Impacting Cities & Communities thru Prayer
A Community of Prayer Champions, Praying Churches, Prayed-for Communities
Praying for one another is a necessary element for tightening the bonds of fellowship in the church. Of course we need to pray for one another while we are in worship. Pray for the people seated around you or across the room from you. Pray for your pastor, the music leader, usher's, offering bearers. Pray for guests whom God would like to bring into the warmth of your fellowship. Nothing will make them feel as welcome as God touching their lives as you pray for them.
A man came up to me Sunday, and as we talked he said, “I have been thinking about you this week, feeling like I needed to pray for you.” I thanked him. And I told him I had had some illness and some spiritual attack last week. I believe God’s Spirit often calls people to our minds so we will pray for them. Ralph Speas once told my wife and I about his wife's mother calling in the middle of the night that she had a terrible burden to pray for their daughter. And she asked if they wouldn't go into her bedroom and check to see if she were all right. They went in and discovered a gas leak in the room, and their daughter being asphyxiated by it.
Sometimes the bond of Fellowship in a church is disrupted because there are people who just don't like one another in the church family. I think it was Tim Keller who said, “The church is the only organization in the world that is made up of natural enemies.” What do you do when you don't like someone, or someone in the church doesn't like you? You need to pray twice as much for that person. You will find this to be a holy discipline.
What if you have spiritual discernment, and you are terribly uncomfortable with someone in the church? Maybe you're convinced that someone is a wolf in sheep's clothing. Your prayers may be the primary protection for others in the church. And wouldn't it be wonderful if God did what He has sometimes done in the past, bringing about a Damascus Road miracle in that person's life?
There were times as a Pastor that I needed to confront someone in the church. I would not have dreamed of going to talk to them without having prayed for them with all of my heart. And it was always easier for me to go to someone, if I knew others had been praying for that person for months.
God binds us together in prayer.