Filled with love of God, we ask of God the life-giving answers only He can give – not only for ourselves, but especially for all those He is calling us to love.
Accompanying Video Lesson:
So, ASK of God! Passionately, patiently, respectfully, persistently, regularly…
“And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.” Luke 11:9-10 NLT
Lesson 5: Praying for Your Church
What are we ASKing of God for the church today?
The spiritual body of believers all around the world, or gathered together in a particular locality, who confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. It is referred to in the New Testament as the ekklesia, meaning “an assembly,” or the “called out ones.” Christ calls the church, “My Church,” and believers are said to be called to the “Church of the Firstborn.” Metaphorically, it is referred to as the Body of Christ, the Bride of Christ, The Flock of the Holy Spirit, the Household of God or the Holy Temple in the Lord — a “dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit” (each person being a “living stone”). The Church is a chosen, royal priesthood. 
Starting Point in Asking of God for the Church
Our starting point in praying for the church must always be the understanding that we’re in this thing together and we need each other, and the only reason we’re together is because God has called us or appointed us to be together for His glory. (cf. Philippians 1:11; Ephesians 3:14-21)
How does God grow faith, increase love, and steady us in trouble?
First, He works on our character – WHO we are. He indwells us and by the power of His Spirit fills us with His love and an assurance of His presence. This sanctifies us (setting us apart to Himself in love) and transforms us (giving us a heart for the things of God).
Second, He works to purify our manner of life (what we DO and HOW WE RELATE to one another). He provides opportunities, or provokes situations, that call forth faith, love and steadfastness — if He is to be glorified and the good He intends for us is to be experienced.
Ten Things to Ask of God for the Church
- To grow our FAITH abundantly (cf. Ephesians 3:14-21)
- To increase our love for each other (cf. Ephesians 3:14-21; Philippians 1:9-11)
- To grant us steadfastness (faithfulness) in midst of life’s troubles and the opposition of the world around us to our faith (cf. Philippians 1:9-11)
- To be filled with joy and peace in believing in Christ (Romans 15:13)
- To know the hope to which we’ve been called and to abound in that hope by the power of the Holy Spirit enlightening the eyes of our hearts (Romans 15:13; Ephesians 1:18; 1 Peter 1:1-9)
- To grow in a knowledge of God through the influence of God’s Spirit giving us wisdom and revelation (opening the Scriptures to us with godly counsel) (Ephesians 1:17; Colossians 1:9-10)
- To have the eyes of our hearts enlightened to His incomparably great power of the Holy Spirit in and for us who believe (resurrection power!) (Ephesians 1:16,19; 3:20; Colossians 1:11)
- To love God and others, abounding in knowledge and depth of insight that discerns what is best in each situation and what will be considered good and acceptable to God (cf. Romans 12:1-10; Philippians 1:9-11; Ephesians 3:14-21)
- To give joyful thanks for all these riches of God’s grace displayed among us (Ephesians 1:16; Colossians 1:12; 2 Thessalonians 1:3)
- To repent of evil deeds (Revelation 2-3)
And so, we pray that…
- God would be glorified in all things and that the name of Christ is exalted. (2 Thessalonians 1:11-12)
- God’s Spirit and power would fill the church. (Ephesians 3:16-19)
- The church would grow in being distinct from the world in love and holiness, even as it engages outsiders. (2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1)
- The hearts and minds of its leaders are directed towards Christ. (Galatians 6:9)
- The church will have a love for God’s Word and walk in His wisdom, humility, and strength. (2 Chronicles 7:14)
- God’s power and protection will guard against the attacks of the enemy. (Matthew 16:18)
- The body of Christ would faithfully show love to a hurting world in His Name. (1 Corinthians 16:14; John 13:35)
- It would grow in being distinct from the world in love and holiness, even as it engages outsiders. (1 Peter 1:13-23)
- In God’s provision the church would be faithful to give generously. (Philippians 4:19; Acts 20:35)
- God would wake up the church and stir us to action. (Ephesians 6:18)
- The church would be faithful to go into all the world and share the gospel of Christ. (Mark 16:15)
- Members would be prepared for persecution, remembering to love, not curse, their persecutors. (Matthew 5:11-16, 43-48; 2 Thessalonians 1)
- Giving would be faithful, as well as joyful, consistent, and sacrificial. (2 Corinthians 9)
- More members would use their careers to take the gospel to places it’s never been. (Acts 8:3-5; 11:19-20)
- Members would be good and do good in their workplaces this week. (Colossians 3:22-25)
In what specific ways is God answering these prayers?
How can we make them more specific when asked?
- Ask for discernment.
- Personalize the Scriptures that seem appropriate.
- Identify specific attitudes and actions through which God can work.
- Begin personally walking and talking those things God has shown you.
Suggested Response to Teaching
- Read the blog posted for this lesson and complete at least one of any activities listed there.
We have provided further help in making your prayers specific to your church family in the growth activities with this week’s blog. Please choose a category, then work through the questions using the P.R.A.Y. acrostic we introduced in an earlier lesson [Praise / Repentance (Receive) / Ask / Yield (Yes & Amen!)]. And finally, craft your prayers according to how God is leading you.
2. Share your thoughts and experiences.
Please let the David and Julia Ewert know when you have completed an activity, and what you found meaningful in the exercise. When inspired to do so, compose a prayer to share with the school that we can publish online with the blog. It can be in any form you choose (prose, poetry, music, picture, psalm, etc.).
 Matthew 16:18; 18:17; Acts 9:31; 16:5; 20:27-29; 1 Corinthians 12:12-13; 2 Corinthians 11:2; 13:13-14; Ephesians 2:19-22; 5:24–27; Hebrews 12:18-29; 1 Peter 2:4-10; Revelation 19:7-9; 21:1-2