Leaning Into Sunday: The Congregation

puritan worship new haven As you look ahead to Sunday worship gathering do you pray for the congregation? Some remember to pray for the pastor or preacher and the preaching of Scripture, but I wonder how many of us remember to pray for those intended to receive the word. Paul prayed for the churches, not just the leadership. In Eph. 3 he prayed that the body would be...

...strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:16-19 ESV)

Pray that God's people would not just hear the word, but receive it with gladness. Ask the Holy Spirit to do what only he can do: bring about true conviction leading to repentance wherever necessary, and a deepening faith in Christ. Pray that all would be so sure of God's love for them in Jesus that they would be drawn closer to the Savior and conformed into his image. Pray that the people would be so changed and challenged by the word that they are compelled to talk of it over lunch, share the message with others during the week, and treasure it in the hearts.