Do You Pray for Other Churches?
Praying is biblical. Praying for other churches is biblical. Yet for almost 20 years, I’ve noticed a trend of competition among pastors and churches. Does God really want His churches to be in competition with one another – or does He want us unified in Christ? Here are four ways to pray for other biblical churches in your community, based on Ephesians 1:15-20.
Our prayers for other churches should never stop.
Prayer must be continual in churches and for churches (v. 16), especially since 90% of American churches are in need of revitalization. I take time to think of my pastor friends in the area and pray for their churches to flourish. I love these pastors and their churches. In my community, some churches are smaller than mine, and some are larger than mine. But thank the Lord, there are churches that people can go to without persecution to find Jesus.
Our prayers for other churches should show thankfulness.
Paul doesn’t stop giving thanks to God for these Christians (v. 16). He uses the Greek verb eucharisteō (the root of our word Eucharist). It means expressing a great appreciation for benefits and blessings. Likewise, our prayer must show thankfulness for other believers and other churches. After all, we are on the same team. Take your thankfulness a step further by taking time to text, call, write a card, make a donation or just say thank you to another pastor.
Our prayers for other churches should cause us to remember often.
Nothing grieves me more than a pastor leaving the ministry or a church closing its doors. Paul doesn’t just pray general prayers but specific prayers (vv. 17-20). Several times in his letters, Paul combines the words being “thankful” and “remembering” when talking about prayer (see Phil. 1:3; 1 Thess. 1:2; Philem. 1:4; Rom. 1:9). How do we remember other churches? By intentionally choosing to love the churches around you because Jesus is their Pastor and we are just the mangers of His body. Start by reaching out and making a list of ways to pray over them, or even consider praying with them.
Our prayers for other churches should cause us to know God more.
Now Paul prays that a special revelation will come to these believers. He prays that God will make them clearly see Kingdom things, give them a greater Kingdom focus and help them understand the vastness of God and His power. You can also ask God, the glorious Father, to give you and the churches around you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that we may know Him better (v. 17). Start praying for the churches around you by using Paul’s prayer and asking God for His presence to be known in your community and to revive hearts and minds more so that He gets the honor.
Imagine what a community would like if churches were known for what they were for, rather than what they were against? A good way to get there is to pray for fellow churches instead of competing against them.
Gary Moritz serves as the church revitalization director at the Baptist Convention of New England. The original article is published here.