Serving through prayer

‘Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ … that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak’ (Col 4:2-4).

One of the great tragedies of the modern church, and many modern Christians, is our prayerlessness. When you consider the great moments of the Christian church, there’s always at least one thing they have in common – God’s people were praying.

And how could it be any other way? Christians have always known that God is absolutely in control. All things – whether the affairs of nations or the concerns of our own lives – are completely in his hands. And because God’s people knew he was in control, they turned to him.

In our day and age we love being independent. We fool ourselves into thinking we can do it ourselves. How easy so many of us find it to go through our entire day without a word of prayer! We forget how dependent we are on God for everything – even our very next breath.

But Paul was very aware of his need, and so he called the Colossians to prayer. He wasn’t too proud to ask for prayer because he knew that without God, he was powerless.

Are you praying for our church? For the people in it, its ministries, the people around us? Without God we can do nothing.

Are you feeling unable to contribute to the life of the church beyond attending on Sundays? Don’t! You can still serve! Be part of what God is doing among us – join the prayer team we are forming. Devote yourself to prayer, and see what God does through you, for his glory.

A Royal Priesthood

What is your place in the church?

The sad reality is that many are spectators, watching others doing the work of ministry. They might feel as emotionally involved as those watching the footy, but not actively involved.

Others, consciously or not, behave as consumers. Even more detached than spectators, they come and go, feeling ‘topped up’ for another week in the world, but lack the emotional engagement of even the spectators.

Is this our calling? Consider what Peter calls Christians scattered throughout the regions in the Roman Empire: ‘You are … a royal priesthood’ (1 Pet 2:9).

This is a high calling; to be a priest of God, under the High Priesthood of our brother and Lord, Jesus Christ (Heb 2:17). What does it mean to be a priest?

In the Old Testament, priests cared for the temple. Playing music, singing songs, performing sacrifices, teaching and praying. Theirs was a busy life, full of worshipping God and serving his people.

Our role is different than theirs, of course. The church building is not a temple; there is nothing sacred there. It is merely a meeting place. The sacrifice for sin has already been made.

But there is a pattern for us to follow. Priests are actively engaged in ministry. They are not spectators or consumers. They are workers, joining together with the rest of the church to actively worship God and serve one another and the world.

What might your priestly service look like?

Could you be involved on Sunday? Welcoming others, helping at the sound desk, reading the bible, praying, preparing morning tea?

Outside the service, could you commit to praying daily for the ministry and people of the church?

We are all called to serve. If you are not yet serving, what one thing could you take on?