Posted On May 13, 2015

Three Beliefs You Must Have to Grow a Healthy, Praying Church

by | May 13, 2015 | Discipleship, Featured

Editors note: The purpose of this series is to help our readers think through what discipleship is and how to embrace the Cross of Christ in all of life.

Discipleship-greenWhile spending a Sunday in London, five college students went to the Metropolitan Tabernacle to hear its famous preacher, Charles Spurgeon. As they waited for the doors to open, the students were greeted by a man (who they would later learn was Spurgeon himself), who offered, “Gentlemen, let me show you around. Would you like to see the heating plant of this church?”

They were not particularly interested for it was a hot day in July, but they didn’t want to offend the stranger so they consented. The students were taken down a stairway, a door was quietly opened, and their guide whispered, “This is our heating plant.” Surprised, they saw 700 people bowed in prayer, seeking a blessing on the service that was soon to begin in the auditorium above. In that moment, the students learned an important lesson: a healthy church is a praying church. (Our Daily Bread, April 24, 2014)

How do we develop healthy, praying churches? There are at least three beliefs required for this to happen.

#1 Believe in the Need for Corporate Prayer

Throughout the Book of Acts, we see the Church praying for one another. In Acts 2:42-48 Christians gather together to pray. When God is present by His Spirit, there is unity and mutual care. The Holy Spirit desires to work in us individually and collectively. To this end, He brings forth love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control in individuals and in the community of believers (Gal. 5:22-23). Such fruits of the Spirit are given to edify the Body of Christ and increase the spiritual growth of both individual believers and the Church as a whole. Prayer in this instance is like water to a flower garden—without it the flowers will not bloom and grow.

#2 Believe in the Need for Individual Prayer

Paul commands, “Pray without ceasing.” The point of this admonition in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 is for God’s people to make prayer a regular habit in their lives. After all, Christians have been given access to God in prayer through the finished work of Jesus. They are summoned to come boldly before the throne of God’s grace (Hebrews 4:16). A healthy prayer life is one of the chief means the Lord uses to grow His people in His grace. Our faith is strengthened when we see the outworking of God’s answers to our daily prayers. A strong faith in God gives the believer a rock to cling to in times of trouble. This is also our witness to others – in that when we are tested with hardships and troubles – our faith in Jesus remains unshaken.

#3 Believe in the Need for Intentionality

Local churches should provide times of corporate prayer and encourage individual prayer. Here are six helpful and intentional ways local churches can help their people grow in prayer. First, those involved in teaching—whether in Sunday school or from the pulpit—must teach on prayer. Second, stock your church library with resources on prayer. Third, your church website should list suggested books on Christian living topics like prayer. Fourth, provide a prayer time before the service. Fifth, invite people who need prayer to come forward and have church leadership pray for them. Sixth, have a mechanism for people to submit prayer requests by e-mail or via a prayer card that can be dropped into the offering plate or a prayer box. Practical, intentional steps like these are vital for growing a praying church.

The Gospel Is the Key to Prayer

Healthy churches equip the people of God through faithful ministry and application of the Word and Spirit. The key to prayer—to praying often, to praying openly, to praying boldly and freely with gladness of heart—is to remember that you are clothed in the righteousness of Jesus Christ, invited to His saving grace, purchased by his precious blood, and anticipated by His sympathetic intercession (Heb. 2:17-18).

This post first appeared at Christianity.com.

Related Posts

The Uniqueness of Jesus Christ

The Uniqueness of Jesus Christ

On today’s episode, a listener writes in and asks Dave, “Why Is Jesus Christ Unique?” The Importance of the Uniqueness of Jesus. The Uniqueness of Jesus in Scripture. The Heresy at Colossae and Paul’s Response to It. The Centrality of Christ. The Superiority...

Sweet Peace

Sweet Peace

Peter Bilhorn (1887) wrote, “Through Christ on the cross peace was made, my debt by His death was all paid; no other foundation is laid for peace, the gift of God’s love.  Peace, peace, sweet peace!  Wonderful gift from above!  O wonderful, wonderful peace!  Sweet...

Expressing Love and Care For Our Church Leaders

Expressing Love and Care For Our Church Leaders

Romans 16:3-5a, “Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus. They risked their lives for me. Not only I but all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them. Greet also the church that meets at their house.” “I’d like to be involved in gospel...

Phoebe’s Commendation

Phoebe’s Commendation

Romans 16:1-2, “I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant[a] of the church at Cenchreae, 2 that you may welcome her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints, and help her in whatever she may need from you, for she has been a patron of many and of myself as well.”...

A Virgin Birth, the Big Bang, and Why Christmas Happened

A Virgin Birth, the Big Bang, and Why Christmas Happened

The Virgin Birth “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” (Isa. 7:14) “She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins....

0 Comments

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Discipleship From The Beginning | - […] Dave wrote on three beliefs you must have to grow a healthy praying church. […]
  2. Two Antidotes to Anxiety | - […] Dave wrote on three beliefs you must have to grow a healthy praying church. […]
  3. Three Antidotes to Anxiety | - […] Dave wrote on three beliefs you must have to grow a healthy praying church. […]
  4. The Ultimate Antidote For Anxiety | - […] Dave wrote on three beliefs you must have to grow a healthy praying church. […]
  5. Wise Versus Foolish Responses | - […] Dave wrote on three beliefs you must have to grow a healthy praying church. […]
  6. Starving Impurity and Praising God | - […] Dave wrote on three beliefs you must have to grow a healthy praying church. […]
  7. Blessed Are Those Not Offended by Christ | - […] Dave wrote on three beliefs you must have to grow a healthy praying church. […]
  8. Dependent on Christ and One Another | - […] Dave wrote on three beliefs you must have to grow a healthy praying church. […]
  9. Living the Christian Life In Light of Our New Identity in Christ | - […] Dave wrote on three beliefs you must have to grow a healthy praying church. […]
  10. Discipleship Series Recap - […] Three Beliefs You Must Have To Grow A Healthy Praying Church by Dave […]

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Share66
Tweet
Email
Reddit
Share