Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Church



And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with
prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had
believed. 
Acts 14:23 (ESV)

The National Day of Prayer is Thursday, May 3, 2013. This blog is the
second in an on-going series about the seven pillars of prayer on which
organizers have asked the faithful to pray for. Last week, we focused
our attention on the government. This week, we focus on prayers for
the Church, keeping in mind that all who believe in Jesus Christ, are the
Church.

There is a verse in a Casting Crowns song called “Wedding Day” -

She has danced in golden castles
And she has crawled through beggar's dust
But today she stands before Him
And she wears His righteousness
And she will be who He adores
And this is what He made her for


The song is about the Church, the bride of Christ, meeting Jesus when
He returns to this earth in glory.

Indeed, the Church has danced in golden castles, when kings and
queens reigned over countries where Christianity was the official
government religion. And the Church has crawled through beggar’s
dust—and still does in some countries.

Under Chairman Mao and Chinese Communism, professing Christians in
China grew from 1.5 million in 1970 to 65 million in just twenty years.
Fed to lions and hunted into the dust of the catacombs, Christianity
gradually grew to dominate the Roman Empire.

Picking up the newspaper or watching television, one might be lead to
believe that Christians are already a persecuted minority in America
today. (Look for a blog post on the media in week 6.)

While a 2008 Gallup poll going back sixty years shows that 91% of
Americans claimed to be Christian in 1948, that figure in 2008 was 77%.
While that is quite a decline, the church in America is far from dead.

Yes, it has its problems, and yes many are attacking it--but that is all the
more reason to pray for it.


Those organizing the National Day of Prayer recommend that we pray
for the Churches and Church Leaders throughout the nation and in your
community. Ask God to preserve and protect them as He inspires and
empowers them to equip His ‘Saints’ for the work of ministry, for the
building up of the Church, and for the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus
Christ that many would repent and be saved.

My prayers will also include the humble request that the Lord would
bless all churches that preach the true gospel of Jesus Christ and
lovingly rebuke and correct those that preach what itching ears are
longing to hear, remembering in our hearts that love conquers all.

Today’s Praise

Now to Him Who is able to do far more abundantly than all
that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 

to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all
generations, forever and ever. Amen.
  Ephesians 3:20-21 (ESV)

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