Jesus prayed for the church and we are also required to pray for the church. However, it takes good understanding for us to pray for the church effectively.
Jesus set a good example for us in the Bible that we can follow when praying for the church. I’ll cover the principles Jesus applied in praying for the church and simplify them so that you can also pray for it.
Understand the Church before you pray for it
As usual, the first thing to do before you start praying for anything is to understand what you are praying for. If you understand the church, then you will know what type of prayers it needs.
When the Bible talks about the church, it is referring to all people who believe in Jesus. If you want to pray for the church, you have to know this truth.
A number of believers claim to pray for the church but in real sense they pray for denominations. You have to understand that God created the church as I have described it but men created denominations.
Praying for denominations is asking God to fit in our limited understanding which never works. The church is people who believe in Jesus and prayers were meant for us.
Denominations give us structure based on our limited understanding but we are the ones who need prayers not denominations.
You also have to understand that denominations bring division. God never intended for all of us to follow a certain denomination but asked us to believe in Jesus and by believing in Jesus we become the church.
Denominations help us grow in specific spiritual areas because God knows which denomination is good with a specific spiritual area and which believers need it.
I am writing this message to you because we are the body of Christ and we are the church. I have been appointed by Christ to teach what I am teaching.
How to Pray for the Church
1. Pray for Unity in the Church
In John 17:20-21, the Bible says: “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
This was the prayer that Jesus made for the church. From the prayer, you can clearly see that Jesus is praying for people who would believe in Him. Jesus understood that people who believed in Him were the church.
God does not require us to come up with our own prayer points when praying for the church. Jesus prayed for the church already. All we need to do is carry on the legacy of Jesus by praying as He did.
When praying for the church, pray that God will unite us. We have to outgrow the division that denominations have brought and become one just as Jesus prayed.
When you make this prayer, God will begin by aligning you with Jesus. I hope you remember the illustration Jesus used of taking a log out of your own eye for you to see properly and be able to take the spec out of your neighbor’s eye.
The unity in the church that you desire to see must begin with you. If you don’t want to align with God’s truth, then even your prayer for unity is hypocrisy.
Therefore, expect a lot of personal purging when you pray for unity in the church. If you are already operating in the truth of Christ, your prayer for unity will draw others to go through the same purging you went through.
By the time Jesus was praying for the church, He had already aligned Himself with God. He asked God to unite the church the same way He was united with Him. He said “…that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you.”
In simple terms, charity begins at home.
2. Pray for God to Protect the Church
Jesus prayed in John 17:15 by saying: My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one
Jesus lived among us and was tempted several times by the devil. He understood that unless God protected a man, the devil would destroy him.
In His prayer for the church, Jesus asked the Father to protect us from the evil one. We are also required to continually pray that God would protect the church from the evil one.
Jesus already prayed it but when we join Him to also pray the same, we increase the urgency of the matter. Is that not what being like Christ actually means?
While you may have overcome the temptations of the devil thus far, there are many believers who are still starting out. Such believers need your prayers to also overcome the temptations that you overcame.
Your motivation to pray for the protection of the church should be a result of the compassion you have for other believers who are vulnerable to the attacks of the devil.
3. Pray that the Church may have Faith
Luke 18:8 says: I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”
Jesus left us with this rhetorical question. The Bible is very clear in the book of Hebrews that it is impossible to please God without faith.
With the current state of affairs in the world, holding on to our faith in Jesus is a challenge. Some believers stray from the faith and pierce themselves with many sorrows as Apostle Paul tells us in 1st Timothy 6:10.
Because we are called to be our brother’s keeper, we have the duty of praying for fellow believers who have strayed from the faith.
We fulfill this duty by praying that God may strengthen the faith of the church. It is hard to hold on to your faith when everyone around you is giving up.
By praying for the church to have faith, we benefit ourselves because it becomes easier for us to hold on to our own faith.
Jesus spoke to Peter in Luke 22:32 saying: But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.
If your faith is strong, pray for others whose faith is weak. By praying for the faith of others, you will be praying for the church.
I hope you are now better equipped to pray for the church.
Until next time…Peace!