Jan 30 – Father, I bring the baggage of the world of my imaginations, dreams and visions to You. If focussed on Christ, these are faith-building and life-giving; if rooted in me, or sin or the world – these have the power to steer me into destructive ways of thinking and looking at life.
If my imaginations are wholesome and focussed on the dreams and visions of Scripture – then they have the power to engender faith and propel me towards Your Light and Life; if they are polluted and full of the desires of the carnal flesh and mind – then they propel me towards sin destroying my spiritual strength and robbing me of Your joy.
Teach me, and many in our church, how to discipline the world of our visions, dreams and imaginations, to open these areas fully to the Light of Your Spirit – how to biblically overcome and refuse the carnal, and instead focus on worshipping, serving and pleasing Christ. In Jesus’ name. Amen
Jan 31 – Father, as this month of prayer, fasting and abstinence concludes – thank You for the privilege of praying to You, being able to pray deeply into some of these issues we have prayed about, and to experience Your love and guidance as we have prayed.
You are at work in our church in some quiet and unobtrusive ways, in some deep and foundational areas, and also in some really wonderful and obvious ways. Thank You that You are at work, even when I cannot see it, and I declare that I love You Lord.
In any new season there is the challenge of the tension between where we currently are at, faith, and the vision of where we are to go to. We proclaim You, Lord Jesus, as Saviour, Healer, Baptiser in the Holy Spirit and Coming King over Telford Elim, in person and online.
As we move on into this year as a church, and individuals in it, we trust in You, and commit to continue to seek first Your Kingdom and its righteousness. Lead us, as Kingdom Builders, into this new season of spiritual renewal, fill us more completely and overwhelmingly with Your Spirit, and glorify Jesus greatly as You do so.
We would to grow in faith, in Christian maturity, and in usefulness to You. Lead us forward granting skill, leadership acumen, and spiritual depth and understanding to the Church Leadership Team, including our church pastors, elders and deacons.
Bless each ministry and person in our church throughout 2023. Help us to walk in true biblical freedom in Christ, and expand Your Kingdom here and beyond through the ministry, people and fellowship of Telford Elim in person and online. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Feb 1 – Making Disciples from Matthew’s Gospel.
We are told that Matthew’s Gospel was the discipleship manual of the early church. In the prayers this week we are going to look at some of the principles therein, and what we can learn and pray from them. These prayers are taken from my notes for the Discipleship broadcast 27-1-2023 – you can find the broadcast on the Church YouTube channel and Facebook page.
Father, disciple making is at the heart of Your call on the Church. We all talk about making disciples. We pray that our church, in its focus on making disciples who make disciples, will be very fruitful in this endeavour and ministry.
We declare and stand on Matthew 28:16-20, CSB, where Jesus said the following:
‘The eleven disciples travelled to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshiped, but some doubted. Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”’ Amen.
Feb 2 – Lord Jesus, the Great Commission in Matthew 28 is foundational to what You call, and send, us to do. Thank You for the example of the eleven who obeyed Your directions, they came to meet You where You commanded them to come to. Obedience is a key biblical principle which unlocks Your promises to bless us as we do Your work.
Some worshipped – some doubted or perhaps, a better way is to say, ‘they hesitated.’ It is always the case that in any group of believers, there are those who bow in worship, and others who need more convincing – who hesitate or doubt.
Thank You, Lord Jesus, that as you dealt with Thomas in his doubting, You will lead others into a place of confidence and trust in You. John 20:24-29, CSB:
‘But Thomas (called “Twin”), one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples were telling him, “We’ve seen the Lord!”
But he said to them, “If I don’t see the mark of the nails in his hands, put my finger into the mark of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will never believe.”
A week later his disciples were indoors again, and Thomas was with them. Even though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.”
Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and look at my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Don’t be faithless, but believe.”
Thomas responded to him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said, “Because you have seen me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.”’
Thomas had been brought to a place of absolute confidence in Your resurrection, but there were others who doubted these remarkable events – others who doubted or were hesitant that You were really with them, the resurrection seemed too unreal.
We also pray for those struggling to comprehend and grasp Your reality, and the wonder of Your resurrection and ascension back to the Father – just as You led Thomas into a new place of faith and confidence, we pray that many will come to the same place because of and through the people and ministries of Telford Elim, in person and online. Amen
Feb 3 – Morris thinks that many more disciples than the Eleven were with Jesus at this time, and it was some of them who doubted (1 Cor 15:6 – perhaps up to 500).
Another way of considering this is that they maybe doubted their own ability to continue following Jesus and doing His work after He ascended back to You.
It isn’t a doubt about Jesus, but about their own ability, they doubted themselves without the Master physically beside them. This is a very real concern for so many believers. It isn’t that they have no faith in Jesus – they have little to no faith in themselves.
Father, the reality of the resurrection of Jesus is one of the foundational principles of Christianity. Jesus was raised from the dead, not back to a mortal existence, but into an immortal existence where death no longer had hold of Him. Hallelujah!
We pray for anyone caught in the horns of personal doubt – who really love You, but doubt their own commitment and faithfulness! We ask for breakthrough and revelation of Your total commitment to them in Christ, of Your Spirit’s presence and commitment to make them fruitful, and of the joy of the life of faith as a disciple wholeheartedly committed to Your worship and service. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Feb 4 – Father, we know doubt gives Satan a foothold, and leads to all sorts of problems with the discipleship journey. Doubt can be healthy when it causes us to connect more fully with You, and really learn who You are and what You have promised to us in Christ.
If, however, it is rooted in our own abilities, then it can quickly expand into unbelief – which is a sin and really destructive to our souls. Unbelief is a fixed mindset that basically states, ‘Jesus isn’t able to do what He says He can do.’
Instead of believing into more and more confidence in Christ, unbelief causes us to mistrust Him and place our confidence in our own understanding, our own desires, in the world and its philosophies for life, in superstition.
We pray that the biblical truth that our salvation is not rooted in our own abilities, nor faithfulness – it is rooted in Christ, and His eternal promises and commitment to us, in His faithfulness and power to save, will, to a greater extent, take hold in each of our lives.
As we draw close to You, Lord Jesus, You change us – impart Your life, nature, grace, love and truth into us; You save! We can trust You. Your Spirit has been given to lead us into all truth – we claim these promises for everyone in our church, in person and online.
We have to work out our salvation – that is our part, but You have promised to work into us Your salvation – that is Your part. What You work into us – we then can learn about and learn how to work it out into all of our lives.
We are not alone in this – You are with us by Your Spirit, and have given Your word, prayer, worship, and fellowship with fellow believers in a local church to help, they are Your blessings and helps to each one of us. Amen
Feb 5 – Father, thank You that Jesus’ words in Matthew 28, give us all the hope that what He calls us to do, He will equip us to do.
“All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”’
Lord Jesus, You expected Your people to be about Your work – and all authority resides in You. Thus when You command to make disciples, You are willing to give all the support and tools we will need to accomplish the task given to us.
Accepting and submitting to Your authority roots us into Your promises, provision and presence. After all, You give us Your Spirit, word, each other for fellowship, support and encouragement. We learn from each other, are challenged and stretched by our interactions with each other.
Most importantly, You give us Your commission – we are commissioned by You to make disciples. The ‘Go, therefore,’ is not a command – You expected us to be going to all nations, and engaging with all nations – make disciples is Your command.
However, You know us better than we know ourselves – it is one thing setting out to do a job, it is another actually doing it. You once spoke a parable about two sons and their father (Matthew 21:28-32), who sent them on a job.
One initially said no, changed his mind on reflection, repented afterwards, and did go and work in the father’s vineyard doing what the father commanded – the other son said yes, but didn’t do the work. You asked which was justified? The answer, the first who actually did the work.
Therefore, You put the command on making disciples – that is where the difficulty comes, but it is also where Your provision is made real when we obey and do. You expect we will go – You command us to make disciples, to do the work because You know that it is the work that is really difficult in our own strength when rooted in how we feel at that given moment.
It is hard, exhausting, difficult, and yet rewarding, fulfilling and amazing work. We are working for You, Christ the Master. Hallelujah!
You will not leave us alone to get on with the work of making disciples. You will guide, supervise and apportion different roles to different people in order for the work to be done.
We make disciples as we teach them what You taught and commanded, what Your word says, and how to apply these to their lives. We make disciples as we model what it means to know that You are always with us – through the good and the difficult, always with us to the end of the Age.
We make disciples by doing what You did – teaching people Your word, spending time with them, journeying with them in life, and setting them an example of what service of the King and His Kingdom looks like. We make disciples as we baptise them into belief in the Trinity.
We ask for many disciples, who then are equipped to go and make disciples in life and through Telford Elim. Amen.