On Sunday evening, September 13, First Central Baptist Church in Chicopee, MA, held a Concert of Prayer as we entered our fall season of ministry. We used the following Scripture to guide us through the evening. It is based on a template introduced to me many years ago by my good friend and coworker, Tim Jack. Please click on the link to download a copy as a pdf file.
A Concert of Prayer
September 13, 2015
Never stop praying. (1 Thessalonians 5:17, NLT)
Adoration & Thanksgiving
1 I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart; before the gods I sing your praise; 2 I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word. 3 On the day I called, you answered me; my strength of soul you increased. 4 All the kings of the earth shall give you thanks, O Lord, for they have heard the words of your mouth, 5 and they shall sing of the ways of the Lord, for great is the glory of the Lord. 6 For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly, but the haughty he knows from afar. 7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and your right hand delivers me. 8 The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.
- Personal praise (1-3) leads to corporate worship (4-6). Worship leads to increased faith in God (7-8).
- We have freedom in worship—thanks, praise, sing, bow down
- We praise God’s name (character). We give thanks for his love, faithfulness, answered prayer, strength, deliverance
Confess personal sin – Psalm 51:4
Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment.
Confess national sin – Ezra 9:6
“O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift my face to you, my God, for our iniquities have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has mounted up to the heavens.
Confess corporate sin – Nehemiah 1:7
We have acted very corruptly against you and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, and the rules that you commanded your servant Moses.
Spiritual insight and power – Ephesians 3:14-21
14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
- Pray for greater vision, faith and confidence in God
Government leaders – 1 Timothy 2:1-4
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
- Pray for our city, state, and national leaders
- Pray for the upcoming elections
Knowledge of God’s direction – Colossians 1:9
And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,
- Pray that God will guide our elders as they lead our church
- Pray for the finance board as they plan the 2016 budget
- Pray that God grants us wisdom to evaluate our ministries
- Pray that we would discern where God is at work and what he wants us to do for his kingdom
Provide financially – Philippians 4:19
And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
- Pray that God will make up our deficit and we will end the year in the black
- Pray that God will grant us a spirit of generosity and we will know the joy of giving
Passion for the lost – Romans 10:1
Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved.
- Pray that we become more outward focused
- Pray for the ministries that reach into our community—Tutoring, Awana, Trunk ‘R Treat, Celebrate Recovery
- Pray for unbelievers by name
- Pray that God will add new believers to our church
- Pray that many will be baptized on November 1
Preachers, evangelists – Ephesians 6:19
and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel,
- Pray for our missionaries
- Pray for the leaders of our ministries
- Pray for open doors and increased boldness
Every attender engaged – Ephesians 4:15-16
15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
- Pray for the membership class on October 4
- Pray that all find a place to serve
Willing to change & adapt – 1 Corinthians 9:19-23
19 For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. 20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. 21 To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. 23 I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.
- Pray that we would be less rigid; more flexible
- Willing to do whatever it takes to become fruitful and effective
Multiply our effectiveness – John 15:8
By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.
- Pray that we will be fruitful & effective, not just busy
- Pray that we see growth in depth—children, youth, adults
- Pray that we see growth in numbers
Revival & renewal
- Pray that God will breathe new life into our church