We are calling our church to a period of prayer and fasting. We will kick this time off during our All-Church Vision, Prayer, and Worship Night on October 13th and end before Fall Break on October 16th. We are asking everyone to carve out time and space to participate in some way, shape, or form. A prayer guide will be released before our time together. We have also put together a guide to fasting we hope will help in preparation for our time.
As we have been studying 1 Timothy together, one of the major calls to action Paul gives to Timothy and the church is to pray. Paul states with strong language that prayer is to be the priority. He charges Timothy and the church that “supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving be made for all people.” Paul gives us categories for prayer. Supplication is defined as the action of asking or begging for something earnestly or humbly. Prayer is defined as addressing God. Intercession is defined as the action of saying a prayer on behalf of another person. Thanksgiving is defined as the expression of gratitude, especially to God. Paul wants to make sure we understand that praying to God for others with gratitude is of the utmost importance!
There is another spiritual practice often less observed in our day, and that is fasting. Throughout the Bible, we see leaders and disciples devoting themselves to regular times of prayer and fasting. Fasting heightens the awareness of our need for God. Abstaining from food and drink for a period of time has a way of sharpening our senses. We connect with our hunger and thirst in a way that makes us very aware of our dependence on nutrition to sustain our physical being. True Christian fasting allows this tangible hunger experience to point our hearts to our need for Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit to sustain our spiritual lives. Therefore, fasting must be coupled with prayer and dependence on God, or it is just a ritual of self-denial. When we fast our prayers are sharpened, our hearts are tuned to God’s Word, and we grow in our devotion to find deeper life in Christ.
Here are specific ways you can pray for our church and our city:
PRAYING EXPECTANTLY FOR OUR CHURCH AND OUR CITY (click here to downlaod a PDF)
PRAYING EXPECTANTLY FOR OUR CHURCH AND OUR CITY
“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers,
intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people…
This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior.”
– 1 Timothy 2:1, 3
- Spiritual Renewal — Pray for people to have a deepening desire to know God, to seek his face, to embrace his ways.
- Joyful Togetherness — Pray for the church to be filled with the laughter, encouragement, sacrifice, and commitment of friends fighting the good fight together.
- Salvations — Pray for people to meet Jesus for the first time: neighbors, coworkers, teachers, friends, family, adults, students and children.
- Care for the Poor — Pray for our service to the poor, lonely, lost and left out in our city and in our world—for individuals who serve in organizations all over our city, for our local ministry partnership with Restore OKC, for mission trips to Ecuador and Guatemala.
- Church Plants — Pray for the churches we are helping to fund and launch: Justin Burkholder, Iglesias Reforma in Guatemala; Fletcher Lang, Church on a Hill in Boston, MA; Stephen Myers, The Well in Mustang, OK; Bryan Padgett, Redeemer Church in Stillwater, OK. Pray as we consider support of some new church plants. Pray that God would provide for us to give 10% of our giving to outside ministries.
- Growing Givers’ Hearts — Pray that God would continue to grow our hearts and minds to see how our giving makes a real difference — in our lives and in our ministry. Pray for faith to see our generosity as an eternal investment so that we can more cheerfully and confidently give. Ask God to provide resources to help us serve, reach, and disciple others in our city with the grace of Christ.
- Elders — Pray for our elder development, training, and calling as we take steps to install our first elders. Ask God to create the leadership heart and culture he wants for our elders.
- Membership — Pray those attending our membership workshops to find joy and excitement as they explore committing with one another to live together as the family of God, to worship together, grow and be transformed, and to expand God’s mission in our city. Ask God to stir their hearts through the Bible study as they explore Jesus’ desire for His church.
- Kids Ministry — Thank God for the children who have come to Christ, and ask for God to continue to draw kids to himself. Pray for our team as they explore new avenues to bring, life, joy, and excitement to this ministry. Ask the Lord to bring volunteers who embrace the vision of our church and who are willing to use their gifts to be part of the joy and excitement of this ministry.
- Student Ministry — Thank God for the excitement that has been evident in this ministry and for the leadership team that has come together. Pray for the energy and example of our students to rub off on the entire church. Pray for parents to be saved because of their students’ involvement in our church. Pray for students to mature as followers of Jesus and to be equipped to fight the good fight in the next generation.
- Groups — Pray for real friendships, real spiritual growth, and real excitement for God’s Word in our groups. Ask the Lord to raise up new leaders and new groups who will help us make disciples through community groups, men’s groups, and women’s groups.
- Worship & Arts — Pray for hearts to be deeply formed by Christ through worship and for continued growth of our teams for worship, storytelling, and video production.
- Women’s Leadership— Thank God for bringing together the women on our team and pray for guidance as they seek to expand opportunities for discipleship and equipping for all our women. Ask the Lord to provide clarity of vision and tenderness of heart to know best how to serve the women of our church.
- Men’s Leadership — Ask the Lord to bring together a team who will help us expand opportunities for discipleship and equipping of all our men. Ask the Lord to provide clarity and conviction to know best how to serve the men of our church.
- Be Trained — Pray for depth, intentionality and excitement in us as we seek to train up disciples of Jesus who are well-equipped for life and ministry. Ask the Lord to send us gifted teachers with vision and servant-hearted leadership to help us equip the saints for the ministry.
- Opportunity Fund for Our Future Home — Pray for God’s direction, wisdom, and provision as we hope for our future land or location as a home for the church. Pray for our monthly giving to increase so that we are ready to take on additional commitments for a future space. Don’t be afraid to ask God to provide a building or space in some way we can not even see at this time.
- Pastors and Staff — Pray for our pastors and staff. Ask the Lord to sustain and strengthen them for the work, to give them constant joy and continual hope in Christ’s church. Pray for encouragers to pour into them as they serve others.
“To kindle every revival, the Holy Spirit initially uses what Jonathan Edwards calls ‘extraordinary prayer’—united, persistent, and kingdom centered. Sometimes it begins with a single person or a small group of people praying for God’s glory in the community. What is important is not the number of people praying, but the nature of the praying.” – Tim Keller