Praying For Your Church 1

It is so important to pray for the church you attend. Apostle Paul on several occasions prayed for the different churches he wrote letters to. Some of these instances can be seen in: 2 Thessalonians 1:11, Colossians 1:9-10, Ephesians 1:16-17, Romans 15:14-33, Philippians 1:9-11.

When it comes to praying for your church, keep in mind that it is the people (you and the others who attend) that make up the church. The Apostle, Elder, Pastor, Evangelist etc on their own can not constitute a church. To this end, when you pray for the church, you are praying not just for yourself but for the community you fellowship with.

If you think about it, not praying for your church is somewhat unfair and careless. Just a glance at the church (whatever church you attend) and you will see possible prayer points literally scattered around.

In recent times, God has laid in my heart the need to pray for my church and I am happy to share some of what I will be praying about here but bear in mind that it will not be a one off prayer. We need to continually pray for our churches during our personal devotions, prayer groups, prayer meetings etc.

Below is a guide on how I will be praying:

1. Pray for a revival in the church.

Psalm 85:6, 2 Chronicles 7:14, Habakkuk 3:2, Psalm 51:10, Acts 3:19, Psalm 19:7

We need a spiritual revival. So many of us have become so laid back in our walk with God. We have forgotten where God brought us from and where or what we could have been. A spiritual revival is the greatest need of the church of today. Churches have been overshadowed by worldliness and our prayer lives are at an all time low. We need the Holy Spirit to light a fire in us. Generally speaking, people attend churches on Sundays for show whereas prayer meetings and calls for evangelism are so poorly attended. There is a lack of love and oneness. We need God to awaken us, we need our dry bones to live again. We need to be on fire for God. We need an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. We need true repentance not self deception.

2. Pray For The Aged and Elderly

1 Thessalonians 5:16, Psalm 26:20, Romans 8:32, Philippians 4:19, Psalm 5:11, Psalm 46:1

I don’t know any one who wants to die young, if we have our way, we would live long enough to see our children’s children at the very least. It is never about how long we live, how we lived and our relationship with our creator is much more important. Pray that the elderly in your church will continue to remember the faithfulness of God and how he has been loving and faithful time and time again. Pray for God’s provision, Let their children and caretakers show them grace and let God supply their needs till they are called home. Pray for their eternity, at the end of their journey on earth they shall be ushered into eternal glory, let God keep them in the faith and let them flourish. Also pray that their old years would be peaceful. Let them let go of grudges, bitterness and guilt as they hold fast to God given joy, peace and laughter.

3. Pray that our churches will stay true to the message of God as contained in the Bible .

2 Timothy 4:2-3, 2 Timothy 3:1-17, Jude 1:3-4

Whether or not it is convenient especially in today’s society, we need the courage and boldness to stand up for the truth. Let the church ignore worldly sentiments and be committed to teaching the truth.

4. Pray For The Various Departments (Units) of The Church.

1 Corinthians 16:15, James 3:13, James 2:18

Pray that the members of each unit of the church serve wholeheartedly and that those who have not repented should have life changing encounters with God. Pray that their services in the house of God will not be in vain. Ask for God’s blessings upon them. As you pray, you can call the various departments/units by name e.g Ushering, Media, Choir, Sanitation, Women, Youths, Children, Security, Prison outreach etc.

5. Pray for The Leaders In Your Church.

2 Corinthians 4:1, 1 Corinthians 4:1-3, Exodus 33:13, 1 Timothy 5:17, Acts 6:4, Titus 1:7, 1 Timothy 3:8-9, Acts 6:3, 1 Peter 5:2-3.

They go by various names in various churches. There are Apostles, Elders, Deacons, Deaconesses, Pastors, Sunday School Teachers etc

Pray that they can serve God with sincerity, passion and dedication. When things get tough especially in the ministry, Let God keep them in the faith. As they lead in various aspects, let them find favour in the sight of God and let their services be pleasing and acceptable to God. Ask God to bless the works of their hands, let their careers and families flourish. Let their households be blessed with joy, comfort, laughter and peace. Let their spouses and children be sources of joy, comfort and peace. Let them be bold as lions as they stand up for the truth, let them lead and teach in love and truth. Let them show commitment, grace, generosity and kindness, Let the spirit of God guide them in all that they do, give them shepherd hearts to enable them guide the church and let their lives be rooted in Christ.

6. Pray For The Children In Your Church.

Proverbs 20:11, Ecclesiastes 12:1, Psalm 71:17, 2 Timothy 2:22, Proverbs 1:10

Pray that the children in your church will grow in God’s grace and favour. Pray that they will remember their creator in the days of their youth. Let them chase after the kingdom of God and let God sustain them till they are old. Pray for their parents/guardians and caregivers, ask God to provide for them and give them the wisdom needed to bring up the children in the fear of the Lord. Pray for God’s protection over them as they go to school, parks etc.

7. Pray for Financial Blessings.

2 Corinthians 9:6-12, Deuteronomy 8:18, Proverbs 10:22, Psalm 145:15

Pray for God to empower you and other members of the church financially so that in turn you can sponsor church projects and show generosity to those in need.

8. Pray For More Souls To Be Added To The Church.

Acts 2:47, Acts 4:4, Acts 6:7

Pray for growth through evangelism. As you preach and share the gospel of Christ, Let souls be converted, let sinners repent and let them join the church. Also let our actions win over people to God’s kingdom. Help us to be real ambassadors of Christ in all facets of life. Ask God to give you and other members of the church a genuine passion for lost souls and ask for boldness to preach the word just like the Apostles of old.

Luke 18:1-8

God used a friend to remind me of this last night. I needed to be encouraged and she messaged me at the right time. Before praying, I came up with a few resolutions (for lack of a better word):

  • I will persist in prayer until the answer comes
  • I will keep my requests constantly before God
  • I will live for God day by day
  • I believe that God will answer
  • I live by faith, I will not give up
  • When God delays, It is with reason
  • When I persist in prayer, I will grow in character, faith and hope
  • If evil judges can yield to constant pressure, how much more our loving Father in heaven
  • God loves me, God will hear me

Biblical Standpoint on Gossip

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Gossip is a sin. Tolerating gossip is a sin. I have often been guilty of both. Gossip is one of the sins Christians have forgotten it is quite surprising considering how much the Bible has to say about gossip. Proverbs 18:8, Proverbs 20:19, Proverbs 17:4, Proverbs 6:16-19.

“Christian gossip” just might be the worst because we give the justification that we are not gossiping, rather we are concerned about a brother or sister and we want to pray or discuss how to help the person in question. The verse christian gossips usually resort to to justify their behaviour is James 5:19-20 which essentially encourages us to turn those who wander away back so as to save them from death. The problem here is that if we are being honest, when we gossip or should I say ‘discuss’ or ‘share information’ about someone else to someone else, we rarely accomplish the goal of saving the sinner or backslider. Instead, if that person were to walk in on our conversation, he/she would feel shamed and embarrassed.

Gossiping comes in many shades. Sometimes people do not even realise they are gossiping. Remember that listening to gossip is also sinful so there is nothing like ‘I was there when they said this and that but I did not contribute’. If you listened, you encouraged it. Proverbs 17:4. Today’s society craves gossip, we watch gossip on TV, we use our money to buy gossip news and tabloids.

For those who are wondering , the following constitute gossip:

  1. Slander: Spreading lies about someone to intentionally cause damage. Libel is the written form of slander. Colossians 3:8, James 4:11, Jeremiah 6:28, Jeremiah 9:4, Proverbs 11:13, Proverbs 20:19, Proverbs 26:20-22, Proverbs 10:18.
  2. Backbiting: Saying spiteful things abut someone who is not present, usually carried out in secret. Proverbs 25:23, Romans 1:28-32, 2 Corinthians 12:20, Psalm 101:5, Psalm 41:7, 1 Timothy 3:9-11, 1 Timothy 5:13-14, 2 Timothy 3:1-5, Titus 2:2-3.
  3. Rumours: When you hear something that is unconfirmed as true yet you tell someone else or ask around to gather more news on that issue. Proverbs 13:3, Matthew 12:36
  4. Gisting: Nigerians are familiar with this term. It is synonymous with giving the scoop (as well as receiving the scoop), dishin’ the dirt or sharing ‘juicy’ info you ‘heard’ about someone. You may mot have intended to hurt but you have kept the gossip alive and even enhanced its spread. Proverbs 20:19, James 5:9

we are to lay aside all manner of evil speaking. 1 Peter 2:1, Titus 3:2. Pamela Rose Williams has often quoted her husband as saying “If you aren’t part of the problem or the solution, its gossip”. Gossip has ruined office relationships, churches, friendships and even family relationships. Proverbs 17:9. Other words the Bible uses in reference to gossip are: tale bearing, busybody and whispering.

Other verses to further study: Ephesians 4:29, Proverbs 16:28, Exodus 23:1, Psalm 34:13, James 1:26, Luke 6:31, Proverbs 10:18, Leviticus 19:16, Psalm 50:19-23, James 3:7-8, Titus 3:10, Proverbs 18:13, 2 Timothy 3:23, Titus 3:9, Psalm 19:14, 2 Timothy 2:16.

Biblical Examples of GOOD FRIENDSHIPS

  1. David and Jonathan: Sometimes you meet people and instantly there is a connection. This was the case here (1 Samuel 18:1-3). Jonathan’s father (King Saul) was jealous of David and sought to kill him. The plots never worked because Jonathan (who knew his friend was innocoent) saved him from his father. Jonathan loved David as he loved himself. 1 Samuel 20.
  2. Ruth and Naomi: This was a friendship between a daughter-in-law and a mother-in-law. Even when things became tough, Ruth did not want to leave Naomi. She did not even expect anything in return from Naomi. Ruth 1:1-22.
  3. Daniel, Shedrach, Meshach and Abednego: I particularly love this example as it applies to or can apply to a group of friends. Daniel requested that his friends get promoted to high positions (Daniel 2:49). Friends look out for each other and ernestly desire progress for each other.
  4. Jesus, Mary, Martha and Lazarus: They had a close friendship. Jesus often ate with them (Luke 10:38) and Martha was being very honest with Jesus when she said Lazarus would have been alive if Jesus was present.
  5. Paul, Timothy and Epaphroditus: Another friendship I love and admire because not only were they so loyal to each other, they loved the Lord and worked in the Lord’s vineyard tirelessly. Philippians 2:19-26.

These are by no means all the examples of good friendships in the Bible. I chose to emphasize on the 5 listed above. These examples show us the meaning and qualities of true friendships. Ask God to help you become a true friend and pray for your friendships to glorify God (lol…I know I say this a lot). Also, learn to pray for your friends. Proverbs 27:17 says iron sharpens iron and one man sharpens another, do not underestimate the impact you have on your friends and vice- versa. Evaluate yourself as a friend, Can your friends see the Christ in you?

Honouring God

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When I saw this picture on Instagram yesterday, I literally giggled. It is so interesting how the blessings of God are emphasized (underlined and highlighted) whereas the part about ‘honouring’ God does not seem important enough to be highlighted.

Why do we want to claim God’s promises without living for God? It is like having a friend or family member who always wants to collect from you but never ever wants to give or be there for you at all. God is not to be used! God is to be worshipped, reverenced and honoured.

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him – Colossians 3:17

The best way to live for God is to make him a priority in our lives. Basically, EVERYTHING we do should honour God. How we live on a daily basis (Our lifestyle) should honour God. Honouring God in everything includes: Our dressing, finances, hobbies, occupations, businesses, bodies, music, speech etc.

For you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body – 1 Corinthians 6:20

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God – 1 Corinthians 10:31

As Christians we need to realise that honouring God is not limited to our words or good intentions. Talk is cheap, completely honouring God with our lives is not easy but it is very well worth it.

John 3:16

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

This is a verse I have been aware of almost all my life (not surprising considering the fact that I am a preacher’s kid). Anyway, my parents gave us regular memory verses so I had crammed so many Bible verses as a kid. The thing is, being able to recite a verse and totally understanding the message in the verse are two different things. I only realised this a few days ago when this verse flashed in my mind.

I saw it in a whole new angle. For the first time, it dawned on me that this short verse literally describes everything we need to know about Christianity. The 4 aspects (for lack of a better word…or maybe not) of this verse describe the relationship God wants us to have with him.

 

FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD…

pretty self explanatory….God loves the world, the whole world. However the next sentence shows us the depth of this love.

 

THAT HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON…

So, he gave his Son out of love. He gave his Son to the world because he of how much he LOVES the world. Sending down Jesus was a pure act of love. Makes you wonder how much he loves you, doesn’t it?

THAT WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH IN HIM SHOULD NOT PERISH

We have to accept Jesus into our lives. We have to believe in Him, there are consequences for not accepting Jesus into our lives. The above sentence says those who believe in Him should not perish. Think of what happens to those who do not believe in Him…they will perish.

BUT HAVE ETERNAL LIFE

Eternal life is what we aim for as Christians. Why accept Jesus or label yourself as a Christian if you do not have eternity in view? We need to live a certain kind of life (A Christ-like life to be precise) in order to qualify for eternal life and of course this starts with letting Jesus into your life. Our God is a God of purpose and he requires the same of us.

If you want to surrender to God, you can do so by praying this Prayer of Salvation.

FAITH OVER FEAR

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7

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Welcome to my blog. Today, the Lord laid it in my heart to share a testimony with you all. Two nights ago, I was cutting my son’s nails and at some point, a chopped off nail jumped into my right eye. It really was the most uncomfortable thing…ever! I ran to the mirror to check if I could find it but I could not, so I went to bed with an eye-patch. I managed to sleep off, woke up at about 3 a.m and I could not open that eye, then I screamed!!!!!!!! My husband brought a basin of water and asked me to put my face in it while keeping my eyes open (wonder where he got that from…lol), tried it, it did not work. However, I felt relieved. I could open my eyes but the uncomfortable feeling of something being stuck in your eyes was driving me nuts (for lack of a better word). I felt like it was going to puncture my eye because the nail was pretty sharp also because I noticed discharges from my eye.

Usually, I would freak out and wallow in self-pity but lately, I have been praying to God about a change of attitude and YES…God answers prayers. I have felt myself change in more ways than one (that is a story for another day though), I remained calm and I said out loud “Satan, you have definitely lost this battle”. Thankfully, I was able to get my boys ready for school as well as get my hubby ready for work.
Fast forward to an hour later, I am in the bathroom, I pour water on my face. Next thing, I feel something at the corner of my right eye…yup!!! that eye. I obviously thought it was pus and I tried to clean it off, that is when i realised the nail had come out of my eye. A medical personnel later explained to me how big a risk it was to even sleep with the nail in my eye and that it could have been worse.

This is a perfect reminder of 2 Timothy 1:7 which says that God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of sound mind. The devil thrives on our fears. It is really important to remember that the first step to winning any spiritual battle is remembering that as sons and daughters of Christ, we have power. Power over the devil and his hosts.