What does it mean to pray for the church? The life of prayer can be quite different from person to person. Some people have had a regular prayer time all of their lives. Others know it is important but struggle to find the time or to know what to say.
Jesus gives us many different examples of prayer. The first and most prominent is private prayer.
“And when you come before God, don’t turn that into a theatrical production either. All these people making a regular show out of their prayers, hoping for stardom! Do you think God sits in a box seat?
“Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace. - Matthew 6:5-6, The Message
But we don't always have time for this. And what should we say anyway? Jesus goes on in Matthew 5:7-13.
“The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant. They’re full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. Don’t fall for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply. Like this:
Our Father in heaven,
Reveal who you are.
Set the world right;
Do what’s best—
as above, so below.
Keep us alive with three square meals.
Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.
Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.
You’re in charge!
You can do anything you want!
You’re ablaze in beauty!
Yes. Yes. Yes.
We can say this for ourselves, but we can also say this for our church. Reveal who are to your church...do what's best for your church...keep us alive...keep us forgiven...keep us safe...you're in charge!
To pray for the church is to remember that in the body of Christ, we are one. Prayer is not just for what you can get out of it, prayer is for connecting to your creator because you are loved by your creator, you are forgiven, and you have more that you can give.
Berkeley needs your prayers. We need to be a place of prayer. We need to discern our future through prayer. We need to be comfortable with seeking God in prayer and that begins with each of us lifting up the congregation to God. It means praying for the people who are here who are in need. (let the office know if you are interested in receiving our regularly updated prayer chain). It also means praying for the people who are not yet here. It means praying for visitors it means praying for neighbors at the Work Corner. It means praying for people in your life who need a church home, who need to be reminded that they are loved and forgiven.
Prayer is a simple thing, but it is vital. If we are not a people of prayer we are not a people of God. So may we be a people of prayer.
If you are interested to discuss this further, please do not hesitate to email me.
Peace to you all this day,