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.


Developing a Culture

Today, I taught a combined Adult Christian Education class at Trinity.   The classes were "How We Got the Bible" and "Diagnosing Your Spiritual Health."  I also invited those who had just finished the new members' class.

So, this is a recap of the lesson with additional thoughts italicized.  I shared that one of the purposes of the class, and this post, is to help people better understand how we, as a church, use the Bible and live in community together.  At this ministry transition time, this is especially important.  

The lesson's title was "How to Use the Bible to Cultivate a Disciple-Making, Biblical Counseling, Caring Family Culture."

Hebrews 10:24, 25, "And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching" is not a passage that can be lived out from 9;45 to 12:15 one day a week.  It is meant to be lived out in relationship throughout the week.  Especially when you add verse 23 to the passage, "Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful."  This hope-holding, spurring one another on, not giving up, and encouraging one another life is relationship-based, not event-based.  

The church is not an audience of spectators showing up to an event.  It is a fellowship of disciple-makers committed to the Lord and one another.  This fellowship is committed to giving and growing, not merely receiving.   

In Your Walk with God is a Community Project, Paul Tripp discusses an "intentionally- intrusive, Christ-centered, grace-driven, redemptive community."  For believers, Christ-centered is good. Grace-driven is good, redemptive is good, and community is good.  BUT intentionally-intrusive doesn't sound good. 



Matthew 28:19 – 20 tells us to make disciples, and this includes teaching for life and teaching them to observe.

Ephesians 4:11 – 16  tells us God gave specific people to EQUIP the saints, the church, to do the work of the ministry with the goal of unity and maturity in Christ.

Colossians 1:28 – 29 tells us we must warn and teach for maturity in Christi.


A Biblical Counseling Mindset includes but is not limited to...
Preaching that emphasizes life change.
Teaching that develops biblical thinking about life.
Seeking opportunities to promote life change.
Using opportunities in the community to connect with people who need Jesus.
Providing opportunities that allow people who are in the church to share struggles of life and find the help they need.
Ultimately, every member living in such a way that dependence on Christ is emphasized and encouraged.

In looking through this list, a common word in each is life.  Disciple-making is about life change for the glory of God.

More about this triangle will be posted on Thursday

With the transitions at Trinity Baptist Church currently, Pastor Jason moving on to another ministry, but the idea of Biblical Counseling has not left Trinity Baptist Church.  

Biblical Counseling will look different. 
Not a counseling pastor specifically focused on counseling.
There will be a continued emphasis and encouragement on Biblical counseling through many different means.
The constant encouragement of building godly, grace-filled, caring relationships that encourage spiritual growth.
The intentionality of our Adult Christian Education classes. teaching ministry,
The wise counsel of trained, Biblical, godly men and women like Richard VanVels, our pastoral resident, or recommended referrals outside of Trinity Baptist Church. 

An article that better explains this Biblical Counseling mindset is Counseling and Discipleship by Deepak Reju.   


Caring for families that God brings to us.  We want to intentionally and zealously disciple the families God brings to us.  This is done through Bible lessons, family resources, and our child protection policy.

Caring for Temporal and Spiritual Needs.  Check out this post from the Diagnosing Your Spiritual Health class - drodgersjr.blogspot.com/2024/01/concern.html