Today as a church family in International Baptist Church of Stuttgart, during our emphasis on prayer, we are praying for our adult ministries. Specific requests are for Pastor Kevin and Petra Opett, Adult Bible teachers, small group leaders, Women’s Ministry, Men’s Ministry.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without me.” John 15:5
When we emphasize prayer we are stressing our dependence on God and recognizing Him as the Lord of the universe. As the branch depends on the vine, so we depend on Christ. He is Lord and Sovereign over all that exists, both the physical world and the spiritual world, so we can take all our requests to Him regardless of their nature. But in Church especially we must recognize our dependence on Him. Everything we do in church should be undergirded by prayer. Nothing that we do in church should be left out of prayer. All church work is spiritual work because the sole purpose of the church is to do the will of God.
Nothing in life and nothing in church matters so much as our personal relationship with God through Christ. Prayer is the celebration of that relationship. There is where the joy of the Lord is experienced, where His strength is discovered, and His love is embraced. O. Hallesby wrote these words indented below in his book Prayer.
This work [of prayer] is the most important of all, because it is prerequisite to all the rest of the work we have to do in the kingdom of God: preaching, pastoral work meetings, societies, administrative groups, organization, and solicitation of funds. If the labor of prayer does not precede as well as accompany all our work in the kingdom, it will become nothing but a work of man, more or less capably done with more or less effort and agitation as the case may be, but resulting in nothing but weariness both to ourselves and to others.
The work of praying is prerequisite to all other work in the kingdom of God, for the simple reason that it is by prayer that we couple the power of heaven to our helplessness, the power which can turn water into wind and remove mountains in our own life and in the lives of others, the power which can awaken those who sleep in sin and raise up the dead, the powers which can capture strongholds and make the impossible possible.
There are no doubt many believers who have not given much attention to prayer as work, Prayer is looked upon mainly as a means of sustaining our life in God from day to day in the midst of an atmosphere which is so worldly that it almost chokes to death our weak, frail, spiritual life, and we pray accordingly. We move in a narrow circle about ourselves and those nearest to us, Now and then we widen the circle a little bit, especially when we gather with the peo9ple of God, and the mighty tasks of the kingdom of God at home and abroad are placed before us. But when we get back home into our daily routine our prayer-circle narrows down again.
Only the Spirit of prayer can teach us to labor in prayer, to employ prayer as a means of doing spiritual work. Every time we see how selfish and slothful we are in prayer we should cry in our helplessness to Him who giveth gladly and upbraideth not. He can create, that is, bring into being that which is not. God be praised!
Lord, we recognize that we can do nothing without You. We bring the people and the program of our adult discipleship to You asking for Your power and Your presence to fill this ministry. We pray for Kevin and his wife Petra, for their spiritual blessings and protection. We lift up all of our adult Bible teachers in the church, and the program leadership. We pray for effectiveness, clarity of message and vision, and that the transforming presence of Your love would fill each meeting. We pray that people’s lives would be transformed through Your truth and by Your Spirit. Take our service and multiply it several times over in effectiveness and impact in this world. Amen.