Prayer from the Church

From the Prayer Workshop, I did on Friday night at the Church Ministries Conference.

"Let Us Pray” is more than the phrase to start something.
"Let Us Pray" is calling together God's creatures to commune with God, the Creator.
"Let Us Pray" with the church is a call of the children of God to speak with their heavenly Father.

Let us not forget what a great privilege and need it is for the church to pray to the Lord. 

The Church Ministries Conference (grchurchministriesconference.com) is an excellent opportunity for churches and ministry leaders to come together to encourage and equip one another.  I am very thankful to be part of the conference planning team.  At the same time, I want to encourage attendees to remember that it is God who does the work.  These last two years, I have done a Friday night workshop that serves as a reminder that it is God who does the work.
We need to be praying for Him to do what He will do in our churches.  

But what is prayer?

According to the Westminster Shorter Catechism, prayer is
Offering up our desires unto God 
For things agreeable to His will
In the name of Christ,
With the confession of our sins and thankful acknowledgment of His mercies

We need to remember that prayer is a relationship activity.

Throughout redemptive history, praying together has marked the spiritual liveliness of God’s gathered people.  (
Praying Together by Megan Hill)

The devoted in prayer commands of Romans 12:12 and Colossians 4:2 were written to churches.

The emphasis in the scriptural record is clearly on corporate prayer being the context in which personal prayer becomes meaningful (Praying for One Another  by Gene Getz)

Acts 1:14, 2:42, and 6:4 show that the church has been devoted to prayer since its inception.  Notice the common word in each verse?  Devoted

 In Church History, you can see many calls to prayer, both personal and corporate. 

From J.C. Ryle's Do you pray? Lists several reasons why we should pray.

  • Prayer is absolutely necessary to a person’s salvation
  • The habit of prayer is the surest mark of a true Christian
  • Private prayer is the most neglected Christian discipline
  • The Bible is full of encouragement for all who want to pray
  • Faithfulness in prayer is the secret of true holiness
  • Neglecting prayer is one of the great causes of backsliding
  • Prayer is the best recipe for happiness and content

To Jim Elliott's journaled prayers like this.

Father, make of me a crisis man.  Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a milepost on a single road; make me a fork that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me.” 

Consider this Syriac Christmas liturgy from the late third or early fourth century.  I italicized part of this prayer because I love the idea of churches praying for other churches. 

The radiance of the Father’s splendor, the Father’s visible image, Jesus Christ our God, peerless among counselors, Prince of Peace, Father of the world to come, the model after which Adam was formed, for our sakes became like a slave: in the womb of Mary the virgin, without assistance from any man, he took flesh. 

Enable us, Lord, to reach the end of this luminous feast in peace, forsaking all idle words, acting virtuously, shunning our passions, and raising ourselves above the things of this world. 

Bless your church, which you brought into being long ago and attached to yourself through your own life-giving blood. Help all orthodox pastors, heads of churches, and doctors [theologians].

Bless your servants, whose trust is all in you; bless all Christian souls, the sick, those tormented by evil spirits, and those who have asked us to pray for them. 

Show yourself as merciful as you are rich in grace; save and preserve us; enable us to obtain those good things to come which will never know an end. 

May we celebrate your glorious birth, and the Father who sent you to redeem us, and your Spirit, the Giver of life, now and forever, age after age. Amen.

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