A Scripture-based Guide to Release God’s Purpose
By Sandra Higley
One of the most profound roles an intercessor can play is to focus prayer on his or her local church. Many churches primarily cover the “fix-it” needs of their congregation (health, personal needs, etc.), but often neglect praying for spiritual fruit and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit in their midst.
Whether you feel called or just nudged to pray for your church, here are some Scripture-based, Kingdom-focused prayers that Can be a starting point for you in this important role:
1. Pastors: Lord, I lift up our pastor/pastors to You. Thank You for their servant hearts. Keep our pastors from losing heart when ministry gets tough. Help them prove faithful with the things You have entrusted to them. Teach them Your ways so that they know You and find favor with You as they lead us. Keep them open and honest before You and help them to represent the truth plainly (2 Cor. 4:1; 1 Cor. 4:1–3; Ex. 33:13).
2. Elders: Lord, I lift up our elders [church board] to You. Help us respect and honor them as they direct the affairs of our church. May they wholeheartedly give their attention to prayer and the ministry of the Word. Keep them above reproach, devoted to their families, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, and able to teach. May they be gentle and honest as they deal with people (1 Tim. 5:17; Acts 6:4; 1 Tim. 3:1–2; Titus 1:6–9).
3. Adults: Lord, I lift up the adults in our congregation to You. May we live worthy of Your call on our lives. As we respond to that call, fulfill every purpose and faith-filled act of service by Your power. May we be clothed in righteousness with hearts that sing for joy and delight greatly in You (Eph. 4:1; 2 Thess. 1:11; Ps. 132:9; Isa. 61:10).
4. Children/youth: Lord, I lift up the children and youth in my congregation to You. May they remain humble examples of what we adults need to become in the Kingdom. Let their conduct always be pure and right with reputations that show that they remember You, Creator God. Teach them to declare Your marvelous deeds. May they flee evil desires and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace (Matt. 18:3–4; Prov. 20:11; Eccl. 12:1; Ps. 71:17; 2 Tim. 2:22).
5. Lost among us: Lord, I lift up the lost members of our congregation. Let the gospel be presented to them not only through the sermons but also with power and deep conviction of the Holy Spirit. Teach us to make the most of every opportunity to share Your salvation. Help us to be the fragrance of Christ to them. We stand against the enemy and his attempts to keep them blinded to Your truth (1 Thess. 1:5; Col. 4:5; 2 Cor. 2:15; 2 Cor. 4:4).
6. Worship leaders: Lord, I lift up our worship leaders. Appoint people to these positions who understand the splendor of Your holiness and praise You with that understanding. Help them lead us faithfully in thanks for Your enduring love. Use their praise to defeat the enemy. May they be the true worshipers You are looking for—those who worship in spirit and in truth. Let them glory only in You, Jesus, so that they put no confidence in their own flesh (2 Chron. 20:21–22; John 4:23–24; Phil. 3:3).
7. Teachers: Lord, I lift up the teachers in our church. May everyone who holds that position—pastors, Sunday school teachers, small group leaders, youth leaders, guest speakers—rightly divide Your Word of truth. Let them admonish and teach with wisdom. Reveal the mysteries of Your Word to them and encourage them to speak those mysteries courageously and fearlessly. Let them speak with a spirit of faith that springs from their relationship with You (2 Tim. 2:15; Col. 1:28; Dan. 2:47; Phil. 1:14; 2 Cor. 4:13).
8. Behind-the-scenes workers: Lord, I lift up the people who work behind the scenes at our church. Thank You for our nursery workers, parking lot attendants, office staff, building janitors, and others who have devoted themselves to the service of the saints. Bless them for the obedience and generosity they have displayed. May You receive praise as a result! Keep them in an attitude of humility that comes from wisdom and wholehearted service to You, rather than a desire to be noticed by others (1 Cor. 16:15; 2 Cor. 9:12–13; James 3:13; Eph. 6:7).
9. Prayer focus: Lord, I lift up the prayer focus in our church. Make us into a house of prayer. We desire to be clear-minded and self-controlled so that we can pray first—always, continually, and thankfully. May everyone recognize that this is Your desire for all and not just a few. Use us to stand in the gap for others. Let there be prayer ministry among us that is powerful and effective (Mark 11:17; 1 Peter 4:7; Eph. 6:18; 1 Thess. 5:17; Ezek. 22:30; James 5:16).
10. Spiritual Level: Lord, I lift up the spiritual temperature of our church. Revive us! Refine us so that we burn hot for You. Give us singleness of heart and action so that we always fear You and follow Your precepts. Put within us the spirit of Josiah to turn to You with all our heart, soul, and strength. Open our minds to understand Your Word so that our hearts burn within us (Ps. 85:6; Rev. 3:14–18; Jer. 32:39; Ps. 111:10; 2 Kings 23:25; Luke 24:32, 45).
11. Spirit-led: Lord, I lift up the issue of our willingness to be led by Your Spirit. Holy Spirit, show us any way we are grieving, quenching, or resisting You. Convict us and lead us. Help us keep in step with You as we live by You. Reign in us so that we experience Your freedom. Lead us into grace, life, and peace (Eph. 4:30; 1 Thess. 5:19; Acts 7:51; Ps. 143:10; Gal. 5:25; 2 Cor. 3:17; Gal. 5:18; Rom. 8:6).
12. Spiritual gifts: Lord, I lift up the use of spiritual gifts in our church. We eagerly desire spiritual gifts that You’ve given for our common good. Help us understand the various gifts and how they work. Teach us to use what we’ve received to serve others and faithfully administer Your grace—whatever form that takes. Help us exercise our gifts in love. Remind us to keep fanning into flame the gifts You’ve entrusted to us (1 Cor. 14:1, 12:4–7; 1 Peter 4:10; 2 Tim. 1:6).
13. Love/unity: Lord, I lift up our love for one another as a church. Help us purify ourselves by obeying the truth so that our love for each other will be sincere, deep, and from the heart. May our love for one another prove that we are Your disciples. Give us a spirit of unity so that we may glorify You with one heart and voice. Help us accept one another as we clothe ourselves in love (1 Peter 1:22; John 13:34–35; Rom. 15:5–7; Col. 3:14).
14. Finances: Lord, I lift up our church finances. May we sow generously into our church without reluctance or compulsion. May all grace abound so we have all we need for every good work You’ve assigned us. Make us rich in ways that result in generosity on our part so You will be praised. Keep reminding us of Your promise to throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out blessing on all who bring the whole tithe into Your house (2 Cor. 9:6–11; Mal. 3:10).
15. The hurting: Lord, I lift up those who are hurting right now. May they come to know You as El Roi, the God who sees them. For every situation of rejection, help them feel sonship with You. Bind up the brokenhearted! In every area of bondage, set the captives free; in every case of mourning, bring Your oil of gladness. Comfort the hurting so that they will have a ministry of comfort to others (Gen. 16:13; Rom. 8:15; Isa. 61:1–3; 2 Cor. 1:3–4).
16. Freedom from besetting sins: Lord, I lift up all of us who struggle with sin issues. Keep us from the enemy’s scheme of condemnation. Grant us repentance so that we can escape the trap of the evil one. Thank You that Jesus Christ did away with sin on the cross and that we are no longer slaves to it. Help us to throw off everything that entangles us and then run the race with perseverance (Rom. 8:1; 2 Tim. 2:25–26; Rom. 6:6; Heb. 12:1).
17. Kingdom focus/priorities: Lord, I lift up our priorities as a congregation. Give us ears to hear what Your Spirit is saying to our church. Open our eyes to see things as You see them. Help us move beyond issues of immediate need to pursuing Kingdom issues. Bring us to a place where “your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” are more than just words we say (Rev. 3:22; 2 Kings 6:17; Matt. 6:10, 25, 33).
18. Growth through evangelism: Lord, I lift up our church growth to You. Add to our number daily through new converts. Use us as Your agents to rescue people from darkness and bring them into Your Son’s Kingdom. We long to be worthy ambassadors in this ministry You have entrusted to us—that of proclaiming Your message of reconciliation to a lost world (Acts 2:47; Col. 1:13; 2 Cor. 5:20).
19. Our community: Lord, I lift up to You our community, especially the surrounding neighborhood. Let us love these people as we love ourselves. May our concern for their needs override other things that take our time and focus. Rebuild and restore areas that have been devastated. Send Your peace and prosperity into this place where You’ve planted us. Bless each individual home and family. Build each house from the inside out; watch over our city (Gal. 5:14; Prov. 3:28; Isa. 61:4; Jer. 29:7; Luke 10:5–6; Ps. 127:1).
20. Connectivity with the Church in our nation and world: Lord, I lift up the Church universal. Father, we claim the power of Your name over us so that we will be one, as You and Your Son are one. We want Your joy in full measure just as Your Son Jesus prayed for us. Help us live in the reality that we are not of this world; sanctify us by Your Word. May we be brought to complete unity so that the world will know the truth of the gospel. We seek Your face, O God! Thank You for hearing and forgiving us. We wait on You for the healing of our land (John 17:11–23; 2 Chron. 7:14).
21. Protection from the enemy: Lord, I lift up our need for protection. Protect and deliver us from the evil one. Help us be as wise as serpents and as innocent as doves as we deal with the wolves around us. Show us how to test every spirit to see if it is from You. Help us recognize the enemy’s disguises and schemes so that he won’t outwit us (John 17:15; Matt. 6:13; 1 John 4:1; 2 Cor. 2:11, 11:14).
These biblical prayers are directed toward specific intercession that appeals to God’s heart for the fullness of His Kingdom to be released in your congregation. Invite other intercessors to join you in praying strategic prayers that will change the life of your church!
SANDRA HIGLEY resides in Colorado Springs, CO, and is the editor of Real Life Downloaded (Youth editions), from David C Cook Publishers. This article is a shorter version of a prayer guide available at prayerleader.com.
Note: The longer version of this guide is available in an 4.5″ x 8.5″ brochure format for purchase in packs of 50 so you can distribute to your congregation. Click here for more information or to purchase.