Day 4: Tuesday 17th March 2020 Prayer for prodigals
One of the saddest things I come across as I meet people is interacting with individuals who at one time would profess to follow Jesus and at one point did go to church and have just gently drifted away.
Often their story goes like this:
I personally have experienced this, I personally have drifted from church and faith and gone into the Wilderness for some time.
However, I strongly, strongly believe it was through the consistent prayers of other Christians, who truly loved me and cared for me, that I was found by Jesus again.
I want to share, what I believe is true
Yes, it is possible to be a Christian without regularly attending church. However, I am convinced that it is highly improbable that your faith is good if existent at all!!
In all my Christian life I have never met a single Christian who did not regular attend church who had a healthy relationship with Jesus.
Yes church is hard work sometimes, yes it doesn’t always function how it should, yes sometimes churches get it wrong, yes sometimes it may feel a bit cheesy where the worship and preaching will not be up to the standard of Hillsong or Bethel. Yes the church probably could be doing more outreach and ministry to the poor.
However the Church is the bride of Christ!!. Jesus loves the Church, Jesus works through a people!!
I am 100% sure that the faith and faithfulness of Christians who regularly attend a church are much, much better than those who do not go.
Being part of a family and people of God, in a geographic location is being part of church.
If you’re reading this and not going to church please, please, please get yourself to one!!! There isn't any perfect ones and if there was you'd spoil it by attending 😊.The church is only made perfect through the blood of Christ!!
If your thinking of stopping going to church for whatever reason, please, please, please keep going and talk to someone about it.
I believe its significant that the writers of the New Testament for example Peter and Paul spent a significant amount of time telling their readers to keep going, keep meeting.
Even the Corinthian church which was arguably one of the most terrible churches ever!! Paul advice was not to stop attending, apart from one guy who he threw out so he would repent and be redeemed! So unless that’s you God wants you to attend church if you are a follower of Jesus. It’s in the bible in lots of places!!! You cannot wiggle out of it!!!
If you’re not convinced by any of the reasons I’ve laid out above read this blog for more 😊 99 Reasons you should go to church this weekend
If you are attending church and you know prodigals, today just bring them to mind, pray for them, why don’t you text them or call them. Ask them to come back. Apologise to them if necessary but primarily show them the love of Jesus.
Pray for the prodigals. God wants them back!!!!
Helpful Bible Verses
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.
Luke 15: 11-32
The Parable of the Lost Son
11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.
13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.
25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’
28 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’
31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”
Stephen Norcross is an elder, married to Lisa and living in Blackburn. Stephen works full time for Community Church Blackburn. Stephen studied music at university and uses his musical gifts leading worship. He also has a passion for bible teaching.