This seems like a basic item that should be on our regular agendas, but I am constantly amazed at how frequently praying for our individual congregants and their families is overlooked by the leader of the flock. Pastors should be regularly praying for their congregants, every leader should be praying for those in their classes or on their committees. One advantage smaller churches have over larger congregations is that the pastor can personally know the entire congregation! This is something to be used to our advantage, especially in relation to prayer!
Jesus reminds us time after time that he is in relationship with “The Father”. Read one of the Gospels, very often the disciples could not find him because he was off praying by himself somewhere. Do you ever wonder what or for whom he is praying? Do you wonder what those conversations with “The Father” consist of?
My guess is that he is frequently praying for those he is serving. In John 17 we hear Jesus praying not only for the disciples, but also for the ones who will believe because of their message. Jesus is praying for us!
Take the example from Jesus, pray for the ones you are serving by name and on a regular basis. This is not just a general prayer such as, “God take care of those in the congregation,” but rather this is much more specific. What would it look like to visualize seeing the people you serve where they sit or going through the church directory and praying for each and every one of the sheep by name?
Oswald Chambers says “Prayer is the greater work.” How often can you pray for those you serve: Every day, weekly, monthly? Turning our churches around begins with prayer and praying for those, very specifically, whom we serve in our congregations. Then in turn, we help them become prayer warriors for those whom they serve in the church and for those who are unchurched, and the Holy Spirit moves in and takes over like a wildfire.
How have you seen prayer empower the congregation you serve?