Sep 30, 2020

Prayer: An Overlooked Way to Serve

Photo by Jeremy Yap

What can I do? How can I help? These questions, or ones like them, are like a breath of fresh air to someone coordinating an outreach event or ministry in a church. Believe me, I’ve been there:

  • A vision moves from fuzzy to focused
  • Key leadership join in with their affirmation and support
  • A theme is chosen and date is set

And then the work begins of delegating responsibilities: who will take care of that job? Who will cover for this part? Who can spearhead that area? It’s at this stage of planning and preparing almost every leader would rejoice at someone’s offer to help.

In Woolsey Baptist Church, there are two major events approaching us in the month of October. The World Focus Week will be October 7-11 and Sunday Night Live (a COVID-modified Fall Festival) will be Sunday, October 25.

May I invite you to help in a way that every member of our church can help? Will you consider serving in one particular role I am confident you can fulfill? Before you say, “Not me” and stop reading, think about the power of intercessory prayer for these events! Will you plan to pray for these events?

As I made early plans for Sunday Night Live, I sent an email to several dozen people asking them whether or not they would be interested in serving—you know, the basic things, like, who can help with food and who can help with greeting. One individual’s reply to my email was particularly impactful to me. She wrote, “Unfortunately, that is the one Sunday we are out of town in October. I regret we are unable to volunteer. Sounds like a wonderful alternative to a great outreach event. We will be supporting all these efforts in our prayers.” Although it may seem like a disappointment at first, the reality is that reply is the best one could receive!

Do you realize the greatest way anyone can support and serve at an event at church is through prayer? James, the New Testament book of the Bible we are studying each Sunday in our worship services this fall, makes an astonishing statement about the efficacy of prayer. He writes, “The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working” (5:16). One of the greatest theologians and pastors in the history of America is Jonathan Edwards. In an essay entitled, A Call to United, Extraordinary Prayer: An Humble Attempt, Edwards taught, “So is God’s will, through his wonderful grace, that the prayers of his saints should be one great and principal means of carrying on the designs of Christ’s kingdom in the world. When God has something very great to accomplish for his church, it is his will that there should precede it the extraordinary prayers of his people.”

People are certainly needed to execute events and ministries in a church. Someone has to grill the hotdogs, line up guest missionaries, serve in the nursery, drive the bus, and the list goes on. But let us not get ahead of God and his work. Will you pause before you close your laptop lid or sit down your phone from reading this article and pray for these upcoming events?  

Pray for God’s hand to bless our World Focus Week, October 7-11

  • Ask that members of WBC will encourage those missionaries who join us.
  • Pray that God, his Word, and conversations/messages will convict members about increasing their involvement in missions.
  • Pray for our Father to use this week to lead members to more actively pray, give, and go on mission.
  • Ask the Lord to open our eyes to the variety of ways God is working in our world.

Pray for wisdom as we plan and prepare for a modified Fall Festival called “Sunday Night Live” on Sunday evening, October 25

  • Pray for the Lord to bring the people he wants to be here on Oct 25 at 5:30 p.m.
  • Ask our heavenly Father to use the bluegrass concert and illusionist show to soften people’s hearts to the gospel.
  • Beg God to call people to himself when people hear the gospel.
  • Pray for safe and good fellowship for families who attend the show and/or the movie.
  • Pray for safety and good weather.

If you are interested in joining Woolsey Baptist Church’s intercessory prayer team, please contact Sheila Wright at [email protected]. She would be happy to talk with you about structured ways you can serve through prayer.

Praying with you,

Steven