Monday, January 7, 2008

Mark Dever and Col 1:9-12

A while back I went to my church library and asked if they had any books on expository preaching. One of the ladies there said she thought she had one at home, and she'd bring it in. She brought me, The Deliberate Church, by Mark Dever. It wasn't at all what I was looking for, but boy was it a good read.

One of Dever's suggestions was to pray for our churches like Paul prayed for churches. The prayers of Paul for churches, recorded in his epistles, can provide a fertile foundation for our prayers for our churches. So, here goes:

For this reason also, since the day we heard this, we haven't stopped praying for you. We are asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, so that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing [to Him], bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God. May you be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience, with joy giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the saints' inheritance in the light. (Col 1:9-12, CSB)

Father, no one can build a church but you. The church is your church, founded by Jesus, given to Jesus and filled with your people. I am blessed beyond measure to have the chance to join with other believers in a community--a family--where we can unite in our faith, encourage one another, strengthen one another, teach one another.
I pray that you would bless my church and churches around the world; fill us with the knowledge of your will; fill us with all wisdom and spiritual understanding.
Lead us so that we would walk in a way worthy of Jesus; give us a spirit that we could please our Lord.
Bear fruit in us that we might shine the light of Jesus throughout the world. Let your churches, throughout the world, shine in the darkness like the stars shine through the universe. There is no place in the universe where the light of stars does not reach. Let the light of my church, and your churches everywhere, shine across this globe so that no place on earth would be left without a light to show the way to you.
Strengthen your church with your invincible power.
Fill your people with joy so that we might shout to you in fulfillment, rejoicing in you above all.
What a gift you have given us, adopting us as your children, giving us an inheritance that never ends.
I pray, in the name of Jesus, that you be glorified through the praise and fruit of your church, and that your will be done.

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