I fear that many churches plan for weeks (or months) for Easter weekend, but then pray for only minutes over the weekend’s events.
To counter this tendency, I encourage you to use this list to pray individually and corporately with intentionality throughout this week.
1. Pray that the truth of the death and resurrection of Jesus will refresh your heart in new ways. Too many of us take this story for granted, and we “celebrate” these events by simply having a big day in church. Instead, pray that Resurrection Sunday will have new meaning for you this year.
2. Pray for church members to invite their non-believing friends to the services. It’s not enough to invite only friends we already know are believers — whether they are unchurched or are unhappy at their current church. As you pray, be sure to invite your own non-believing friends.
3. Pray for non-believers to be burdened about their need to be in church. Many unchurched folks will make decisions about whether to attend church this weekend. Pray they will make the right decision. Intercede specifically by name for friends you know.
4. Pray for the health of your pastoral staff. This weekend is a busy one, and stress can sometimes make us more vulnerable to illness. Pray for your pastors’ families as well.
5. Pray that the gospel is clearly presented during the worship services. In my opinion, some pastors overdo their sermons on Easter because this is their one shot to speak to some of the crowd. Folks may leave impressed, but without understanding the gospel.
6. Pray against the enemy snatching the Word as it’s proclaimed. He has so many ways of distracting people from hearing the Word, and he appears to work overtime during gospel proclamation. Even during the service itself, pray that you personally will first hear the Word, and then others will as well.
7. Pray for non-believers to turn to Christ and wayward believers to return to Him. Again, pray by name if you know folks who will likely attend; let your “heart’s desire” to be that people will be saved (Rom. 10:1).
8. Pray for the 4 billion+ people around the world who have never heard the Resurrection story — and for the missionaries who are giving their lives to get the story to them. This Sunday will mean nothing for much of the world. If that reality does not break your heart, you likely don’t fully fathom the miracle and grace of the resurrection.
Take some time each day this week to pray using these suggestions. B&R
To read more stories by Chuck Lawless, click here.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This story was originally published by chucklawless.com. Reprinted with permission. Lawless is dean of doctoral studies and vice president of spiritual formation and ministry centers at Southeastern Seminary in Wake Forest, NC, where he also serves as professor of evangelism and missions.