In Second Corinthians 1 Paul tells the Corinthian church that when he was in Asia he and Timothy had been so afflicted that they “despaired of life itself” (2 Cor 1:8). While they felt as though they would die from the affliction, he says this was so that they would not rely on themselves “but on God who raises the dead” (2 Cor 1:9). May we all rely on God who raises the dead!
While Paul and Timothy were confident in God that he would deliver them again, they pleaded with the Corinthian church for their help:
He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.2 Corinthians 1:10-11
One of the most significant ways we can help those who serve the Lord is through prayer. This is hardly the only way, yet it is what Paul pleads for from the Corinthians. He indicates that if God would deliver them again, it will happen through their prayers. We must never take prayer lightly! God works through our prayers.
Today, let’s pray for those who serve the church, whether vocationally or as volunteers. Let’s pray for New City’s Council of Elders who are in desperate need for wisdom from God to be able to lead this church well. Let’s pray for those who serve as City Group leaders, and for those unable to serve because we cannot meet. We’re thankful for nursery and children’s volunteers and for our worship band members and Worship Team Leaders. We’re thankful for those who serve behind the scenes in many ways, so let’s pray for them, too.
Let’s pray for our missionaries in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Pray for Kizombo and Wababili Kalambula as they serve by training pastors and caring for the students in the school they run. Pray for the churches they’ve planted. God works through our prayers! Pray that they will be protected from the “affliction” we are experiencing, that the gospel may continue to be faithfully proclaimed. Pray for Jonathan and Noella Kleis in Italy. Pray for their young church plant that is somehow growing, despite their being able to meet only online. We actually know how this is happening: God works through prayer!
Let us pray for those who serve the church and therefore serve the Lord Jesus, that his great gospel would be proclaimed far and wide through them.