Saturday, June 9, 2012

Week of Prayer // Day Six: Bless Our Community

Originally I planned my week of prayer to cover church and other ministries today, while focusing on community and the nation tomorrow. I decided I do not want to end my prayer week on a specific topic (I want tomorrow to be reflective) so we will cover it all today. But first…

Types of Prayer
This one is simple…a petition is asking for something. This is probably the bedrock of our prayers and this isn’t bad as long as we are also willing to give in our prayers as well, through thanksgiving, praise, and so on. Remember that God loves to supply aid and blessings to His people; if your request is in according to His Will, ask boldy and He will do it!

Faith and petition go hand-in-hand but faith deserves a description of its own. The prayer of faith is asking for something (in alignment with God’s will) and believing you have it (even before you see it). Sometimes you will hear of people “standing in faith” regarding a certain request they made to God. Perhaps for a healing, salvation for a family member, financial breakthrough… They believe that God has already answered their request with a Yes but it hasn’t manifested in the physical yet. This is why faith is so important to prayer – God does say yes before we even see evidence of it. We must believe that He will be faithful to His word. The Bible warns about those who ask for something but waver in faith; they shouldn’t expect to receive anything. So when you pray, have faith!

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Hebrews 4:16

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
James 1:5-8

Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.
James 5:13-15

So Jesus answered and said to them, "Have faith in God.  For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.
Mark 11:22-24

Note: If you feel like you lack faith when you pray, you can certainly ask God for help! He will guide you through the process of increasing your faith. It starts by getting in His Word daily and believing it is true. Believe that God is who He says He is and can do what He says He can do. And do not be afraid, but get ready for your faith to be tested. Having faith usually means waiting and working through a lot of hard stuff. But the glory that belongs to God when He helps us overcome is worth it – and all part of our purpose!

Prayer Focus
Today I listed just a few verses that relate to church, missions, community and government. This is an important day to get specific, praying for people, ministries and community concerns by name.

I thank You Lord for our pastors and church leaders. May they receive the honor that is due from their congregation and fullness of blessings from You…
Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine.
1 Timothy 5:17

Lord, I pray that all Your people (in my church and others) would understand who they are in Christ, walking victoriously in You and in unity with other believers….
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.
1 Peter 2:9-10

There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all…
For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.
1 Corinthians 12:4-7, 12

I pray that every believer would fulfill the command to share the Gospel and raise up other disciples of Christ…
And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen
Matthew 28:18-20

Lord, I thank you for ministries and missions that reach out to the hurt, lost and broken….
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,
Because the Lord has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,
To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”
Isaiah 61:1-3

Lord, raise up godly people to serve in places of authority in our community and nation…
When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; But when a wicked man rules, the people groan.
Proverbs 29:2