A PRAYER BEFORE PREACHING THE GOSPEL

971609_49264542Trevin Wax:

God our Father,
Creator of all things,
true source of light and wisdom,
origin of all that is:

Thank you for calling me to faith,
for planting your Word in my heart,
and for delivering me from my sin.

Thank you for calling me to your service,
for giving me the ability to teach your Word
and share this good news with others.

I am overwhelmed at the thought of teaching on the gospel.
I feel so inadequate to deliver something of value about news that is priceless.
I am unworthy to be given the privilege of thinking deeply
about news too marvelous for angels to comprehend.

Be ever gracious to me.
Let a ray of your light penetrate the darkness of my understanding.
Give me confidence in the power of your gospel.
Grant me clarity in understanding and proclaiming the truths of your Word.
Edify your church through this work.

Father Almighty,
empower your people to tell the gospel story,
to recount your wondrous deeds
which shine light on your glorious and holy character.

Lord Jesus Christ,
empower your people to announce the good news
that you have brought to earth the life of heaven,
that you have sacrificed yourself for sinners,
that you have been raised from the dead
and exalted as Lord over all creation.

Holy Spirit,
empower us to live in light of the gospel,
declaring its truth with our words,
and embodying this truth through our actions.
Give us love for you and love for one another.
Amen.

(Photo: Simeon)

YOU CAN’T PRAY FOR EVERYTHING

992556_82204706-1Kevin DeYoung:

“Prayer can feel like the biggest burden of all.

We can always pray more, and we can’t possibly pray for every need in the world.

Even if we are extremely organised and disciplined, we won’t be able to pray consistently for more than a handful of people and problems.

But that doesn’t mean our prayers are limited to the items we can write on a postcard.

If your aunt’s cousin has up-coming heart surgery, pray immediately after you hear about it.  When a missionary shares her requests, pray right on the spot for them.

Don’t let the moment pass you by.  

Pray a short prayer.  Trust God for the results and, in many cases, move on.”

(Photo: joejoe77)

PRAYING THE CHURCH DIRECTORY

Church DirectoryMark Dever:

“Model for your congregation faithfulness in praying through the directory in your own devotional times, and publicly encourage them to make praying through the directory a daily habit. 

Your prayers for people don’t have to be long – just biblical. 

Perhaps choose one or two phrases from Scripture to pray for them, and then pray a meaningful sentence or two from what you know is going on in their lives at present. 

Get to know the sheep in your flock so well so that you can pray for them more particularly. 

And for those you don’t yet know well, simply pray for them what you see in your daily Bible reading.”

A PASTOR’S PRAYER

Rumunia_5806Bishop Daniel A. Payne:

“Lord, You know my weakness;
be my strength.

You know my ignorance,
be my wisdom.

Teach me,
that I may not be a blind leader of the blind,
but a scribe well instructed about the kingdom of God.

Oh, let not the people see me;
let them see You in Your vesture dipped in blood!

Let not the people hear me;
let them hear You in your voice of saving truth!”

(Photo: Darwinek)

PASTOR, ARE WE…?

1427667_31525848“I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day.” (2 Timothy 1:3)

Jonathan Griffiths:

  • Are we praying for our people regularly?
  • Are we giving thanks for God’s work in our people?
  • Are we praying for our people before we teach and admonish them?

8 WAYS TO PRAY DURING SERMON PREPARATION

1427667_31525848Mike McKinley:

  1. Lord, please help me to understand the meaning of this text and how it points to Christ.
  2. Lord, please increase my love for the people who will hear this sermon.
  3. Lord, please give me wisdom to apply this text to the lives of the people in our congregation.
  4. Lord, please use this passage to help me grasp and love the gospel more so that I might help my hearers do the same.
  5. Lord, please help me to see how this passage confronts the unbelief of my hearers.
  6. Lord, please help me to be obedient to the demands of this passage. Help me to enter the pulpit having already submitted my life to this truth before I preach it.
  7. Lord, by your Spirit please help me to preach this sermon with the necessary power and with appropriate affections.
  8. Lord, please use this sermon to bring glory to your name, joy to your people, and salvation to the lost.

Do you publicly pray for other churches?

Greg Gilbert:

“Each week, I choose one or two churches and pray for their services that day.  I pray for the church to be attentive to the Word of God.  I pray for the pastor to speak boldly and accurately from the Bible.  I pray for people to be convicted of their sin, for Christians to be encouraged in the faith, and for non-Christians to be converted.  I also thank the Lord that we live in a city where we are not the only church in which the gospel is proclaimed.”

Why is it a good thing to do?

  • It helps to crucify a spirit of competition in the pastor.
  • It helps to crucify a spirit of competition in the members.
  • Praying for other churches communicates that we are all on the same team and we have the same mission.
  • It helps the pastor to cultivate friendships with the pastors of other local churches.
  • It reminds everyone that God is glorifying His Son through the work of churches all over cities and the world. 

See HERE.

Leading Your Congregation in Prayer

Last Sunday, Mark Dever posted a number of helpful tweets addressed to pastors about how they lead corporate prayer at their Sunday gatherings.

Praying for the young people away at Contagious

This week six of the young people at Banstead Community Church (including my daughter Molly) are away at Contagious / Contagious Nano.

They and the camp need our prayers and to help The Good Book Company a few weeks ago gave a great list of things we can be praying for all the summer camps taking place including Contagious.  Here they are:

  1. Pray for the Bible teaching: that the “gospel [would come] … not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep joy” (1 Thessalonians 1 v 5)
  2. Pray that campers who aren’t Christians would become Christians: that “they would turn to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven” (1 Thessalonians 2 v 9-10).
  3. Pray that Christian campers would learn how to live out their faith: that they’d know “how to live in order to please God … [and] do this more and more” (1 Thessalonians 4 v 1)
  4. Pray that leaders would have Christlike love: loving campers “so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well” (1 Thessalonians 2 v 8)
  5. Pray that leaders would have eternal priorities: that they’d think of the campers as “our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ when he comes” (1 Thessalonians 2 v 19)
  6. Pray that leaders would make be committed to prayer and practical support for their campers before, during and after camp: “How can we thank God enough for … you? Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you again and supply what is lacking in your faith” (1 Thessalonians 3 v 9-10)

Seven Ways To Pray for Your Prayer Life

Tim Challies has written a helpful post about how you can pray about your prayer life.

Here are his seven ways:

  1. Pray that your prayers would be the expressions of a humble heart (Matthew 6:5-6)
  2. Pray that God would remind you that he doesn’t want or need your eloquent prayers (Matthew 6:7-8; Romans 8:26)
  3. Pray that you would remember what the really important requests are (Matthew 6:9-13)
  4. Pray that you would remember biblical examples of answered prayer (James 5:13-14, 17-18)
  5. Pray that God would give you confidence in his sovereign power (Ephesians 3:20-21)
  6. Pray that God would help you to persevere in your praying (Luke 18:1-8)
  7. Pray that God would encourage you that he is your loving Father and will give you only what is good (Matthew 7:9-11)