In a message from 2 Chronicles 7:14 entitled “If My People,” Pastor Bobby asked and answered the question “Who are God’s people?” Our prayer is that all Ridge Baptist Church members are God’s people, but are they?
The answer to that question goes back to the message “What is a Christian?” or “How does a Christian act?” A Christian acts like Jesus. To act like Jesus, you have to be a Christian. To be a Christian you have to accept Jesus as Savior. You do this by asking Jesus to forgive you of your sins acknowledging that Jesus died on the cross for you and rose again from the dead on the third day. You commit your life to Jesus and allow Jesus to take control of your life forever. (John 3:16)
With this accomplished you, as believer in Jesus, are ready to begin praying for your church. The main component in praying for your church begins with daily Bible study. Scripture quickens a believer’s heart as they listen to what God is saying. “Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:32) Scripture clarifies the intention of God, if interpreted by faith. We can understand the Scriptures only if we understand the power of God.
Keep this in mind, that God wants to answer our prayers according to His will and power, we can begin to pray. Prayer may be out loud (Revelation 5:12) or silent (I Samuel 1:13). It may be at midnight (Acts 16:25) or in the morning (Psalm 5:3). It may be for a child (Hannah), for life (Hezekiah), or for boldness (the church after Pentecost). Prayer may be made anywhere, anytime, for any holy purpose – and ought to be.
“Not as I will, but Your will be done” is the eternal standard for any relationship with God. It’s not the formula, “Your will be done,” that secures the divine action, but rather the relationship that grows out of that attitude which enables us to pray within God’s will and which places us within the framework where His power is active. To really experience this kind of growth at Ridge there has to be prayer and Bible study and it should begin in our homes.
Daily Family Prayer Time
Our Ridge families need to start family devotions in their homes. The usual excuse is there is just not enough time in the day with all the activities we are already involved in – sports, television, educational. The obligations are strong. There can be no question that time is a serious difficult major problem.
Families will not begin to do this until the belief pervades that family prayer time is more important than other family activities. Dads sometimes believe they are not qualified to be a leader for prayer time, so both parents need to be involved with your family’s prayer time. Single parent homes need family prayer time too; take the lead for your family.
The following is an example to use in beginning family prayer times.
Read a passage of scripture… You can begin in the Gospel of John or use a Daily Devotional Book.
Talk about the passage read or read follow up questions from the Devotional Book.
This is not the time to show how much one knows about the Bible but a time to share about God’s truths with one another.
Then talk about the day and mention prayer concerns each might have.
Have each member pray and have someone close in prayer. Again this is not a time to impress with your praying skills. Talk to Jesus about your concerns praying for your family and friends and praying for Ridge and its families and staff.
This should take no longer than a total of 30 minutes.
For our church to experience all that God wants us we have to begin by praying in our homes and studying His Word.
Excerpts taken from: The Doctrine of Prayer by T.W. Hunt