PEOPLE: Once again, let’s pray for the people inside the church and the people outside. Here’s another passage that touches on both:
2 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.
3 And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. 4 Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. 5 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. 6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Colossians 4:2-6
Let this passage guide your prayer today.
PEOPLE: Today let’s focus our prayers on people who don’t know the Lord, especially our family and friends. 2 Corinthians 4:4 tells us one reason why sharing our faith can be so difficult: The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. The god of this age means the Evil One and the way of thinking that he inspires.
Spend a few moments asking God to shine his light through this spiritual blindness and, perhaps, to use you to show someone the glory of Christ.
And consider this word, from 2 Timothy 2:24-25 - And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.
This passage compels us to pray not only for the release of captive hearts, but for our own gentleness as well.
So pray for the “gift of repentance” for those who oppose us, and for the kindness of your own witness, too.
PEOPLE: Today, let’s pray for people who can be described with these two words: Unsalty. Lukewarm. Jesus warned in Matthew 5 about his followers losing their saltiness, becoming less distinctive in their lifestyle and more like the world. It’s the same warning in Revelation 3:16, in which the Risen Christ says to CHRISTIANS: So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. Then he warns them not to take comfort in their riches and worldly success.
Let’s pray FERVENTLY today against unsaltiness and lukewarmness in our own lives! May we catch fire once again and STOP being content in living just like everyone else!
PEOPLE: The people I invite you to pray for today are the ones that lead our church and, in particular, those who make decisions about our finances. Frank Hill is a long-time deacon and teacher at MHCC, and he is also the leader of our finance ministry team. He offers up this example prayer for today:
Our precious Lord and Heavenly Father, I thank you for the love and blessing you have bestowed on Your children. I thank you that you have allowed us to know you as creator and as Father; a Father in heaven that is faithful and true, a Father that will not abandon.
I pray, Father, for the leadership of your people at MHCC, for the ministers, elders, deacons, teachers and the ministry team leaders. Help them to put on the full armor of God every day to fend off the flaming arrows of the evil one. May they be able to present the sword of the Spirit, your Word, to the Church and to the world so that souls are saved and believers are discipled.
Bless the ministries of MHCC so that whatever is done will bring honor and glory to your name. Give insight and wisdom to the leaders concerning the management of the provision you have entrusted to them. Please give them the wisdom to recognize how you want them to manage the provision you supply and give them the courage and ability to carry it out.
And please bless your children with the vision to recognize the immediate and eternal effect and benefit of giving in the same way you give and have given to them.
PEOPLE: 1 Peter 2:12 tells the people inside the church how to behave toward the people outside the church. This is a verse that we really need today! It says: Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.
We hear a lot these days about how the people of the world mistreat Christians. Isn’t that EXACTLY what the Bible tells us to expect?
And here is the best response: Live such a good life that they have to give glory to God.
Father in heaven, let us live solely for your eyes, and let your purity and love shape us so that people can’t help but see your goodness shining through.
PEOPLE: Here’s a model prayer by our secretary June Maschino that we can use to pray for our own witness with people.
Father, thank You for loving us so much that You want us to be with You through all eternity. You gave Your Son, Jesus, as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins so we can be in Your Presence. We praise You, we show our love to You for this.
Help us Father to share Your love through the way we live our lives. As we meet people, we need to help them in their daily lives and encourage their accomplishments. Teach us that the example we present to those around us is a very important and strong example of Your love for all of us.
This week we will focus our prayers on people - the ones outside of Christ that we need to reach AND the ones inside the church. Today, let’s look outward.
Lord, help our people to reach the young people around us, the teenagers, by showing them an example of what life in Christ is.
Help us to reach the rising generation of young adults by speaking the truth and modeling the truth (and grace) of Jesus.
Help us also to connect with people in middle-age who have learned from experience their need for the life that is truly life.
And Lord, help us reach out to older people, particularly those who have been left alone in our highly mobile world.
Most of all, Lord, SEND US OUT, on mission, to reach out!
THE MISSION: Personal preparation
As we prepare to gather tomorrow, let’s pray this prayer from our Discipleship Minister David Pryor.
Almighty God, during these 40 days, your Holy Spirit within us is guiding us to seek your will for needed change and growth in our congregation. But he is guiding us to seek your will for our own lives first, because each of us is a member of the body of Christ with a special role in strengthening and expanding your kingdom.
Help us to see our lives from your perspective and recognize where we are not submitting to your will. Lead us in repentance to pray for and follow those who work to equip us for “works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.”
THE MISSION: Today please pray about some of the people we are trying to reach through MHCC. Pray specifically for our wisdom, courage, and compassion as we work with:
THE MISSION: Today let’s think about that great call to the mission expressed in Isaiah 6:8:
8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying,
“Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
Is there someplace where you could respond, in the spirit of Isaiah: “Here I am, Lord! Send me!”? Is there some part of the church’s mission you could enter, some person you could reach, some action you could take to get the saving message of Christ into someone’s heart?
Let’s pray about such things today.