“Scripture Prayer” Guide for a Praying Church

By Alvin VanderGriend

Why this prayer guide?

This prayer guide is intended for any church that wants to become fully devoted to prayer. The Church that Jesus planted in Jerusalem was “devoted to prayer” (Acts 1:14, 2:42, and 6:4). That is what He intends for every church today.

To become a praying church you have to start with prayer. You can’t just initiate a prayer program. If you start with a program, you will end up with a program. But if you consistently ask God to make your church a praying church, and you step out in obedience, He will lead you to be a church truly devoted to prayer.

Why Scripture prayer?

God’s promises, commands and self-revelations are imbedded in the Scriptures. They are infallible and reliable. When our prayers are shaped by His Word, we are building on solid ground. We are responding to who God is and what He is doing. We are claiming His promises. We are obeying His commands.  There is no better way to pray.

How to use the prayer guide.

Use the following Bible verses on prayer, together with the suggested responses, to help you pray God’s heart for your church.
  • Pray through one of the seven sections each day, or pray through them all at once at some time each week (about 30 minutes).
  • Ponder each Scripture passage. Listen to what the Spirit has to say.  Let the meaning of the verse sink in.
  • Talk to God with thoughts and words that are shaped by what you have heard Him say to you. You will find reason to praise God for who He is, thank Him for what He does, confess wrongs or shortcoming, ask Him to act, and commit to action.

1. Lord, Make Us a Church Devoted to Prayer

God’s Challenge . . .

“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” –Col. 4:2
“These . . . were continually devoting themselves to prayer.” –Acts 1:14
“They were continually devoting themselves to . . . prayer.” –Acts 2:42
“We will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” –Acts 6:4 (Quotes from NASV)

Our Response . . .

  • Ask God to make your church and its leaders as devoted to prayer as were the New Testament Christians. [Devoted means: “diligently occupied with.”]
  • Confess for yourself or your church any lack of devotion to prayer that you are aware of.  

2. Lord, Make Us a Church that Prays for All Its Members on All Occasions

God’s Challenge . . .

“Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayer and requests. With this in mind (the struggle against spiritual forces of evil) be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”
–Eph. 6:18

Our Response . . .

  • Ask God to help your people pray spontaneously, whenever a need arises, and to cover all of life in prayer.
  • Ask God to make you so alert to the forces of evil that you will “always keep on praying” for all members, especially children and youth who are the most vulnerable.
  • If you or your church is failing to pray all kinds of prayers on all occasions for all the saints, confess that to the Lord and ask His forgiveness.

3. Lord, Make Us a Church that Asks, Seeks and Knocks

God’s Challenge . . .

“Ask and it will be given you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”
–Matt. 7:7-8

Our Response . . .

  • Thank Jesus for his readiness and ability to give, and to guide, and to open doors in response to our prayers.
  • Ask God to help you and your church pray as Jesus urged—continually asking, seeking and knocking so that you may receive all of the riches that he has for you in Christ Jesus.

4. Lord, Make Us a Church that Does Great Things for God by Prayer

God’s Challenge . . .

“I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” –John 14:12-14.

Our Response . . .

  • Pray for the wisdom to know what “greater things” Jesus wants you and your church to do for him.
  • Pray for the power to do the “great things” Jesus had in mind—things that will “bring glory to the Father.”
  • Commit yourself to prayers that reach beyond personal needs and focus on Christ’s momentous kingdom concerns.  

5. Lord, Make Us a Church that Transforms Its Community by Prayer

God’s Challenge . . .

“Seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” –Jer. 29:7
“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” –1 Tim. 2:1-2

Our Response . . .

  • Praise God who governs the world by His Son—the King of kings—and is able to grant peace and prosperity in response to our prayers.
  • Pray that your church will pray so faithfully and powerfully for your city/community that it will prosper materially and spiritually.  
  • Ask God to give you practical, down-to-earth ways to bring peace and prosperity to your city/community.

6. Lord, Make Us a Church that Prays Faithfully for Its Leaders

God’s Challenge . . .

“I urge you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me.” –Rom. 15:30
“On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.” –2 Cor. 1:10-11

Our Response . . .

  • Pray for your pastor and staff and all who are contributing their time and talents to the ministries of the church.
  • Thank God that our prayers can be a means by which those who struggle are delivered them from evil.

7. Lord, Make Us a Church That Prays for the Unsaved

God’s Challenge . . .

“Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved.” –Rom. 10:1
“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people. . . . This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” –1 Tim. 2:1, 3, 4

Our Response . . .

  • Thank God for those who prayed for you to come to Christ.
  • Pray that the “heart’s desire” of your church would be to pray for the unsaved as Jesus and Paul did (Jn. 17:20, Rom. 10:1).
  • Commit yourself and your church to pray for persons yet-to-be-saved, knowing that “this pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved.”
  • Ask God to give your church some practical ways to facilitate “outreach” prayer. 

 © 2011 Harvest Prayer Ministries. This guide can be photocopied or reposted as long as this copyright statement and web address is included: www.harvestprayer.com.

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