The letters to the seven churches in Revelation reveal Christ’s heart and His concerns for His church. They also provide a basis for us to know how to pray for the church in general and for our local churches in particular. Here are four specific areas where we can intercede:
- In John’s vision in Revelation, Jesus is holding the “angels” (i.e., messengers) of the churches in His right hand (Rev. 1:16, 20; 2:1; 3:1). Many believe this term refers to the spiritual or pastoral leaders of the churches.
- These leaders have been given by God as “gifts” to the church (Eph. 4:11–16), to build up believers and to equip God’s people to serve Him. It is both a privilege and a responsibility to intercede in prayer for our spiritual leaders and to lift up their hands as they serve the body of Christ.
- Ask God to meet their spiritual, emotional, and physical needs (1 Cor. 9:14; 1 Tim. 2:1–2; 5:17–18). Ask Him to show you how to minister to them and their families (1 Cor. 16:13–18; 1 Tim. 5:17–18).
- Ask God to help them be faithful in ministering to their own children and mates (1 Tim. 3:4–5). Pray for spiritual protection over their families.
- Ask God to establish your pastors and elders in His Word (2 Tim. 2:15). Intercede for their spiritual protection, growth, and maturity (1 Tim. 1:18–19; 4:12–16; 6:11–12; 2 Tim. 2:21–25). Pray for them to stay humble, dependent on Christ, and aware of their need for His grace.
- Pray for them to have boldness, courage, and perseverance as they stand for righteousness (1 Tim. 6:17–21; 2 Tim. 1:8–14; 4:1–5).
- Ask God to give His vision for your church, for your pastors to have spiritual sensitivity and insight when encountering the lost, giving counsel, and leading the body. Ask for God’s anointing to rest on their ministries.
- Pray for them to have a burden for reaching the lost and a vision for revival in the church (1 Thess. 1:5–8; 2 Thess. 3:1–2), being faithful and trustworthy stewards of the mysteries of God (John 15:1–8; 1 Cor. 4:1–2).
- Ask God to safeguard the doctrinal purity of your church (1 Tim. 1:3–6; 6:3–5; Titus 1:10–11).
- Pray for the church to cultivate mature discernment (Col. 2:8; Phil. 1:9–10). Ask God to establish your church in sound doctrine (Gal. 1:6–7).
- Pray that the Word of God would be honored as the final authority in your church (Ps. 119:105).
- Pray for those who hold teaching responsibilities to be diligent students of the Word, faithful in teaching preparation, careful in their handling of the Scripture (2 Tim. 2:1–7, 14–16).
- Pray for personal purity in your church, that individuals would develop a love for holiness (Ps. 24:3–4; 51:10–13).
- Ask God to develop an atmosphere of repentance, where individuals are quick to acknowledge and confess sin with the commitment to reconciliation, restitution, or any other redemptive actions that may be needed (Ps. 32:1–6; Matt. 5:23–24).
- Pray for the membership to encourage one another in the pursuit of personal holiness, to excel in personal sanctification which fulfills God’s purpose for their lives (2 Cor. 7:1; 1 Thess. 3:13–4:8).
- Ask God to grant His grace for individuals to overcome specific sinful patterns that were part of their lives before coming to Christ. Pray that they would be conformed to His holiness (1 Pet. 1:14–16).
- Pray for believers to love Christ with all their hearts and above all else (Ps. 63; Matt. 22:37).
- Pray that the church and its members will be characterized by fervent love for others (Matt. 22:38–40; John 13:34–35; 1 Pet. 1:22; 1 John 3:14–18, 23; 4:7–12, 19–21).
- Ask God to give church members His burden for the lost and a desire to glorify God by bearing much fruit (Col. 3:3; John 15:1–17). Ask God to give your church body a sense of urgency for advancing His kingdom (Matt. 9:36–38).
- Pray for your church to operate from an eternal perspective (Eph. 5:15–17), recognizing the brevity of life (Ps. 39:4–5; James 4:14).
- The example of Jesus and the hope of the resurrection provide the church with motivation to persevere, even in difficult times (Heb. 10:36; 12:1–4). The grace of God empowers the church and its members to endure.
- Ask God to raise up prayer warriors who persevere in fervent prayer—individually and corporately (Rom. 15:30–33; Phil. 4:6–7; Col. 4:2–4).
- Ask God to strengthen and prepare your church body to faithfully endure suffering, persecution, and opposition in a manner that glorifies Him (Luke 21:12–19; Rom.12:12; 2 Cor. 1:3–7; 12:7–9; 1 Pet. 2:19–24).
- Pray for God to fulfill all His purposes through your church body (1 Cor. 1:4–9; 2 Cor. 13: 7–9; Col. 1:11; 2 Thess.1:4–7, 11–12; Rev. 21:1–7).