Family praying in church

One thing I am learning as I get older is just how much I care about and appreciate my church family.  My church is very active in helping those in it wherever it can.  If you are part of a church then I think you will agree that it is so important to pray for those in your church family.  There are many different areas of life that we all go through, some good and some bad, but prayer is always a great thing!  Here are 6 prayers you can pray for your church family!

For Our Pastors

Dear Father In Heaven,

I can’t say enough words to thank You for the men you’ve placed in pastoral roles in my church.  I pray that You would continue to mold them into the children You have called them to be.  Grow their intellect.  Empower them to be bold.  Give them peace in the midst of difficult sermons to preach.  Lead them Father, as they continue to lead the congregation for You!  Lord, You are sovereign over all things and I pray that You will open the hearts of this congregation as our leaders lead us in song and sermon.  Thank You for them, Father!  Amen

Your Close Brothers/Sisters

Dear Lord,

Thank You for leading me to my church family!  I am surrounded by a few extremely close brothers and sisters that I love with my whole heart.  I pray that as we get older and closer that we will never lose sight of what brought us together and that was You, Father.  I pray that You watch over them and keep them safe, Lord.  May we always be accountable to one another and never demean one another but always encourage each other in the times of blessing and of trials.  I thank You for my brothers and sisters, Lord!  I love You!  Amen

Those In Conflict

Oh Lord,

The church has been the same since its beginning.  There have been disputes among believers since the beginning.  Paul opposed Peter in Galatia. (Galatians 2:11-14) Paul reminded the church of Philippi to do nothing out of rivalry (Philippians 2:3).  There is a reason why You are in charge, Father.  We could never keep order in the church without Your presence there.  Father, I pray for those in conflict right now that they would not give the devil a foothold in their lives, but that they would come together in Your Name to resolve any conflicts between them.  I pray that You will be glorified in everything they do.  I pray this in Your Son’s precious Name!  Amen

Those Whom Are Ill

Father In Heaven,

I pray for those who are hurting in my church family today.  Lord, some have minor health problems while others have some very serious ones.  I pray that You will be with them and heal them, Father.  You are the Great Physician and I believe in Your power to heal!  Lord, please give peace to those who are in the midst of serious health issues.  Father, I pray that they turn to You and know that You are right there beside them in their time of crisis.  May Your will be done in their lives this day.  Amen

The Workers Are Few

family praying in church

And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. (Luke 10:2)

Dear Lord,

Our congregation is struggling so much.  The ones who are leading are exhausted because they are being stretched so far.  I pray that You will convict others to rise up and help lead.  We need more worship leaders, teachers, greeters and other positions to be filled.  Lord, so many want to be fed the Word of God but they won’t raise a hand to help carry the flock.  I pray that You will bring about a passion in the hearts of those who are sitting by idly knowing that they could be doing something to grow and nurture the church.  I pray for strength for the ones that are giving so much to keep the church running.  Be with them, Father.  Amen

Expanding And Growing

Father,

We are in an exciting time in our church!  Our family is growing so much and I have seen personally so many things happen for Your glory here!  We are at a crossroad and it looks like an expansion is necessary.  Father, I pray for Your wisdom to overflow into the congregation as we hold our congregational monthly meeting to talk about this.  May we not expand the church for our own pride or accomplishments.  You are the One who has accomplished the growth of this church.  You are moving big time right now and we all need to focus on You and not ourselves.  Give us wisdom as to what to do in this expansion.  May we build exactly what You are leading us to build.  I give You all the praise in this, Lord!  Amen

Conclusion

The church has many functions and it is a job for us all to be in prayer.  Whatever issues your congregation is facing, pray about them.  Pray for your close brothers and sisters.  Pray for those you don’t know well.  Just as we are washed by the Word, we can cover the church congregation with prayers and petitions before God.   May God bless you as you continue to live a life worthy of the calling!

Read Derek Hill’s personal testimony here: From the Muck and Mire to a Higher Calling

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com

If you’re like us, you didn’t grow up with this modeled and don’t know how or even exactly what to do. Spiritual leadership can appear elusive. Maybe it’s easy for the pastor and his family, but what exactly does God want from us, as the leader and co-leader of our home?

Our heartbeat is to put a stake in the ground that says all families are called to this. Then, we want to foster conversation throughout families and churches. We want to see husbands and wives talking together about their own vision and plan to see it shift.

We want to see millions of families reading, singing, praying and telling together. We want churches to be full of powerful families, confident in God’s love and advancing the gospel in their own homes and communities.

Does that resonate with your heart? We hope so. And… We. Need. You.

Really.

We need husbands and wives, moms and dads just like you to own this vision for your home AND a few more. Maybe the Lord wants to use you to spark the passion in others. We think we can do more together to advance the gospel message in and through our homes, than any of us could alone.

So, let’s be friends and companions in the battle for thriving families.

For every family to thrive,

-John and Sarah

prayingfamilies.org

SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas — One minute the Holcombes were a tight-knit family praying in the tiny church on Fourth Street. The next, eight of them were gone.

Bryan and Karla Holcombe, a guest preacher and his wife, were dead.

Their son Marc Daniel Holcombe, gone. Their pregnant daughter-in-law, Crystal Holcombe, gone.

And four of their grandchildren — Noah, Emily, Megan, and Greg — gone.

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According to Wilson County Sheriff Joe Tackitt Jr., as many as half of the victims of the mass shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Spring were children.

And Devin Kelley nearly wiped out the Holcombe family, leaving Joe Holcombe, 86, Bryan’s father, to mourn the loss of the generations he had raised.

“We know where they are now,” he said in an interview, his voice strained by exhaustion. “All of our family members, they’re all Christian. And it won’t be long until we’re with them.”

It is a cruelty of mass shootings that they sometimes inflict double or triple blows on families, killing one brother while injuring another. But even in a nation accustomed to attacks of larger and larger proportions, the scale of the Holcombes’ loss was particularly brutal.

The Holcombes lived in homes near one another on a family farm in the woods around Sutherland Springs. Family life centered on the farm and religion. Bryan Holcombe was a guest preacher at Sutherland Springs on the day he died.

The day before, his daughter-in-law Crystal was at the county 4-H competition surrounded by her children, at least one of whom won an award, said Bob Baker, a Sutherland Springs resident who attended the event.

A few days before that, Noah, 18 months, was bouncing on employees’ desks at her father’s office, digging into Halloween jack-o’-lanterns full of leftover candy.

Her father, Marc Daniel Holcombe, went by Danny, and worked as a mechanic at F&W Electrical in Floresville.

At F&W on Monday, employees were red-eyed and trembling. One of their star employees was dead. Danny had just celebrated his 15-year anniversary with the company. He worked 10- to 12-hour days and was known in the company as “MacGyver” because he could find a fix to nearly any problem.

He took his faith seriously and liked to pull up Bible verses using an app on his phone. When he saw Jennifer Kincaid last week and spotted a fog light out on her car, he insisted he would fix it Monday.

“I think that’s hit everyone hard, to know that not only is he gone,” Kincaid said, “but his daughter is gone as well.”

Danny and his wife had tried for a baby for a long time, Kincaid added, and when she got pregnant, his wife “quit her job and devoted her life to having that baby and being a mom.”

Danny and his father, Bryan, were “clones,” said another colleague, Jay Dunn. They both had red beards and shared a quirky sense of humor. Dunn said that whenever they were patching up a machine and were not sure the fix would last, Danny would joke that “it would hold until the Rapture.”

Bryan was a local business owner who made custom canvas covers for trailers, Dunn said. Danny’s mother, Karla, was involved in the vacation Bible school, and she ran a Bible school clinic for other churches, even lending props to them.

The community hosted a vigil for victims Monday, gathering to remember the Holcombes and others. But Dunn said he had not attended because “their entire family is pretty much gone.”

“There wasn’t anyone left to console,” he said.

Another victim of the shooting was Annabelle Pomeroy, the 14-year-old daughter of the church’s pastor, Frank Pomeroy. Both he and his wife were out of town, in different states, on Sunday.

‘‘Heaven truly gained a real beautiful angel this morning along with many more,’’ the girl’s uncle, Scott Pomeroy, lamented on his Facebook page, posting a picture of the smiling girl poolside in a bathing suit.

All those robbed of life in Sunday’s blood bath, he wrote, ‘‘have taken their last breath of dirty air and took their first breath of heavenly air with new bodies with no pain and suffering.’’

www.bostonglobe.com

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