Saturday, February 20, 2016

Praying Over the Places Churches Gather

I've recently re-adopted the habit of praying over every room in our church building and over every seat, the pulpit, altar, baptismal font, soundboard, musical instruments, and music stands on Saturdays (this week on Friday) in our sanctuary, all in anticipation of worship on Sunday.

I ask that God's Holy Spirit to rule over our church and that everything that happens in the building will glorify God and empower all who worship or participate in other church activities to share the Good News of Jesus with our world, to help us grow as Christ's disciples.

As I touch every single chair in the sanctuary, I ask God to inspire, challenge, comfort, give hope, and otherwise provide for the needs--spiritual, physical, relational, and otherwise--of the people who occupy those places.

I ask that God will ensure that the reading of Scripture, the prayers, the music, the preaching, and even the announcements, though not perfect because we human beings aren't perfect, will be tools in God's hands, to accomplish in those who worship what God wants to accomplish.

Above all, I pray that we will truly honor, glorify, praise, surrender to, and worship God.

It takes about a half-hour or longer to do this and I love doing it.

I knew that I had inspired by something read years ago, but had forgotten just where.

Then Leadership Journal, which is re-publishing some of its "greatest hits" online, posted this article by Pastor Jack Hayford the other day. This is the article that inspired me.

I invite you to regularly pray over the facilities where your church gathers, whether you're a pastor or a layperson. Invite God to be sovereign. Invite the Holy Spirit to kick Satan and the demons who want to discourage and destroy churches out of your fellowship. Ask God to empower you to be hospitable hosts as you welcome unbelieving people and spiritual seekers into the building God has given to you. If nothing else, when you do this, you will be more prepared to worship!

Check out the other suggestions made by Hayford in this classic piece.

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