Everyone knows that we should be praying for our churches, but a lot of people don’t understand the genuine importance of it. Praying for our local church matters because one of the enemy’s primary targets is Christ’s Church. If he can manage to hinder the testimony of a believer or congregation of believers, he can distract us from from the things of God. The New Testament local church was exhorted to pray without ceasing. There is much power in lifting one another up in prayer.
Why is prayer important for the local church? Prayer is important for the local church because it helps us to be aware of the spiritual forces at work in the congregation and also outside the church. Every local church must be united in unceasing and intercessory prayer, as there is much power in united prayer.
Prayer reveals to us the heart and mind of God. It allows our spirits to be in alignment with His, and it removes our eyes of flesh and allows us to put on our spiritual eyes. Prayer equips us for spiritual battles and reveals to us God’s desires and direction. As we spend time in prayer, God aligns our will with His, changing the way we experience a situation and respond to a problem.
Prayer Points for Your Local Church:
- Your pastor and his family.
- Sunday school and the children’s ministries.
- The different ministries within the church.
- The elders.
- An increased sensitivity to the Spirit’s leading
- Biblically sound doctrine.
- That they would take seriously the participation of the Great Commission.
- The families of the church.
- The church leaders.
As Place for Truth says, Paul asked the church in Thessalonica to pray for him and his fellow workers (1 Thessalonians 5:25). To the church in Colossae, he wrote, “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison—that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak” (4:2-4).The writer to the Hebrews, after calling them to obey their leaders and submit to them (3:17), wrote “Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a clear conscience, desiring to act honorably in all things” (verse 18).
If Paul and the other disciples needed prayer, how much more so do those who lead, shepherd, and oversee us in the church! And they need our prayers not just when there is controversy in the church, when they are ill, or when there is a budget shortfall or a search is on for a new pastor. But they need our prayers all the time. We need to be in regular prayer for our pastors, elders, deacons, and their families. As Matthew Henry noted regarding Hebrews 13:17, “The more earnestly the people pray for their ministers, the more benefit they may expect from their ministry.” The more we pray for our church leaders, the more we can expect God to use our churches to impact the Kingdom for the gospel.
As A Divine Encounter says, Bow your knees before the Father, imploring that according to the riches of His glory He may grant your local church to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner being of each member, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:14-19).
For the early church, prayer was not an afterthought, or the Christian way to start and end a meeting. Prayer was not an addendum to the “real work” of the apostles. Prayer was central then and it must be for us now.
There is much power in going before the throne and standing in the gap on behalf of others. Lifting up specific prayer requests you receive from leaders of your local church is great, but it is also beneficial to use scripture to pray because we know the Word of God is God’s will revealed to us, so you can pray with boldness knowing that God wants to perform His will.
Bible Verses About Prayer for Your Local Church:
- “And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding.” – Colossians 1:0
- “Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayer and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for the Lord’s people.” – Ephesians 6:18
- “For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know Him better.” – Ephesians 1:15-17
Here are a few examples of things you can pray for your local church.
A Prayer to Seek the Lord
God, You desire peace and unity and encouragement for our body of believers so help us, Lord, to pursue what makes for peace and for building one another up and to pursue the things You will lead to peace and unity. Give us discernment to know Your will and give us the courage to be obedient to Your voice. Lord, we know that without You and Your Holy Spirit indwelling each of us, we cannot do any of these things. But, with You and for Your glory, grant our body peace and unity. In Jesus’ name, amen.
A Prayer for Unity
God, help our church body to walk in a manner worthy of the calling You have given us. Help us in all our interactions with one another to have humble and gentle hearts. Grant us patience for one another, bearing with one another in love. If there is any disunity among us, reveal it to us and give us wisdom as to how to reconcile. May we walk humbly with You, God, allowing You to show us our wrongdoings and repent for them. In Jesus’ name, amen.
A Prayer for a Christ-like Church
Lord, I lift up our church to you and ask that you would bring the heart of the church in alignment with Your heart. I pray that You would break our hearts for the things that break Yours, and let us desire the things that You desire. I pray that each message and word spoken would be Biblically sound and would reflect Christ’s heart to the congregation. Open our hearts to be receptive of conviction so that we may always walk in tune with Your guidance. In Jesus’ name, amen.
A Prayer for the Leaders of the Church
Lord, I thank you for each and every person that you have placed in leadership in our church. I pray that they would continue to grow in wisdom and discernment as their ultimate desire is to seek Your face. I pray for rest as being in leadership in a church can be spiritually demanding and exhausting. I lift up their families to you and thank You that You see each and every one of their needs and are faithful to meet them. I pray for a continuation of growth and discipleship in each of their lives. In Jesus’ name, amen.