May 11 – This week our prayers will focus on Making Disciples who Make Disciples. The following are based on thoughts by JM Reich & J Putnam, and the content from the first weeks of the Telford Elim Live – Friday Night Discipleship sessions online. Father, as we as a church have been reflecting on discipleship and disciple-making – using this model of discipleship making – we ask for Your presence, anointing and blessing so, as a church, we make large numbers of disciples who are trained and equipped to go on and make many disciples themselves.
Making Disciples is a command given by Your Son to His Church, ‘go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey all His commandments’ (Matthew 28:19-20). The command is not to go, Jesus expected His followers to go; in the Greek, the command is ‘make disciples.’
It is a good thing to teach people about discipleship – on how to discover Your purpose for their lives – and how to make disciples themselves. We pray for Christ’s grace, insight and love; and for the power and gifting of Your Spirit in order to do it well, and for our people to mature in faith and character. May we become a church renowned for being really good at Making Disciples who also Make Disciples of all ages, and from every background and culture. In Jesus’ name. Amen
May 12 – Father, the first stage of making disciples – reaching out with the Gospel to those who are spiritually dead and not yet born again – is important as it when we teach others Your Kingdom truths, values and principles. Anoint us to do it well online and in person when we will once again be able to do so in church.
Those not yet born-again are characterised by unbelief, and by separation from You; as such, their souls are profoundly open to the dominant principles and powers of this world. Their language and outlook on Christianity is coloured by ignorance or by observing or practising other Religions – not a living faith in Your Son. They have no true knowledge of God – are spiritually dead – don’t know who Jesus is – have a mistaken understanding of what Christian’s believe – think they know some things – but when you really start to engage with them, one finds that their understanding is not Bible based but based in a very secular, pluralist or other religion based outlook
We ask for success in reaching out to the lost – for the power and anointing of Your Spirit in order to be effective witnesses for Christ – for Your appointed strategies for reaching our Borough, and those we minister to online, including spouses, children, grandchildren, families, neighbours, work colleagues, fellow students, and those from every age bracket across Telford & Wrekin/Shropshire – that tens of thousands will be born again of the Spirit – will repent and believe in Christ as Saviour. Amen
May 13 – Father, we pray for those who are ‘spiritual infants’ in the faith – new or nearly new in the faith. As we consider how to share our lives with them, share Your Truth, and share the benefits and freedom of developing new godly habits – we seek to partner with You in what You are already doing in their lives. We ask that their faith will not fail, that they will continue in ‘the faith,’ and that they will make good progress as they do so.
May the Telford Church, as a whole, become really good at follow-up and engaging with those who recently come to faith. As we, in Telford Elim, consider the follow-up pathway enabling them connect to Christ’s Church, we ask for the development of good discipleship making hubs/life and discipleship groups across the Borough.
As we, in Telford Elim, seek to partner with Your Spirit in order to create the economies of scale necessary to ensure good practice and a comprehensive, wide coverage – we acknowledge that in order to do so requires Your blessing and favour, and good leadership in our church. May You be in the setting up of these life/discipleship group/missional communities as our church grows and expands, and guide us in the type of format that should be adopted in order to make them as effective as possible in making growing disciples. In Jesus’ name. Amen
May 14 – Father, we pray for those who are at the stage of being ‘spiritual children,’ still immature in the faith. We pray for good success in connecting them to Your purposes, to small groups, and to worship, service and the lordship of Christ.
This is the stage of spiritual development when the one now has enough spiritual knowledge to make value judgements based on what he or she perceives their church should be doing for them. It can be a time of disappointment, of self-centredness, of being needs focussed – of thinking still with an un-renewed mind. At this stage it is all about how I feel or perceive others are treating me. This is the stage when many get stuck. Initially, there is that release from the past, the excitement of the new life in Christ, of being part of something new, of hopefully joining a good, Bible believing church, but then there can be disillusionment and disappointment as the reality of the cost to self in order to continue everyday following Christ becomes clear
Because there is no real Christian maturity yet; a lot of the thinking still revolves around ourselves, and is still shaped by the pre-Christian outlook that we had which avoided suffering and self-sacrifice. Remember, before Christ, our worldview and outlook on life was developed by the world around us, by non-Christian views and outlooks. It is so easy to think that a church, or small group in it, is not meeting our needs, ‘I am not getting what I want or think I need.’ Self is still enthroned in our hearts at this stage
We are focussed on our own outlook without truly changing. The pathway out of this stage is a difficult one and many think it is too high a price to pay for it involves dying to self and embracing a life of self-sacrifice. It requires a commitment to self-discipline – of seeking to embrace Jesus as Lord.
We ask that as we connect people to different parts of our church – they will come under the influence of spiritually wise people whose godly character and commitment to Christ is more fully developed in order to encourage good godly character development in others. We pray for the establishment of self-discipline in the lives of ‘Spiritual Children;’ that they will also embrace applying the Lordship of Christ to every area of their lives enabling them to progress and grow into the Young Adult Stage. In Jesus’ name. Amen
May 15 – Father, we pray for those at the stage of being ‘spiritual Young Adults.’ Thank You that this is the stage when there is a healthy growing, godly character allied to a developing, vibrant spirituality. It is a time when ‘self & ego’ recede & Your Son comes to the fore in every area of a person’s life.
It is a time for ministry training & ministry opportunities, for continued teaching on what it means to be a servant of Christ, and not a doormat for the world. One of the challenges faced at the Young Adult stage of discipleship is that it is when You really start turning up the heat of Your purifying fire. As a result, Christ’s light floods our lives, so things that we never noticed before as being ungodly or unholy – because they were hiding in the darkness – now are discovered and seen for what they are. A time when initially we can despair of ever making progress – but of finding the grace and support in order to move forward.
We pray that instead of rationalising everything – trying to figure it all out ourselves – those at this stage in our church will be trained to partner with Your Spirit to bring alive Your Word in their lives, ‘sanctify or set them apart as holy by Your truth – Your word it truth’ (John 17:17)
It is a time when the home, circle of friends, workplace, marketplace, education space and wider town becomes their mission field. As we pray for this group of people in our church – thank You for their humility, faithfulness, graciousness & love. May we be a good place for this group to belong to, and learn how to make disciples. In Jesus’ name. Amen
May 16 – Father, we pray for those who are now really mature believers and ready to be ‘Spiritual Parents,’ to make other disciples. May we become a church that is really good at releasing those at this stage into ministry.
As we explore ways of doing this so that we create new fields for growth – guide us along the process with wisdom, discernment, understanding and spiritual insight. We look to You to find ways of allowing mature believers to continue to develop a godly character, and to witness as You call them to. There are two different categories of mature believers…
- disciple-makers, seeing themselves as Christ’s apprentices going out and making disciples
- people whose talents are more in Serving and Supporting others as those others seek to make disciples.
May our mature, Parent Stage believers always retain the fullness of Your Spirit, the passion of a heart on fire for Your Son, and Your love for their brothers and sisters, and the world around them. As they practice the principles of good, biblical Stewardship, including regularly giving of their Talents, Time and Treasure to Your work in our local church – may they always see everything they have as Yours, and have the joy of giving at least 10% of that back to You. Anoint them so they can truly understand the cost of following Christ – as His lordship is established in more and more areas in their lives – and through them in the lives of those they seek to either support to disciple others or disciple themselves. In Jesus’ name. Amen
May 17 – Father, as we have been praying this past seven days into Discipleship Making, and equipping others to become disciple makers themselves – we ask for great success in this whole area. We ask for the same success for the wider Telford Church. May many individual churches across our Borough become excellent Disciple-making churches. May it lead to a dramatic increase in the number of spiritually mature people who also possess godly character and spiritual vitality in the Telford Church.
Lord, as we as a church continue to step out in faith online following Your leading – step before us and walk with us so we carry Your favour, anointing and blessing, and see good things happen bringing much glory to Christ. May this continue into the years to come leading to a growing, flourishing & dynamic Telford Elim, and also the wider Telford & Wrekin/Shropshire Church. In Jesus’ name and for His glory. Amen