From the first Sunday of the month of September our church has studied through the seven letters found in Revelation 2-3 written from Jesus to the seven churches in a sermon series called Dear Church. What we discovered was that these letters of commendations, rebukes, resolutions and rewards were in actuality love letters from Jesus to His bride. In Ephesians 5:25-33 Paul shows us how our earthly marriages are specifically designed to point us to something much greater and that is the marriage between Jesus and the Church. Jesus showed us the greatest love anyone could ever experience in eternity; this was displayed when He hung on the tree. In fact, Paul tells husbands that Jesus' example of love is the standard for which we're to love our wives ("Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her..." - Eph. 5:25 ESV). This is the foremost way anyone can love someone else: that he lay his own life down for someone else (Paraphrased from John 15:13).
While this is the greatest way spouses can love each other, I believe the second greatest way is by lifting one another up in prayer. Not only did Jesus give His life for our transgression and raise from the dead for our justification, He is still ministering to His bride. Romans 8:34 tells us, "Christ Jesus is the one who died - more than that, who was raised - who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us" (ESV). Jesus, in this very second, is still showing us great love by pleading to God on our behalf, by praying for us. Jesus loves His bride so much that He prays for her.
Because of this, to wrap up this sermon series, we used this past Sunday to join with Jesus in praying for His bride, the Church. We built our church gathering around three main levels of prayer for the church: the local church (in our case, Beach Lake FM Church), the National Church (American Church), and the global church (The worldwide Church). We looked to the seven letters from Jesus to guide our time in prayer and developed prayer points from the various exhortations and commendations Jesus gave each of the churches. It was an incredibly grace-filled and powerful time as our church family gathered for prayer.
I am convinced many still want to continue in prayer for churches all around the world, therefore I wanted to provide the prayer points we used on Sunday morning to guide our time. You can access them in the slideshow below, or feel free to download the prayer guide for your own uses. Please commit to saying with Jesus, "Dear Church, I'm praying for you!"