Prayer Is Essential to the Process of Determining & Fulfilling God's Purposes for the Church.Verses abound regarding the power of prayer to make a difference (James 5:16). God becomes our sounding board as we pour our hearts out to Him (Ps. 62:8). Prayer, however, is more than telling God what we want or what we think should be done. Prayer is more about cooperating with and getting in alignment with God (1 Jn. 5:14). Through prayer we demonstrate trust in a God who "is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us" (Eph. 3:20).
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. (Prov. 3:5-6)The Early Church was devoted to prayer (Acts 2:42). We are commanded, "devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful" (Col. 4:2). We are to "be faithful in prayer" (Rom. 12:12) and to "pray without ceasing" (1 Thess. 5:17).
No area of our lives is exempt from the command, priority, and essential need for prayer. The process of determining and pursuing God's purposes for the church must therefore be enveloped in prayer.
Praying, Though Essential, Cannot Stand Alone as Our Sole Source in Living Out Our Church Purpose.Prayer is very important but prayer alone could get you in trouble if not coupled with God's Word.
- You could misinterpret His response if not run through the grid of Scripture.
- You could miss having prayers answered because you did not pray in alignment with His Word.
- You could mistake your motivations and means of doing things under the guise of having prayed.
Two Truths about Prayer to Keep in Mind:
- God will never violate His Word when answering prayer.
- God will always answer prayer that lines up with His character, ways, and will as described in His Word.
The Steering the Church Toward God's Purposes Leadership Guide includes the content on this page and also looks at the role of denominations and feelings or instincts, while pointing to God's Word as our ultimate source for determining and fulfilling our church purpose.