Normally, September is an incredibly busy time for our church. It’s the start of the new school year and lots of our ministries resume after the summer break. We welcome many new people to our church, and we talk a lot about what being involved in Christian community looks like.
This year is different. COVID and the social distancing restrictions means everything is online. We hope to resume in-person ministries soon – the EDB announcement on Monday was encouraging – but we don’t know yet when that resumption will happen. Despite these difficulties, there is one vital thing that you can do. Please pray for your church.
The Apostle Paul’s prayer for the Colossians is instructive in how we can pray for St Andrew’s.
First, Paul thanks God for the Colossians’ faith in Jesus Christ; a faith based on the gospel’s message of hope (1:3-5). Likewise, we have much to give thanks to God for the many people coming to saving faith in Jesus every year at St Andrew’s. We give thanks that our online ministries are able to reach new people. There is no greater task than to proclaim the excellencies of Jesus, and no greater joy than to see people entering into his kingdom.
Second, Paul prays that the Colossians will have a deepening knowledge of God’s will (1:9). We’re used to wanting to know more about all sorts of things (the best restaurants, the latest sales, new skills or information at work). For followers of Jesus, the most important thing we need to know is how to please him. To what extent is this your prayer for yourself and others, ‘God, help me to know Jesus more deeply and to love him more dearly’?
Third, Paul prays that with this knowledge of Jesus, they would live a life worthy of him bearing much fruit (1:10). Think about your priorities or what you think a successful life looks like. Paul doesn’t mention anything about having a functional family, or an impressive career, or remarkable achievements, even though they’re all good things. He prays that Christians live fruitful lives honouring Jesus. That’s what we’ve been created and redeemed for. Our community exists for this purpose. So we pray that we would be conformed to this goal.
If you’ve read this far, maybe you’re willing to do something more. Pray for St Andrew’s. Pray Paul’s priorities for our community. Pray regularly, every week, even every day. It’s the best thing you can do for our community.