A PRAYER FOR THE GATHERING OF THE CHURCH
1. History: the meeting sets life right.
2. Scripture: the meeting exemplifies peoplehood.
a. Ex. 29:43 – “There I will meet with the people...”
b. Ps. 121:1 – “...Let us go up to the house of the Lord!”
c. 1 Cor. 11:18 – “When you come together as a church...”
3. Experience: the meeting is subject to threats.
a. The individual may shape it instead of the other way around.
b. Weariness may lead to the habit of neglect.
4. Prayer: what is to happen when the whole church comes together in one place?
1. Let our Father be honored.
a. Ephesians 1:6, 12, 14; 3:21
i. Glory: be seen for who he is.
ii. Praise: make known what he has done.
b. Psalm 22:22, 23
c. Malachi 1:6, 8
i. Honored like a father.
ii. Respected like a master.
iii. Pleased like a governor.
2. Let Christ be exalted.
a. John 5:22, 23
b. Colossians 3:17
i. Ascribing to him the place he occupies
ii. Remembering and proclaiming what he has done
iii. Expecting what he will yet do
c. Revelation 5:9-14
3. Let the Holy Spirit be respected.
a. Spirituality requires both sincerity and understanding.
i. Matthew 15:8, 9 – “their heart is far from me”
ii. John 4:22-24 – “we worship what we know”
b. 1 Corinthians 14:37
c. Galatians 5:22, 23
4. Let my brothers and sisters be built up.
a. 1 Corinthians 14:26
b. Two things necessary for building up:
i. An intelligible message, v.5, 7f, 14f
ii. Order that expresses the character of God, v. 26f, 33, 40
c. God puts in the meeting activities that edify: prayer (1 Cor. 14:15-17), singing (14:15, 26), preaching to instruct or encourage (14:19, 26), the Lord’s Supper (11:17-34), and giving (1 Cor. 16:1,2).
5. Let our guests be properly impressed with God.
a. 1 Corinthians 14:23-25
i. Outsiders or unbelievers are welcome in the meeting.
ii. Guests cannot determine the substance but may be a consideration in the manner.
b. A guest is properly impressed with the presence of God when:
ii. Called to account
iii. His heart disclosed
1. Praying for the gathering of the church is assuming responsibility for it.
2. If I make this my prayer, may I then...
a. Be personally involved in its answer.
b. Be scriptural in what I expect from the meeting.
c. Be faithful in my conviction that God uses it for his purposes.
3. “We gather together to...”