praying for renewal
"I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and petition." —Zechariah 12:10
In renewing a parish, family, or ministry, the Lord often raises the level of prayer. Several parishioners, family members, or ministry workers pray for a few months as they've never prayed before or as they've never prayed for years. The Lord makes this prayer a leaven for renewing great numbers of people.
The Church was born after a nine-day gestation period of intensified prayer (see Acts 1:14). After this experience, the first Christians devoted themselves to prayer (Acts 2:42). The apostles concentrated "on prayer and the ministry of the word" (Acts 6:4). On one occasion, "the place where they were gathered shook as they prayed" (Acts 4:31).
Paul tried to renew the church of Ephesus by raising the level of prayer. The Lord inspired him to exhort Timothy and the Ephesians: "First of all, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving be offered for all" (1 Tm 2:1). "The fervent petition of a holy man is powerful indeed" (Jas 5:16).
A praying church is on the threshold of renewal. If we can get several more people to turn off their TVs and computers, simplify their lives, and thereby free themselves to pray for a few hours a day, we can open the door for the Lord to renew His Church.
Prayer: Father, may I have "great, intense, and growing prayer" (see Pope John Paul II, Redeemer of Man, 22).
Promise: "Whoever wishes to be My follower must deny his very self, take up his cross each day, and follow in My steps." —Lk 9:23
Praise: Alleluia! By faith in Jesus risen, we will live forever in the perfect happiness of heaven!
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our tape Renewing Our Culture on audio AV 80-3 or video V-80.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 18, 2013
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