As the year is coming to an end one of the key categories of church life that I have been thinking about as of late is corporate prayer. At Grace we have prayer on Tuesdays and Sundays and while those that attend are faithful, participation never matches other events.
I realize to some readers this does not sound like a juicy topic, and it probably is not, but if you are a Christian you are called with others to be people of prayer.
This doesn’t stop at the individual or small group level either, it is actually the first priority of the gathered church.
The Apostle Paul in his letter to Timothy about how to care for people and lead the church says this:
“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:1-4 ESV)
It is important that we catch the “first of all,” rather than first of all being nice, or having the correct theology, or assembling by shared demographics or interests, we are to be a church of prayer. Prayer for all people, the lowly, the leaders, all that we may live godly lives.
And it is prayer for salvation. God our Savior, Jesus, desires for all to be saved and it pleases him when we pray toward that end.
How would our corporate prayer, intentional gatherings of prayer, look different if the church recognized its priority as “first of all?” Could we would be praying that many would be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth of Christ and the authority of the Bible?
Questions to chew on as we pray!