Oftentimes we think of encouraging the work of church revitalization in terms of “more work” for you or me. And it is work. Hard work. But we can never forget that what we most need is God’s work within and among us.
My “life verse” is Colossians 1:28-29, “So we tell others about Christ, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all the wisdom God has given us. We want to present them to God, perfect in their relationship to Christ. That’s why I work and struggle so hard, depending on Christ’s mighty power that works within me” (italics mine).
And while we are always participating with God in his mission, in the end, it’s is God’s work and Christ’s power that accomplishes his purposes in this world.
Thom Rainer, a leading authority on church vitality, has heard from leaders across the country how specific prayer efforts have led to revitalization in hundreds of churches.
Here are the six most common reasons they articulated why prayer is vital to new life in their congregations:
- It recognizes the Source of revitalization.When a church revitalizes, it is depending upon the power of God. He is the only true Source of the turnaround.
- It recognizes that revitalization is spiritual warfare.When a church experiences turnaround, people are reached with the gospel. The enemy will do everything in his power to stop those conversions. We must respond with the full armor of God, especially prayer.
- It turns people away from self-sufficiency.Attempts at revitalization that are human-powered will fail or be short-lived. Praying people are clearly recognizing they can’t help the church in their own power.
- It turns people away from being self-serving.Praying people are obedient to God to reach their communities and serve others. They don’t demand their own preferences and desires.
- It unifies the church.One of the keys to revitalization is church unity. Nothing unifies a church more than powerful prayer.
- It leads people to discern the will of God.Prayer is a conversation with God. The more we converse with God, the clearer we discern His will. Knowing and obeying the will of God leads to revitalization (“Six Reasons Prayer is Moving Hundreds of Churches to Revitalize,” 5/8/19, thomrainer.com).
Join us Sunday mornings before worship at 9:30 a.m. in Room 108, lower level, as a growing group of passionate pray-ers intercede for God’s power to help us grow deeper in Christ and further in mission. And watch for additional times of prayer together in the months ahead.
--Steve Eng, lead pastor