When preparing to think about considering the possibility of maybe planting a new church, what is of primary importance? What is the one thing that must be done first? What is more important than anything else? What is it that cannot be neglected, over-looked, taken for granted, ignored, or disregarded? What is the one thing that is critical to the success of any new church plant?
It’s one of the simplest things to do yet at the same time is one of the hardest things in which to be disciplined because we get entangled by the cares of this world. It’s the thing that takes you into the throne room of God, enabling you to access His power. It is the thing that every great man of God has done throughout history. Adam did it, as well as, Noah, Moses, Abraham, David and Paul among many others. The disciples even asked Jesus to teach them how to do it. It’s the one thing of primary importance that Jesus modeled, taught, practiced and instructed His disciples to do. In a single word – PRAYER!
Mark 1:35 Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.(NIV)
Luke 22:46 “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”(NIV)
Romans 12:9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need.Practice hospitality.(NIV)
Acts 6:1 Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. 2 And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. 3 Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty.4 But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”(ESV)
1 Thessalonians 5:14 And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. 15 See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.(ESV)
Paul’s prayer for the Ephesian church:
Ephesians 3:14 I kneel in prayer to the Father. 15 All beings in heaven and on earth receive their life from him. 16 God is wonderful and glorious. I pray that his Spirit will make you become strong followers 17 and that Christ will live in your hearts because of your faith. Stand firm and be deeply rooted in his love. 18 I pray that you and all of God’s people will understand what is called wide or long or high or deep. 19 I want you to know all about Christ’s love, although it is too wonderful to be measured. Then your lives will be filled with all that God is.20-21 I pray that Christ Jesus and the church will forever bring praise to God. His power at work in us can do far more than we dare ask or imagine. Amen.(CEV)
Paul’s prayer for the Ephesian church would be a good prayer for any church of any age. Paul prayed that:
- God’s Spirit will make you become strong followers
- Christ will live in your hearts because of your faith
- you stand firm and be deeply rooted in his love
- you and all of God’s people will understand what is called wide or long or high or deep
- you know all about Christ’s love, although it is too wonderful to be measured
- your lives will be filled with all that God is
- Christ Jesus and the church will forever bring praise to God
How’s you prayer life? Is prayer of primary importance?