National Day of Prayer: for the Churches

I was asked to pray in Stevens County’s National Day of Prayer today, May 2nd. When asked, there were still a few subjects left, and I chose our community churches because it seemed one of the easiest in which to talk about the gospel. Here’s how I prayed at a community event in a way that was my attempt to be faithful to Christ.

Gracious Father,

Strong churches help us have a strong community. I’m thankful for those churches that are especially involved in serving our community’s physical needs. There are churches that provide free meals, that help the homeless, that encourage the addicted, that stand for life. Colville is better because of them and we thank you for them.

God, the church is an institution invented by you for the discipleship of your people and for the evangelization of the world. I pray that our churches will faithfully share the gospel. Our county needs Christ most of all. He changes people. He changed the Apostle Paul from a murderer into a missionary.

May those churches that love and share the gospel stay faithful to the Bible message. The good news needs to be known by all in Stevens County. May more and more realize they are sinners and that their sin separates them from a holy God. May they know that You must punish sin; you cannot wink at it or pretend it away since that would violate your nature. May they realize that Jesus was sent to live a perfect life and die in our place. A death that is substitutionary and effective for all who repent and believe. May our churches add nothing to the finished work of Christ on the cross. It is only by grace that we are saved.

Father, we need the words of life. We need the timeless truth of your Holy Word. So especially strengthen the pastors of our churches who labor long at understanding Scripture and teaching it to our congregations. May they preach the truth even if they are opposed. May they continue to be faithful to you.

I pray that our churches would get better at the one anothers of Scripture. The church should be different than the world. It should be a place where we love one another, forgive one another, bear with one another, live in harmony with one another, serve one another, be kind and compassionate to one another, admonish one another, encourage and edify one another, and so many more. Those are supposed to happen in our churches, and I pray they will.

Father, if anyone wants to be your disciple, Jesus said we must deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow you. May our churches produce more and better disciples of Jesus Christ.

God, you describe the church as a body in 1 Corinthians. It’s a picture that represents how each church needs every member. May our members faithfully attend, serve, and support our churches. If the entire body isn’t there, if the entire body isn’t serving, our local church bodies will limp along.

You also describe the church as a family when you call us the household of faith in Gal 6:10 and when you tell us to treat each other as fathers, mothers, brothers, and sisters in 1 Tim 5:1. Lord, families function best when they are not at war with each other. May we give each other grace, may we obey Scripture, and reconcile with each other. May our churches be marked by forgiveness of each other because we know we have been forgiven by God. May our church families be loving families. May we treat each other with the kindness, love, and grace that is the mark of the best of families.

May our churches be truly healthy. Spiritual health isn’t measured by how large our auditoriums are, or how big our offerings are, or how many people attend. Spiritual health is measured by how faithful we are to the Bible. I pray our churches in Colville will be more faithful to Scripture.  

In our Risen Savior, Jesus’ name, Amen

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