Praying for Church Growth


Devoted to Prayer in Praying for Church GrowthPreviously we noted the essential nature of prayer to church growth. In general, we need to be people devoted to prayer (Acts 2:47; Col. 4:2), constantly and earnestly trusting and relying on God to work in and through us. But, specifically what should we be praying about in regard to Church Growth?

Praying for Church Growth Outcomes

We can take all the steps church growth consultants might suggest but still not be truly growing. Church growth is about more than getting a few extra warm bodies in attendance. It’s about seeing people come to salvation in Jesus and grow in that relationship. For both quantitative (conversions) and qualitative (spiritual health and maturation) growth to happen, we need God’s power, not just a strategic plan.

In regard to conversion growth:

We might witness and proclaim the Gospel but God is the One who saves. He’s the One who transforms lives. –– So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. (1 Cor. 3:7)

God’s Word says that, “If we ask anything according to his will, he hears us” (1 Jn. 5:14-15). Since, “God wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of truth” (1 Tim. 2:4), God will respond to our prayers for this kind of church growth.

In regard to spiritual health and maturation:

We might disciple people to know how to follow the Lord (Matt. 28:19-20) but God is the One who sanctifies them, bringing them more and more into conformity to Jesus Christ. — May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. (1 Thess. 5:23a)

Jesus made it clear that apart from Him, we can do nothing (Jn. 15:1-5). Is it any wonder the New Testament epistles are filled with prayers for believers in those new churches to continue to grow? (Examples: Eph. 1:16-17; 3:14-21; Phil. 1:9-11; Col. 1:9-10; 1 Thess. 3:12-13; 5:23-24; 2 Thess. 1:11)

Prayer unleashes God’s power to bring about such growth. If we want these outcomes, we must constantly and earnestly pray, to be devoted to prayer. If you haven’t already done so, be sure to read: Prayer Essential for Church Growth

Praying for the Needed Workers

As mentioned above, God does the saving and sanctifying work. But, He uses people to demonstrate His heart of compassion and speak His words of grace and truth. We don’t just sit back and watch God grow the church. Consequently, for church growth to occur, we need people involved in proclaiming the Gospel and nurturing people in their relationship with Him. Here’s how Jesus instructed the disciples to recruit the needed workers: “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” (Matt. 9:35-38)

Pray for God to raise up workers but also encourage the church body to regularly spend time with God in personal prayer. Remember what happened when Isaiah of the Old Testament spent time in the presence of our Holy, Almighty God. Humbled by the Lord’s greatness, he couldn’t help but volunteer when God asked, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” (Isa. 6:8). Because of that time in God’s presence, Isaiah was in a position to see the need, sense God’s heart, and want to get involved.

Praying for Strategic Opportunities

Met needs tend to attract and keep people in our churches more than the latest and greatest church fads. To effectively meet needs takes this: “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity” (Col. 4:5). Notice the role of prayer in the verses leading up to this instruction:

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. (Col. 4:2-4)

We need to get on page with God in our church growth efforts so we “make the most of every opportunity” which requires His wisdom which He gives to those who ask (James 1:5). We need to pray for one another that we not only see the doors God opens before us but that we boldly walk through them which comes as a result of His power at work in and through us (Eph. 6:18-20).

For More on the Power in Praying: Resources for Prayer Ministry


13 Replies to “Praying for Church Growth”

  1. I am Pr. John. My church is growing church. Your materials will help thousands of people we conquer through the gospel and these ideas, now 50 members in my church. Thanking you

    • May God indeed bring growth, Pastor John, as you commit all you do to Him in prayer, knowing as Jesus said, that apart from Him we can do nothing (Jn. 15:5).

    • Seyi-fatoyinbo Abigail, praying like this post suggests certainly is the best starting point. To embark on such an endeavor without God’s power, provision and guidance is fruitless. In addition to prayer, I believe it would be important for you to learn the culture of that land and start developing relationships with the people there. As you do, God will undoubtedly show you ways to reach them where they are. Take time to read 1 Corinthians 9:19-23 where we find, “I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.” Paul adjusted the way he did ministry to fit the people. The Gospel message didn’t change but his approach varied based on the people among whom he served.

  2. Thank you sir I’m blessed sir, but my church use to be a growing church but now I am noticing stagnation please I need help

    • Certainly the suggestions in this post to pray would be your starting point. Consider developing a prayer team devoted to praying for your church in these ways, maybe even fasting. As a leadership team, also take time to pray similar to Psalm 139:23-24, asking God to show you if there is something you are doing that’s preventing growth and then asking Him for the grace to make necessary changes. Think about Jesus’ words in Revelation 2:1-7 to the Church at Ephesus who did a lot right but had forsaken the love they had at first. He said, “Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.” — The question that needs to be asked is why the church is stagnating. Address that issue and steps to get back on the path toward growth should become obvious as you trust in the Lord to guide you, not leaning on your own understanding and efforts (Prov. 3:5-6)

  3. My church is at the verge of falling, we have reduced drastically, we are not even up to twenty in number, please what can be done about this?

    • Raphael Promise, of great importance is that you assess why there has been such a drastic reduction. It will be hard to grow if the cause for decline doesn’t get addressed. As these posts suggests, you need to embed that whole process in prayer, seeking God’s wisdom (James 1:5) not just about why but also for what to do about it. And, value those who are still there. Continue to disciple them. Make sure you continue to foster an environment conducive to growth. God has a track record of doing much with little.

  4. I am Pastor Kutloano. One of my branches is not doing well. There are forces from rebellious assistant pastors who used to work with me. They are misleading most of the Youth to gossip and rebellion. The growth of the church has gone down. My branch Pastor who is my son is being affected. There is too much gossip in the church. Adults ladies are entertaining the Youth gossip. I am worried though I know it is sin to worry. This has affected even my sleep at night. I am still praying but I am feeling very weak. How can I cope?

    • Hello, Pastor Kutloano. Gossip does indeed tend to be a destructive and divisive force in the Church which you appear to be well aware of. If there are some individuals who seem to be fueling the gossip, consider applying Matthew 18:15-17 and Galatians 6:1 where you graciously and lovingly speak with them about it. The Matthew 18 passage provides some next steps if talking with them privately doesn’t work. If it is so widespread that you can’t pinpoint individuals who seem to be the key spreaders, then you might need to address the whole group. Gossip tends to be one of those things that keeps growing and negatively impacting the Church if not confronted so it is important, after much prayer, that you soon take action as God leads. Let me refer you to an article on our main website. It provides some Scripture about the destructive nature of gossip that you might be able to use in talking with people about it. That article was written about the effect of gossip on prayer chains but the points in that post have a broad application. And, of course, keep praying about it. If you don’t feel like you can cope with it, perhaps you would do well to enlist the help and prayer support of a godly pastor from another church.

  5. Very Powerful Prophetic And Apostolic Message, Thank You Author And God Richly Bless You More And Your Ministry And Family In Jesus Christ Might Name
    Apostle Mac”Garry Chilikwela: From Lusaka Zambia

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