Our church has begun a 28 day prayer initiative. Our pastor has called us to set aside 30 minutes a day and pray for our church, city and community. This will continue into our annual week of prayer and fasting.
A group of us were praying last night for our city and I felt the Holy Spirit speak a verse to me:
Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you. – Luke 6:37-38
Many times we can be so focused on our own needs or our own church’s needs that we forget the there is one church — it’s the corporate body of Christ. Other churches in our city (as well as nation and world) are our brothers, sisters and fellow workers and Jesus talked about how we should treat one another:
If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. – John 13:14-15
The Lord calls us to evangelize and disciple the lost, but He calls us to serve one another by washing each other’s feet. This is done multiple ways, but there is one way the trumps them all…
When we pray for one another, or for another church besides our own, we are washing their feet in the place of prayer. We are asking the Lord to refresh them, strengthen them and renew them. We are spiritually brushing off the dust and confusion off of their lives and asking them Lord to encounter them in a fresh way. Jesus cares very much that His church be united in love. He hates division and the segregation of churches. He desires all church’s to be their brother’s keeper.
The Lord gave us a challenge about this last night. He said:
If you will give yourself to praying for other churches and people during this time, those prayers and answers will return to you hundredfold. Whatever you give in prayer for my corporate body, you will receive back many times greater.
During these 28 days, I plan on reading my Bible, worshiping God and praying for our church and city more than I do on a daily basis, but I am also choosing to also take time to pray for other churches in my city. Why? Cause I know the most effective thing I can do for my life and my church’s life is to serve, pray and pour into others — those people and churches that are on God’s heart. I know that if I look past my needs and pray for others more than for myself, God will send the blessings, help and grace that I need.
I am remembering that every prayer for other life is a prayer for my own, every other pastor is a prayer for mine, every other church is a prayer for mine. It gets measured back to us — in even a greater measure.