Prayer is the lifeline of any healthy church. Prayer is how we commune with God and experience his presence. Prayer humbles us as we realize that there is nothing in us that would make us worthy of a relationship with a holy God. And yet prayer fills us with great confidence when we realize that though we deserve nothing, in Jesus, God has given us everything. His love toward us is unconditional and inexhaustible.
As a church, one of our core convictions is that we should be devoted to prayer (Colossians 4:2). That is why we have put out a corporate prayer guide over the last few years. We want to be a church that prays individually and corporately. We want to help one another grow in prayer. Because let’s face it, as amazing a gift as prayer is—we all struggle to pray.
Our first corporate prayer is: that the gospel would be central to all we say and do. This is taken directly from Paul’s letter to the Philippians: “Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel” (Philippians 1:27).
It might sound like a given that everything we say and do would be rooted in the gospel. But, actually, it takes great diligence and intention to keep the gospel at the center of everything. Just ask Peter. You would think that the gospel would shape everything about his life, especially after he encountered the risen Jesus. But, he gets tripped up and would not fellowship with Gentiles whenever he was around a certain group of Jews (Judaizers). He was being hypocritical. And Paul had to confront Peter on this saying he was “not acting in line with the truth of the gospel” (Galatians 2:14).
What we learn is that it is so easy to drift away from the gospel being the center of how we live and speak. Even for those of us (like Peter) who have been trusting in the gospel of Jesus for many years!
That is why all need to pray that the gospel would be central to all we say and do. That every ministry at Grace would think deeply about how the life, death, and resurrection impacts what they do. That every person at Grace would remember and apply the gospel to their hearts daily.
This is a high bar. Can you see why we desperately need to run to God in prayer for this to happen? You and I both know this does not happen on its own. We need divine help.
Here is just a sample of some questions we should ask ourselves:
- Was the gospel clearly articulated in the Sunday sermon and songs?
- Do you hear the gospel when people are praying in your small group?
- Does the gospel shape how we make organizational decisions?
- How is the gospel made clear in the ministry I serve in?
- Have you thought about the gospel today and how it impacts your daily activities?
- When you think about the gospel, does it fill you with awe?
- Are the words you speak reflective of how deeply the gospel has changed you?
- Are you seeking to share the gospel with those around you who don’t know Christ?
Lord Jesus, we are desperate for the gospel to be the foundation of our lives personally and corporately. By your grace, help us to be unified in our commitment to live worthy of the gospel.