Praying for your fellow church members

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A few weeks ago, I posted some thoughts about how to pray for your pastor(s).  We should consistently pray for the men who pour God’s Word into our lives.

You already knew the importance of praying for your pastor(s), but did you know you should place the same importance on praying for your fellow church members?  Today, I offer five suggestions to pray well for your church. These suggestions could increase your ‘ownership’ of your church as well as your relational connections.

Pray for your small group members.  You already knew this one and probably pray for this group regularly.  Your small group is your Sunday School class, a life group, a ministry team you serve with, or a Bible study.  Actually, a small group can be any group associated with your church that pushes you to know and follow Jesus better.  Will you pray for their walk with Christ?  Will you pray for their family?  Will you pray for their opportunities to re-gift Jesus throughout the week?  There are many ways you are able to pray for this group of individuals.

Pray for the marriages in your church.   I hesitate to make this suggestion, but I think marriages in your church are hurting at a higher percentage than you would ever suspect.  Christians are really good at masquerading reality when we enter church.  It seems many Christians are afraid to exhibit brokenness, but we live there every day.  All around your church, marriages are broken because Satan attacks them frequently.  There are other reasons that marriages are broken, but many of those point back to Satan’s hatred for God’s design.  Will you pray for unity?  Will you pray for holiness and purity?  Will you pray for God’s blessing? 

Pray for the children in your church.  This applies if you have hundreds of children in your church or just the pastor’s kids.  You hope to pass the leadership baton to them one day.  You hope they are ready to carry on what you have spent decades building.  You hope the value the Bible as much as you.  You have so many hopes and dreams for the children and teens in your church.  I offer two ways those hopes and dreams will be realized.  The first is through adults making personal investments in those who are not yet adults, even when it is scary.  The second is praying something into existence.  I think the second way is why Jesus’ disciples were so fruitful.  Jesus, himself, prayed the future fruit into existence.  Will you pray for the children of your church like Jesus prayed for his disciples?

Pray the general congregation.  I once heard a pastor say there is a hurting person in every row on any given Sunday.  It’s a good chance that only a small number of people hear about those hurts.  Some people never trust another individual enough to share his/her deepest hurts.  Some people think it is easier to go through life without dealing with the pain.  Unfortunately, the pain is real.  The hurt is real.  People sit in our churches every week with deep wounds and deep regrets.  It’s quite sobering to realize that people who smile at me and tell me they are okay could be a disaster inside.  It’s rather convicting knowing that I rarely take the time to let people tell me they are a disaster.  Will you pray that God will rescue people from the hurts, the pain, the wounds, the regrets and the disasters they carry? 

Pray for those who attend your church, but do not yet walk with Jesus.  We have people in our churches that have trusted Christ with their lives but walk in disobedience.  We have people in our churches that are exploring Christianity.  We have people in our churches that seek to fill the gap in their lives.  Churches are unlike most other places; every person is welcome without conditions, even spiritual ones.  Will you pray for the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth and convict of sin?

I’d love to hear other ways that you pray for others in your church.  Join the conversation and leave a comment below.