In Genesis 1:1 the Bible begins “In the beginning God . . . .” The Bible is a book about God. In Genesis 3:9 the Lord called to man and said to him, “Where are you?” God’s interest in man is relationship and the Bible records God’s redemptive work to provide relationship with sinful man through Jesus the Christ (see Jn. 3:16).
When churches allow the Bible to shape their prayer beliefs and practices in relationship and intimacy with Christ, they allow God’s agenda and presence to permeate their life of prayer. Why is that? Edmund P. Clowney explains, The Bible is God’s Word; it is His story of His work in bringing rebellious men and women back to Himself. It tells, not of man seeking a lost God, but of God seeking lost men. The Bible does not present an art of prayer; it presents the God of prayer, the God who calls before we answer and answers before we call (Isa. 65: 24). . . . prayer is personal address to a personal God. Thus, church prayer begins in faith-based intimacy and relationship with the revealed God of the Bible.
Father, Your word reveals all that You are to Your Church. Jesus, Your Living Word, gives us free access to come before Your throne of grace. What an amazing miracle it is that Your people are welcomed into Your Presence continually as our lives become instruments of Your healing, Your saving power, Your mercy, and so much more! Awaken those who treat prayer only as a devotional act rather than as a lifestyle that impacts Your kingdom moment by moment. Wake up Your sleepy Church, Lord, so that we might draw near in intimacy and participate in the holy activity of Your heart as revealed in Your word.
–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 the God who lays claim to the entire world and all that live in it (Ps. 24:1). Thank him for the food, shelter, and clothing that sustains you and gives comfort to your life. Confess the times when you have failed to acknowledge God’s riches in your life. Commit yourself to examining your acts of stewardship. Ask God to give you a heart of liberality, knowing that all you have comes from him (1 Chron. 29:14).
Ask God to show your family new and creative ways to share the abundance of your lives with families who have much less.
–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend.