A prayer based on Acts 6:1-7.
We thank You our God,
the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
that all over the world, the gospel, the word of truth, is bearing fruit and growing.
We praise You that men and women, boys and girls, from all nations,
are turning to the living and true God;
are serving Him;
and are waiting for His Son, our Saviour who rescues us from the coming wrath by His death and resurrection,
to return from heaven.
Yet we are aware, that there are many things that can prevent the spread of the good news found in the Word of God.
How hostile opposition can silence Your people.
How immorality in the church can compromise its witness.
But also how division can divert our attention from this great task and privilege of telling lost people of the One who can forgive their sins and make them right with God.
Lord, we thank You that Jesus died to make unity in the church possible.
That through the cross, walls of hostility that divided us from others have been destroyed,
so that as well as being reconciled to God, we are also reconciled to one another.
Holy Spirit, thank You for bringing about this blood bought unity in this local church,
and we ask for Your strength in order to maintain what is already there.
Help us to love one another as Christ has loved us.
Help us to treat one another as those who are one with us in Christ.
Help us to be quick to forgive others mistakes, and to acknowledge when we are guilty of acting in ways that would threaten our togetherness.
We pray too, for our elders, that they would not be distracted from the responsibility they have, of giving their attention to prayer and the ministry of the Word.
Help them to prioritise prayer.
Pleading to You our God, for us, that You would save us and bless us and shepherd us and carry us for ever.
That You would save the lost in our community, in our nation, and around the world.
That all that You our Father have given to Jesus, would look to Him and believe in Him and receive eternal life.
Help them to prioritise the ministry of the Word too.
To preach and teach and train and counsel us with the Scriptures.
In season and out of season.
To correct, rebuke and encourage with great patience and careful instruction.
And may each of us encourage them to make these tasks their priorities.
We ask these things for the good of the church, the salvation of those who do not yet trust in Christ, and the glory of You, our great and good God.