Frankly, I think the North American church is weak. I love the church, and I know there are strong, faithful, Great Commission-oriented churches on our continent – but I think we generally lack the power of God on what we do. One reason for our lack of power is our lack of prayer. Here are some practical ways to counter this problem by praying for your community:
- Pray for schools as you drive by them. Intercede for Christian administrators, teachers, and students. Ask God to use them as light in the public school system.
- Pray every time you hear a siren. That sound is most often a signal that somebody has a problem – and somebody else is putting his or her life on the line to help them.
- Buy a local newspaper every week, and pray for community needs. That means, of course, that folks still read local papers. Even if you do so online, you can still pray for the obvious needs as you read.
- Pray for pastors as you drive by Christian local churches. Pray they will walk with God, preach His Word, and make disciples who make more disciples.
- Pray for people who attend other places of worship in the community. As you drive, watch for places where people who follow other world faiths worship. Ask God to open their eyes to the truth of the gospel and to give them courage to step out for Christ.
- Pray for people you regularly see. That would include that gas station clerk, your bank teller, and anyone else whose path you cross with regularity. See every one of them as people who cannot be saved apart from a personal relationship with Jesus.
- Pray for your healthcare providers. After all, they’re somewhat responsible for your physical well-being, and they often deal with life-and-death issues. Yet, we too seldom pray for these folks.
- Pray for the families who live around you. I may be wrong, but I suspect most believers pray very little for their neighbors—if they even know them. If you’re going to pray for them, getting to know them helps a lot.
- Pray for government officials. Find email addresses of your local officials, email them, and ask them how you might pray for them. You might be surprised, one way or the other . . . .
- Pray for children you encounter. Whisper a prayer for every child you see. Even in our country, you might be the only person who prays for that child today. Or ever.
What other ideas might you add to this list?