“So Christ Himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” Ephesians 4:11-13 NIV
The National Day of Prayer Task Force is known for our one special and specific day of bringing our country together on the first Thursday of May to pray for the nation. In addition to the tens-of-thousands of gathering on the National Day of Prayer, we teach and mobilize prayer EVERY day of the year in view of our yearlong theme that usually runs from September to September. As we journey through our 2022 theme, “Exalt the Lord Who Has Established Us” we will continue to focus on praise-filled prayers and practices that exalt Him and exhibit our faith and love. Praise lifts us to focus on God and see people, places, and concerns from heaven’s view and cast them into God’s caring and sovereign hands. Nothing ever changed because we complained about it, but everything can change when we pray about it.
We pray for all seven centers of influence and more throughout the year and we spotlight one each month with great focus and a calling to research the prayer requests and needs of that area in our lives and city. This process engages us to be more strategic intercessors as well as mobilize prayer, compassion, and discipleship ministry into these areas with diligence and devotion throughout that month and beyond.
How were your prayers and activities elevated for students, educators, and campuses in August? As God established these opportunities, how have these prayers and practices built up and increased, and what are the glory stories and overflowing gratitude you have experienced? Who have you and your family been praying for by name? Have you established a family prayer time each day to pray for one of the seven centers of influence? How have your children or other family members reacted and reported as they have been praying for teachers, principals, classmates, school board members and more? Did you accept our challenge to pray every time you see a school bus and drive through a school zone? It’s not too late to join us in this prayer practice.
In September we focused on the area of Business/Workplace as we committed to pray for the leadership, co-workers, our own workplace, as well as business owners and the businesses in our cities. In conversations at church, with neighbors, and others ask where they work and how you can pray for them. As you see people in work vehicles pause to pray for them and the workplace on their car, truck, or van. Follow up when you are able and persevere in prayer while you watch and listen for God’s answers.
As we turn our calendars to October, we celebrate Pastors with appreciation and focus on them and the Church in prayer. As the Church, we are not merely consumers but contributors and participants with our Pastors. They preach, counsel, lead and love as they shepherd their congregation in the Word of God to help equip us. We take their teachings out of the church and into all we do to multiply and exemplify the messages throughout our week and lives. Our Pastors pray for us, disciple, and minister to us, but they are our brothers and sisters in Christ; we should pray and minister to them as well. Every minister at your church should have an intercessory team that is committed to pray each week for the minister and the activities, and people they are responsible for. We want to encourage you to share with your Pastor how they have discipled and ministered to you and show them appreciation in daily prayer and as the Lord directs you. You might even consider recruiting 52 volunteers to sign up for a particular week to pray and show appreciation to cover every week of the year.
Pray through the ministers and their families as well as each of the ministries at your church. If you do not already know, ask for the names of the missions and missionaries your church supports. Ask for a calendar of events to pray through your bulletin, website or app each week. You can even volunteer to pray for those who are sick, have visited your church or have submitted their names for prayer. Take time to express appreciation for Pastor in prayer and to them directly.
Will you please join me in prayer now?
Jesus, You are the Good Shepherd, the head of the Church, our Savior and Lord. Thank you for our Pastors; for calling and equipping them to lead Your Church, disciple us, and teach us to live out Your commands and compassion. Thank You for this focused time to share and show our appreciation and we ask that You help us to know a specific way to express our gratefulness and respect. Give us insight or information about a certain need or gift that would delight their heart and prompt me to pray for them daily throughout the year.
Serving Him with gladness,