into existence. In your hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to you. The sea is yours, for you made it and your hands formed the dry land. We worship you. You have made us in your image, the apex of your creation, and we are fearfully and wonderfully made. We are the people of your pasture, the flock under your care. We praise you for your wisdom and power and love.

We come before you with adoration and thanksgiving because you are our Saviour. We are grateful that Christ died for us. In your mercy, you made Christ who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. In your power you raised him from the dead three days after he was crucified and in so doing, showed that you had accepted his payment for the penalty of our sins. We celebrate Christ’s resurrection for without his rising, we will still be dead in our sins. It is such a marvel that because he is perfect, we can transfer our sins to him and in exchange, he has transferred his righteousness to us. We rejoice in the salvation that we have in Christ. We are glad that we are no longer your enemies but we have been reconciled with you.

We come before you with adoration and thanksgiving because you are our Sustainer. Your Holy Spirit is our Counsellor, Helper and Advocate. You guide us in paths of righteousness for your name’s sake. We acknowledge that you are the provider for all our daily needs and you are there to protect us from all forms of harm, sometimes even without us realising it. Most of all, we thank you for sustaining our faith. We pray that your Spirit will transform us by the renewal of our mind. Just as we are crucified with Christ, we pray that we will rise with him and walk in the newness of life. Indeed we are a new creation, the old has gone, the new has come. By your power, enable us to live no longer for ourselves but for Christ who died for us and was raised again. Enable us to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Jesus daily. Whenever we fall into sin, may your Holy Spirit and your Holy Word speak truths into our lives and whenever we hear your voice, we will not harden our hearts, we will not give all sorts of excuses for our sins. Instead, help us in humility seek your forgiveness and we know that if we confess our sins, you are faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all our unrighteousness. Bend our will in obedience to your will so that we can be sanctified; we can be transformed; we can grow in our faith.

Lord, we pray for the church and we pray for ourselves who make up the church. We pray that we will understand and recognise that every one of us plays an important part in this body.  In your sovereignty, you have arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as you wanted them to be. We thank you that by your grace you have given us spiritual gifts which can be used to build up the body of Christ. We pray against lethargy and indifference. Instead, instil in us the joy and passion to serve you and your people, knowing full well that we serve because Christ first served us by giving his life as a ransom for us. We also know that when we serve, we are following in the footsteps of Jesus, the Servant King.

We also pray that as a church we will fiercely guard the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. We pray that there will be no division in the body but that its parts should have equal care and concern for each other. We pray for sensitive and compassionate hearts to empathise with others. We pray that we will love those who are different from us. We pray for humility to look to the interests of others. We pray that we will not be overly sensitive and become upset with each other over trivial matters. Help us always to give to the other the benefit of doubt. We pray that we will have the patience to bear with, accept and forgive one another. May Christ be the one who is binding us together. We recognise that we are all sinners saved by him. We pray that it is Christ’s love for us that will compel us to love one another.

And it has to be the same love of Christ that compels us to share your amazing love with others, to be engaged in the ministry of reconciliation since we ourselves have first been reconciled with you. We pray that the first thing on our mind when it comes to evangelism and missions is neither ‘this is not my business’ nor ‘this is not my cup of tea’. We pray that we will be overwhelmed by Christ’s love over and over again so that it becomes a strong motivating force for us to be his ambassadors, making the appeal on your behalf for others to be reconciled with you. To this end, let us be faithful in sowing Gospel seeds, knowing that salvation belongs to you; only your Spirit can convict people of their sins and of their need for Jesus.

As we journey through 2020, we pray that we will grow in our biblical convictions and we will do things according to what your Word says instead of according to our comfort level. We pray that we will grow in our character after our Lord Jesus Christ, that we will develop in all the aspects of the fruit of the Spirit and just as we have been clothed with the righteousness of Christ, we will also grow into his righteousness. We pray that you will fill us with your Spirit and equip us with competencies and skills necessary for kingdom’s work. In all that we do, may you increase and we decrease. Gracious heavenly Father, we know that you are able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, accordingly to the power at work within us. To you be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen!”

Rev Lee Kien Seng

January 26, 2020