A House of Prayer
One of the most shocking scenes in the bible is when Jesus entered the temple and in righteous anger turned over the tables of money changers and chased them out. Then, quoting Isaiah 56:7, he said, “My Father’s house shall be a house of prayer”. Later in the New Testament, we see that the church is God’s new house. So what does it mean for the church to a “house of prayer”? Well, the focus is not on a building but on the activity of the people of God, namely the activity of prayer. We are God’s house because God dwells among his people and we are to be a people of prayer!
But let’s face it, it is easy for our prayer lives to be governed by the tyranny of the urgent. Urgent prayer for our needs, our families, our friends. What about earnest, passionate prayer for the church? And what would you pray for anyways if you were praying for the church? That’s why I am sending this out. I want this to be a help to you and a blessing to our church. I want God to raise us up to be a house of prayer – when we come together for corporate prayer, in small groups, and when we are alone in our homes – that prayer would be lifted up before God day and night (Luke 18:7-8, Revelation 5:8).
So what follows are 21 things I would ask you to lift up to God in prayer for RLC. I am using some material I got from a blog post HERE – changing some of it, and adding to it. I’ve put scriptures in to help ground all of it in God’s word. God loves when our prayers are echoes of what he has already spoken.
For those finding it hard to carve out much time for prayer, here’s an idea: take this list and seek to pray through it every week, picking 3 or 4 things a day, taking time to fellowship with the Spirit and get a sense of his heart. What would God if we faithfully prayed for these things? Well, he would answer. In turn God would be glorified and we as his church would be richly blessed!
- That we would have unity amid diversity—loving those with whom we have little or nothing in common but the gospel. Romans 12:3-5, 1 Corinthians 12:4-14
- That a culture of discipleship would form in which making disciples is viewed as an ordinary part of the Christian life. Matthew 28:19-20, Acts 2:42
- That we would long for and seek the fullness of the Holy Spirit corporately and individually. Ephesians 5:18, Acts 2:1-4
- That faithful elders would use Scripture to train members to do the work of ministry. Ephesians 4:12
- That a hunger for studying the gospel would form among members so that they can guide and guard one another in it. Colossians 3:16
- That transparent, meaningful relationships would become normal and remaining anonymous strange. Proverbs 27:6, 17
- The preaching of God’s Word—that it would be biblically careful and Holy Spirit empowered. 2 Timothy 2:15, 1 Corinthians 2:4-5
- That elders would remain above reproach, kept from temptation, complacency, idols, and worldliness. 1 Timothy 3:1-7, 1 John 2:15-17
- That the church’s songs would help members to engage both head and heart in praise, approach, and adoration of God. John 4:24, Philippians 3:3
- That the church’s prayers would be infused with biblical ambitions, honesty, and humility. Psalm 62:8, Habakkuk 3:2, Jeremiah 33:2-3
- That adult members would work to disciple children and teens and not just leave it to programming. Psalm 78:4
- That the church’s primary teachers grow in dedication to God’s Word even when no one’s watching. 1 Timothy 4:16,
- That it would grow in being distinct from the world in love and holiness, even as it engages outsiders. John 17:15-19
- That members would share the gospel this week—and see more conversions! Proverbs 11:30
- That members would be prepared for persecution, remembering to love, not curse, their persecutors. 1 Thessalonians 3:1-4, 2 Timothy 3:12
- That hopes for political change would be overshadowed by a passion for the advancement of the gospel. Acts 1:6-8
- That giving would be faithful, as well as joyful, consistent, and sacrificial. 2 Corinthians 8:1-15
- That more members would use their careers to take the gospel to places it’s never been. Colossians 3:22-24
- That members would be good and do good in their workplaces this week. Galatians 6:9-10
- That church members would receive faithful preaching and scripture reading as God’s word and not just not just the words of human beings – 1 Thessalonians 2:13-14, Isaiah 66:2
- That Real Life Church would be characterized as a people who “earnestly desire” the spiritual gifts – especially those that build up the church the most. 1 Corinthians12:31, 1 Corinthians 14:1