Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Prayer Ministry of the Church

The Bible teaches that spiritual ministry can only be accomplished through the power of God. (Psalms 127:1,2) God's power is released into ministry situations through prayer, as the following passages demonstrate. Not only did the apostles feel the need to have their own ministries supported by prayer, they sought to accomplish ministry in others through prayer.

  • Eph. 6:18,19 "With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel."
  • 2 Thess. 3:1 "Finally, brethren, pray for us that the word of the Lord may spread rapidly and be glorified, just as {it did} also with you"
  • Heb. 13:18 "Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a good conscience, desiring to conduct ourselves honorably in all things."
  • Col. 1:9 "For this reason also, since the day we heard {of it}, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding."

hristian workers must clearly understand the role God plays in evangelism, discipleship and other aspects of ministry. Unless we consciously operate out of a God-centered model of ministry, we will automatically default to a human-centered model, and all the defeat that comes with it.

A moment's reflection tells us that what we propose to accomplish in Christian ministry is supernatural. To reach people's hearts with conviction of their need for Christ, to train them up in the faith, to impart the deep things of God in a life-changing way, to oppose and defeat powerful evil spirits—these are acts that no human can hope to accomplish, no matter how intelligent and competent that person may be. The key to ministry success is always the same: That God moves through us "leading us in his triumph." (2 Cor. 2:14) Spiritual failure in ministry is predictable when leaders try to supplant the power of God with human charisma, ingenuity, marketing skill, force of will, or social manipulation, even when these are supplied from the best intentions.

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