Praying for Your Church
by Manuel Vargas
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Praying for your Church
Are we happy in the Church we are attending? Do we appreciate the Pastor, Elders, Deacons, Ushers, Door Keepers, Choir, Soloist Musicians and Singers? Do we like the way Worship Services, Prayer Services, and Bible Studies are operating? Is the Church that we are attending producing fruit (godly character) in the lives of those who are members there or are they training the up-and-coming young people to minister and be the young men and women of God that God called them to be? This may sound like an ideal Church you may desire to be in to experience some amazing spiritual growth in your personal life along with those who may be awesome Christian examples. However, for the large percentage of us who attend Church Services it may seem far-fetched!
Where is a good Church that I may be a part of? What does a good Church look or sound like? How will I know that I’m in a good Church? I’m not a believer but I want to be and I want to serve God but what Church do I go to? Do I have to move to Texas like everybody else and join one of those mega Churches that are on TV—they seem to have it altogether?
Hi Faith-writers, I thank God for another opportunity to share the Word of God with you on the topic of Prayer. I started this article with some common questions I came across many times with unbelievers and young believers who really don’t have an idea about what Church to attend or what would be a good Church. These are some difficult questions that cannot be answered in one sentence. However, a good Church is one who has accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior from the Pastor all the way down to the newest member that experienced being Born-again.
Now, whether that Church has a good solid foundation of teachings and structure as far as Church Government (that is what they believe in and how the Ministries are Biblically set-up is an entirely different story). There are many good Churches around the world. However, I believe if we desire to be in a good Church we must do several things Biblically positive to help the Church we are currently in to become a good Church.
My Encounter with Jesus
I came from a mixed background of different religions in my upbringing. It wasn’t until I met up with this tough guy nicked named Junito from the Bronx who had a violent reputation back in April 1991. I first met him in the fall of 1990. Junito’s mom is a Pentecostal lady with the hair up and the grandma style outfit that walked in some real authoritative respect. I mean we tough guys would fight, shoot our guns with rival wanna-be gangsters in the late 80’s, but when she came by the devil in us bowed down with that level of respect toward this holy woman of God.
In April of 1991, I met up with Junito again this time he had a radiant glow on his face and a white shirt on. I said come-on man don’t tell me that you became religious? He said I gave my life to Jesus. I said I pray too! I pulled out this prayer written on a piece of paper written in Latin. Junito laughed and said brother I have something for you tonight I will give it to you. Junito asked me where I was going I said to confront these guys that are talking junk about me and I’m going to stab the first one that comes at me with non-sense. Junito said I will go with you. I said no man you are a good dude now, let me rip these guys apart and I’ll come back to get that thing you offered me. Well, I will pray for you (Junito went out secretly to see what would happen just in case I needed his help). He is a stand-up guy and still is.
That night Junito gave me about 20 tracts from Chick Publications. I started to read these tracts about 1 or 2 different ones each night learning more and more about Jesus. Over-time Junito kept feeding me more tracts, then comic book size booklets, and then he gave me a Gideon Bible which I still have. Then on December 28, 1991, I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior.
I immediately felt changed the very next day because I had cried myself to sleep in prayer. I woke up and had this overwhelming desire to serve God, I picked up the Bible to read then I wanted to go to Sunday Service, Prayer Service, and Bible Studies. I was in Love with Jesus and I could not explain it. As time went by I continued reading, praying and going to Church. I did not question whether the Church was a good one or a bad one. I did not know about Church Government or the structures that Churches have or fail to have. I was high on spiritual life and I was sharing my new-found experience with all my loved ones and friends giving them the tracts that Junito gave me.
It wasn’t until I started watching Christian videos with Powerful men of God that I realized, “Hey, my Pastor doesn’t teach or preach like this minister on TV. Then it hit me I need more Power. One day during Prayer meeting I felt a tangible presence of God in the room when everyone was praying in other tongues. I said Junito what was that—he said the Holy Spirit! I said how do you get that? (not knowing any better). He said to pray for it, I did but it wasn’t until September 2, 1992 that a man of God laid hands on me and I received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in unknown tongues just like it happened in the Book of Acts chapter 19:1-9 NKJV.
Again, I asked myself, “why wasn’t the Senior Pastor of my Church instructing me about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit? As time went on I realized “The Ministers Dilemma”, some are fully committed, knowledgeable and Powerful and some lost it or they remained stuck on level one of Christian living never wanting more of God or being a Powerful instrument in God’s Hand to help young believers. So how do we fix this problem? What do we need to do to bring a solution to the problem that many Churches suffer from?
Praying for the Church you ATTEND
The way I learned about Praying for your Church is through the Apostle Paul. In all of Paul’s Letters to the Churches he usually opens up with a greeting of how the Church is doing and how he has been Praying for them in detail since he heard about their faith in Jesus Christ (See, Romans 1:8-12 NKJV; 1 Corinthians 1:4-9 NKJV; Ephesians 1:16-23 NKJV; Philippians 1:4-10 NKJV; and Colossians 1:3-12 NKJV).
There are more prayers in these letters that Paul wrote I only gave you 5 locations where you can find them, read them and begin praying them for your Church that you attend. In some of the articles that I wrote in the past I taught and shared how we can Pray these Prayers as Intercessory Prayers for our Church and how we can pray these Prayers for ourselves individually. If you are hungry for being a awesome Prayer warrior then I suggest that you read these prayers over and over until it sinks into your human Born-again spirit a faithfully pray these prayers for yourself and your Church.
I love to share testimony because I’m a very practical guy. I find out how it works and then I do it by simple faith. I don’t get caught up in Church debates or doctrinal dogma. The Word of God is to be applied not debated among believers. The more we hunger for God then the more we will be filled Jesus said (See Matthew 5:6 NKJV). I stay away from Theologians who just like to debate and never have any real experience with God. I also stay away from the arrogant Ministers who love Titles. If they humbly display a sincere desire to be touched by God then I will fellowship with them—and Jesus will impart to them the Anointing they need to fulfill their Calling.
I was at my first Church from December 1991 to July 1996. I moved and attend my second Church from July 1996 to September 1997. I moved again and attended my third Church from September 1997 to August 2003. Do you see the consistency? I don’t play Church hopping I just grow wherever God takes me. God is the one who sets the circumstances in place to take you to the next Church.
What’s my point?
There is not one perfect Church. We will bump into Pastors, Leaders, Deacons and other believers that will rub us the wrong way—why, you may ask? Because we are all growing in faith, hope and love in Jesus Christ. The Challenge is to remain strong where you are and allow God to mature you there. Because I can guarantee you that if you decide to get up and run to another Church you will encounter the same rude boys and girls you just ran away from in your last Church. And that is God giving you a clear sign to grow up no matter where you go.
So when I moved from one Church to another it was God who did it. I shared in 3 articles, “Expressions of Love”, “Praying for Inner Strength and Love” and “Praying and Experiencing Results” what I went through with my Senior Pastor of the first Church I attended. And the Love I had to practice after praying for Inner Strength and Love to endure the Hardship I was experiencing with the Senior Pastor.
I knew that God caused the situation in my life to leave my last Church because the first day I arrived to next County July 1996, I was walking along the playground and I bumped into George my Christian brother who helped me build the audio cabinet and pulpit for the last Church we were attending. George and I were sharing what God had been doing in our lives, catching up because we haven’t seen each other for a while. George pointed out other Christians that were in the neighborhood and introducing them to me. Then George said that’s Panama (nick name) he accepted the Lord 6 months ago as we passed Panama again George invited him to walk with us and we continued sharing about Dreams and Visions we had and how God came through miraculously in our lives until Panama interrupted us and said, man you guys sound like you are living in the Book of Acts. I said we are! We are in Chapter 1996, he nodded his head and said I like that.
Then Panama said I know I’m not suppose to tell anyone that I’m fasting but I am so God can bless me with the Holy Spirit. I said would you like to experience it right now He said yes. I said what do you know about it he shared what he knew and we just read Acts 19:1-9 NKJV again and I prayed laid my hands on him and Jesus baptized him with the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. Hallelujah!
I knew God sent me over to this second Church to be a blessing to this man. Then as I attended this new Church I saw the strengths and weaknesses, I also saw many things that can be corrected to function properly. I was immediately appointed a Deacon and I built a lot of furniture for this Church as well. Then one day I was suppose to host a Service God told me to Anoint the women Pastors who are coming in tonight. So I opened up the Services and Prayed over the Sisters and they fell on the floor by the Power of God—I was brought to the Senior Pastor the following day and given the Pharisee treatment again and kicked out of the Deacon position. Then I moved to Orange County N.Y. shortly after and was introduced to the assistant Pastor September 1997, in fact we lived in the same building tell me God doesn’t have everything under control?
The Assistant Pastor asked me what I was called to do I said I preach and teach the Word of God. He asked what I teach I gave him a short list of topics and I seen his facial expression and I knew I struck a nerve of insecurity and inferiority complexes in this guy. So I was assigned to clean the Church and no more. So I cleaned the Church and I built a pulpit and other furniture for this Church as well. As I took the humble role of cleaning toilets because this assistant Pastor was very immature spiritually speaking he despised ministers who claim to operate in the Supernatural Ministry of the Gifts of the Spirit. He was very skeptical because he had never seen a miracle.
So I just began Praying Ephesians 1:16-23 NKJV and Luke 10:2 NKJV. For God to illuminate his understanding to know Jesus and the Power that Jesus has to offer and I prayed Luke 10:2 NKJV so that God can send other believers like me who operate in the Supernatural Gifts of the Spirit and in 1 year God sent 4 men I knew and turn this Church around that we all started operating like the Book of Acts with many Signs, Wonders and Miracles for the Glory of Glory.
So don’t run from your Church begin Praying for it I wrote many articles on how to and gave you the Scriptural references on where to go to learn how Paul Prayed for those Churches. I applied it and it works. God can reinstruct the doubting Pastors and Leaders, God can send Powerful men and women who love Him and they can give you that encouragement to live on a higher level of Christian Witness.
If you want me to personally come to your Church and Preach and Teach about the Power of God so you can witness the same Miracles in the Book of Acts call me. There’s no excuse for not growing spiritually where you are—you make it a good Church, why do you think you’re there to warm a pew a seat—think again God wants to use you in a Powerful way be open and ready for! Amen
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