My heart is heavy for your Church. I sense a good and proper burden growing ever inside of me for holiness among your people, for wisdom among your saints, for courage among your prophets, and for Holy Spirit-filled prayer-fueled power within the body. I sense a holy discontent with the status quo of mediocrity in the pursuit of holiness. In my bones I feel a rising fascination with communities throughout history that have truly committed themselves to the pursuit of God and establishment of His Kingdom and the spiritual fruit they bore.
God I pray for an undeniable movement of the Spirit within your Church. I pray for our body that you would place a hunger for godliness and a true hatred of sin and a hatred of everything that would dare to stand against you, deep within our souls. I pray for a courageous hunger to well up inside our people, a hunger that I see all throughout Scripture is normative of God’s people. I pray that we would collectively cry out like the Psalmist, “Open my eyes that I behold wondrous things out of your law (Ps. 119:18).” Or, “I cling to your testimonies, O Lord; let me not be put to shame (Ps. 119:31).” Or, “The Lord is my portion; I promise to keep your words (Ps. 119:57).” Oh God let these prayers not be pasted on our people but let them bubble from within as the fruit of a life seeking after God daily.
Lord once again I bring before you my fears for our people. The more I study and read and understand our culture and the promises of our culture, the more I realize how hostile our modern secular worldview is to Christ and His Kingdom. I see how easy it is for Christians to be duped by the false messages of our day, for truly when there is no anchor in the Word of God, no deep desire to discover understanding through the Bible, and no true belief in the sufficiency of Scripture, then we will find ourselves tossed around on each and every ideological wave that comes our way. Oh Lord, strengthen our people. “Give us understanding, that we may keep your law and observe it with our whole heart (Psalm 119:34).” Teach us what it means to, “destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ (2 Cor. 10:5).” Lord, strengthen our convictions and resolve to seek the things of Christ, and build our lives upon the Word of God.
God would you reveal to us where we need to repent of hypocrisy and inconsistency, of luke warm faith, of grieving the Spirit, of hijacking the gospel with our personal or cultural agenda. God reveal to us where our passions are out of line with your heart, where our goals are self serving instead of Kingdom building. Stir us up to bold prayers for personal renewal where we once again hope and expect that you will reveal entire areas of sin in our lives, and that we would be those who are quick to repent and enjoy the fullness of gospel grace.
Lord, renew us. I pray that our saltiness in the culture you have placed us would be a result of our absolute devotion to a Christ centered life and lifestyle. I pray for a joyfully obedient people who not only live sacrificially, but who clearly have “denied themselves and picked up their cross and followed Christ (Matt. 16:24).” I pray that we would live every day like today might be a day where God may use us to help somebody who is far from God discover Christ and receive the gospel for the first time. I pray that we would live every day with the eager expectation that Christ might return at any moment. Jesus, you commanded us to, “Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning… Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes (Luke 12:35–37).” Oh Jesus – help us to keep our lamps burning.
I commit these prayers to you. May you multiply them. May you grant me Holy Spirit empowered eyes to see when and how you answer. Grant me patience in the work you have given me to preach prophetically and equip the saints for the God-sized work before us of participating in the building of Christ’s Kingdom.