Mar 28 – The following prayers are written by Pastor Leslie, and developed from his previous blog series on The Essence of the Church of Christ [21-1-2021].
Father, the church is Your idea! We are Yours in Christ, we belong to You, and are called out from the world to gather together before You. We are called to be more than a bunch of people who meet for a common purpose. We are brothers and sisters in Christ, with You as our Father!
Thank You that You lavish Your love on us in Christ, and ask us to love others as we are loved, and thus show the nature of Your love to one another and to the world around us. Anoint us to live and witness in a way that points others to the Lord Jesus.
In the natural, when a child is born, it is dependent upon others to meet its needs. As the child grows it learns and progresses towards independence. However, socially, people do not think in independence terms, they think in interdependence terms. Lord, teach us how to live interdependent lives rooted in Christ and filled with Your Spirit and word.
We belong to a family, a community, an area, a tribe, a nation, to a people group. Your word paints a picture of us belonging together, because of our faith in Christ and unity in the Spirit, in Your Church – interdependent as Your family, Christ’s body, the Spirit’s building.
We pray that Telford Elim, in person and online, will reveal Your blueprint for Your Church in how we worship, serve, witness, give and fellowship together.
As a group of interdependent people – we pray that anything that prevents that true interdependence in Christ, which is destructive to Your purposes, will be revealed, overcome and biblically dealt with. We pray that we will be a church where there is freedom and joy in our relationships together. In Jesus’ name. Amen
Mar 29 –Father, thank You that You think so highly of Your Church. You speak highly of it, in glowing terms. Church is the English word derived from a German word, chirihha which itself came from the early Greek kuriakos which means ‘belonging to the Lord’ or to His house. It is only used twice in the NT (1 Corinthians 11:20; Revelation 1:10), ‘Lord’s’ or ‘belonging to the Lord.’
The word which the NT uses most often for what we often mean by the word, ‘church,’ is the Greek Ekklesia – used 112 times in the NT, and meaning: ‘a body of people called out;’ the word that conveys this word better in English is, ‘An Assembly.’
Lord, as we think about our Assembly, and it being Your spiritual house, we pray that Telford Elim, in person and online, will be a spiritual house full of people who follow Jesus. Holy Spirit, help us to deny ourselves, and take up our crosses daily, and follow Jesus.
‘Denying self’ is about us saying no to those yearnings that ‘self’ pushes within, that arise from the old carnal nature within, demand us to satisfy and which quench the Spirit – teach us how to say no to them.
Teach us how to conquer self, which will prevent Satan gaining a foothold in our lives, the world luring us back into its clutches, and sin gaining mastery over us – and enable us to step into a new fruitful place as Your Holy Spirit and word filled people. In Jesus’ name. Amen
Mar 30 – Father, the Old Testament [OT] reveals Your view about the creating of a community of faith. Exodus 6:7, ‘I will take you as My people, and I will be your God.’ Israel was Your people, the Church in the OT; thank You that even in the OT, the community of faith was not made up exclusively of Jews – Gentiles were included, people like Rahab; Ruth; The widow at Zarephath; The inhabitants of Nineveh, etc.
Israel were Your covenant people – a people united to You by promise, faith, obedience and sacrifice: Exodus 19:5-6, 8, ‘Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. 6‘And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel… 8Then all the people answered together and said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do.” So Moses brought back the words of the people to the Lord.’
Lord, we lay before You these principles which You established for the community of Your interdependent people: promise, faith, obedience and sacrifice. Thank You that in Jesus all of these were completed and fulfilled. Each one of these principles is life-giving and spiritually enriching. Teach us to apply them today as You would have us do.
You are also calling us to be a kingdom of priests, a people who take others, by prayer, before You and ask for Your salvation, grace and favour for them. Priests keep themselves separate from the hold of the world – teach us how to be a church that is separate and not under the grip or allure of the world.
We pray today for unsaved loved ones, relatives, friends, neighbours, and colleagues – we ask for You to save, and add them to Your Church. In Jesus’ name. Amen
Mar 31 – Father, in the New Testament [NT], You are revealed as the One who calls all people to repent and believe in Christ, Jew and Gentile, a call to faith which, if accepted, adopts the believer into Your family.
Thank You that the entrance into Your Church is not by physical birth but by spiritual New Birth – born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ through the working of Your Spirit. Lord, we pray that Telford Elim, in person and online, will be a House of Salvation where many are born again and added to Your family and Church.
The Church is also Your covenant people. 1 Corinthians 11:25, ‘In the same way, Jesus took the cup of wine after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant between God and His people—an agreement confirmed with My blood. Do this in remembrance of Me as often as you drink it.’
Thank You that this was written to a church with a large contingent of Gentiles in it – and thus gives us hope as we pray for the people of our nation to come to Christ, the vast majority of them Gentiles. We do also pray that all those Jews living in our nation will be saved and drawn to Jesus the Messiah.
We proclaim the merit and power of Jesus’ blood to save and remove the guilt of our sin, and all that separates people from You – save the UK and bless Your people.
Apr 1 – The Church is also the Temple of Your Spirit – a holy people. 2 Corinthians 6:16, ‘And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”’ Teach us how to live and walk in holiness.
We, the Church, are Your dwelling or house by Your Spirit. 1 Peter 2:4-5, ‘Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, 5you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.’
Lord, we pray that those things that prevent us being a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, a people who offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to You, in and through Christ, will be overcome and dealt with so that Telford Elim, in person and online, becomes all that You determine it to be. In Jesus’ name. Amen
Apr 2 – Father, Your purposes in history are revealed through Your people, the Church.
(a.) Israel is called by Your election, Deuteronomy 7:6, ‘the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself,’ so is the NT Church in Ephesians 1:4, ‘just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world.’
We are elected to be a blessing to the world, and to be the means of the proclamation of Your call to salvation to the world. We pray that is exactly what Telford Elim will be.
(b.) Israel was to be redeemed by You from the corrupt world they lived within. Exodus 6:6, “I will redeem you;” and so, in Christ, is the NT Church, Ephesians1:7, “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.”
Lord Jesus, when You step into a person’s life – You not only save, but You also redeem that one from the slavery of sin, the grip of the world, the deception of Satan, and the pride of ‘self.’ Set many free to live in Your freedom through Telford Elim, its people and ministries, in person and online. Amen
Apr 3 – Father, as we continue to think of Your purposes in Christ through the Church – we pray…
(c.) Israel was to share in the covenant, Exodus19:5, ‘Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine;’ and so the Church, each time it shares communion, restates this truth. 1 Corinthians11:25-26, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood. As often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.’
Lord, covenant is Your biblically mandated means of entering into relationship with people through Christ. Thank You that the New Covenant was built upon Christ and His word, ratified by Christ’s vicarious suffering and atoning death, His resurrection and ascension, and established by the coming of the Spirit. Teach us how to live and minister more fully in the light of Your covenant with us.
(d.) In Chris Wright’s book, The Mission of God’s People: A Biblical Theology of the Church’s Mission, Wright states, ‘It is not so much the case that God has a mission for His church in the world, as that God has a church for His mission in the world. Mission was not made for the church; the church was made for mission – God’s mission.’
He also says, ‘Everything is mission…. Everything a Christian and a church is, says, and does should be missional in its conscious participation in the mission of God in God’s world.’
You have sent Your Spirit to empower, guide, partner with, and lead us into Your mission in Christ. Raise up Telford Elim, in person and online, to be a missional church that fully participates in Your mission to proclaim the Gospel to the world, teach people how to be disciples, and equip them to be all You purpose for them to be as Your spiritual house on earth. In Jesus’ name. Amen