At church this morning, a lady was telling the pastor that people outside of our church are asking to be put on our church’s prayer list. We started a prayer list recently. Last month, the church’s Bible study group was going through the Bible study curriculum, When God’s People Pray. I left the study halfway through, for various reasons, but I am impressed that this study has inspired my church to pray. People meet twenty minutes before church starts for prayer. When I first heard about this, I was a bit worried that it would take the pastor away from greeting people before the service, which is important because it makes people feel welcome. I don’t think that has happened, though, because the group only prays for ten minutes, or so, and that leaves the pastor time to greet people. Whether the group actually meets longer than that, or whether the pastor continues to greet people before the service, I do not know. During summers, I usually arrive at church right when the service is beginning. I leave at 9:40, it is a 15 minute walk, and so I arrive at 9:55, when the pastor is giving the announcements.
Inside our bulletin is a list of people to pray for. We had a list last week. We have a list this week. What I have been doing is placing that list in my Bible so that I can look at it when I am doing my prayer and Bible study time. I do not legalistically go through the entire list, but I pick a name or two (or more), and I pray for those people and their needs. This is especially helpful when there is a lull in my prayer time, when I do not know exactly what to say to God.
I have been praying quite a bit for my church’s Vacation Bible School, which will be going on in a couple of weeks. The reason that I would like for it to succeed is that I have read that a mark of a healthy church is that it is reaching out to the community. I rejoice that my church is trying to do so, and I pray for it to prosper.