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Saturday, January 03, 2015

Praying for my church

My pastor has recently asked us to pray for our church, on Thursday evenings, at a time of our choosing. What he really means is that he hopes that we will pray more than we have been -- I hope most of us were already doing so. It's a good idea, and I have begun to do this. I am grateful for his leadership.

I believe that the main emphasis in such prayer should be ministry, and ministers

What is meant by ministry? The following, and perhaps more:
+ visiting other members, or prospective members, for encouragement
+ inviting others to attendance, or to salvation
+ caring for the sick and shut-in, and providing relief to caregivers
+ welcoming, including greeting those who attend, and making them feel at home, serving refreshments, passing out bulletins
+teaching and otherwise leading small groups, including leading them in ministry, and caring for spiritual and other needs in the group
+ providing food for the hungry, and clothing and shelter for those lacking such
+ prison ministry
+ caring for children, youth and others with special need
+ raising children lovingly, teaching them the Bible, and what's right and wrong
+ testifying to others about what God has done
+ preaching
+ presenting music and A/V materials
+ administering sacraments
+ leading worship by means other than music and preaching, such as presenting drama, reading scripture or leading responsive reading
+ explaining and/or proclaiming the gospel publicly, as by example, word of mouth, by phone, letter, blogging or social media

People who do these things, and perhaps others that I have not included, are, for this purpose, ministers. Perhaps I have left out some categories. Feel free to remind me of any others that should have been included.

Giving and prayer are also ministry, I suppose, but should be part of the work of all believers, except for those unable to give.

Yes, there are sick and unredeemed people, and financial needs, and it's not wrong for Christians to pray for these. But the New Testament church emphasized prayer for ministry and ministers, with almost no record of prayer for the sick or unsaved, or for financial needs. That is probably because, if ministers are empowered and enabled to minister, the sick, unredeemed, and even financial needs, will be met.

Thanks for reading! Pray for your ministers.

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