Thank you to those who have filled out the cards so that I can pray for you. I will pray for you regularly. If you haven’t done so already, fill one out so that I can pray for your particular joys and needs.
Prayer is something that can easily be taken for granted and slip off our radar. I have been thinking for a while about how prayer must be a key ministry in itself and not just something we do in and around ministry.
Last year I read a great book by David Helm called Expositional Preaching. It is one in a series on the nine marks of a healthy church outlined by Baptist pastor Mark Dever. What stood out to me as I read the preface was that although his list of marks are of great importance – the gospel, biblical theology, conversion, evangelism, discipleship etc. – prayer surely is a mark of a healthy church, and may even be as important as those 9 put together.
In Acts 6 it is the ministry of the word and prayer to which the apostles were to give their attention to. Prayer is the necessary complement of all ministry. For all of our gifts and effort, we are completely dependent on God’s action. It is his power which works in people to change them.
So, in Colossians 4:2-4 Paul tells the church to:
‘Devote yourselves to prayer… And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ… Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should.’
Paul considers prayer a must, if the message of Christ is to be spoken, heard and for it to take root in people’s lives.
So, what does this mean? Prayer must always be at the forefront of what we do. We must devote ourselves to praying for one another, praying for the gospel to be spoken and heard, and praying for people to put their faith in Jesus Christ. May it be ever the case that Oak Flats Anglican is a prayerful church.
– Sam Pursell