In his work, A Cry for the Kingdom, Stanley Grenz makes the following statement relating to prayer and the Church. He says, “The church of Jesus Christ faces many challenges today. Yet the greatest challenge is not what might initially come to mind. The greatest challenge is not that of urging Christians to speak out on the great social issues of the day . . . Nor is our greatest challenge that of encouraging each other to be more fervent in evangelizing the world, . . . Rather, the greatest challenge facing the church of Jesus Christ today, and therefore every local congregation, is motivating the people of God to engage in sincere, honest, fervent prayer.”
Grenz is on target with this statement, but only partially. He is correct in that he believes churches need to be about the task of prayer. I have never heard a church say that it spent too much time in prayer—but many have said the opposite. Grenz is also correct in that honest, fervent prayers are needed. Yet, I would add to his assessment that the greatest need is for churches today to return to the Christ of the Bible through heartfelt Bible-based prayer. Biblical prayer that focuses on relationship with Christ and His kingdom/mission-centered desires is the greatest need facing the Church today!
Mighty King, draw me into the depths of Your word, that I might engage You more fully and completely, and so that my prayers will reflect the desires of Your heart. Touch me with a deep desire to pray for lost people, and to be more purposeful about kingdom issues. I cry out for the Church in my nation and ask You to have mercy for our lack of attentiveness to Your word, and our disobedience to the commands of Christ. May we turn from our wicked ways and fix our gaze upon the face of Your Son so that Your Church will become a reflection of the life of Jesus to a sinful, dying world.
–Adapted from Giving Ourselves to Prayer: An Acts 6:4 Primer for Ministry (Chapter 41, The Bible and Church Prayer by J. Chris Schofield). This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.
Praise God for his everlasting power and goodness. Thank him for sharing his power with you in Christ. Confess those times when you tend to trust in your own power and strength. Commit yourself to focusing on God’s power at work within you. Ask God to fill you with a renewed awareness of his presence within you.
Ask God to enable you to show unconditional love to people who do not yet know Christ and his everlasting power.
“No day is well spent without communication with God.” —Anonymous
–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend.