I have a strange prayer request for you. I want you to start praying that people will be afraid of our church. Terrified. In fact I want you to pray to the extent that no one could conceive of joining us. Thanks!
Oh, and while you’re at it…pray that the LORD will be adding to his church daily!
Got it? Hope so! What I’m asking you to do is to pray that God might use us the way that He used the church in Jerusalem. You remember that don’t you? When the power of God was working through the church, expressing itself in the way that the believer’s clung to the apostle’s doctrine, to fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and prayer, we read that ‘fear came upon every soul’. Later in Acts 5 when the Lord dealt severely with Ananias and Sapphira we read again that ‘great fear fell’, not only upon the church, but upon all who heard these things. What was the result of this dread?
We read in Acts 5:13 “Yet none of the rest dared join them, but the people esteemed them highly.”
Blessedly none of this stopped the growth of the church, as the next verse tells us that believers were increasingly being added to the Lord and to the church. Imagine that! Sounds like something supernatural was at work!
Is anyone afraid of your church? Does your church inspire awe and a sense of reverence? Is anyone amazed by the lives and the worship of the people?
Is there ever a sense that it is really, truly, like no other place on earth? Is there any sense that visitors have that these people who gather together for worship on the Lord’s Day actually encounter regularly the one true and living God?
People are afraid of the church today, but not for these reasons. They are afraid of our politics. They are afraid of us as a voting block. They are afraid of what they perceive to be our stupidity. They are afraid that we will shoot abortion doctors or bomb clinics.
I realize that these may be stereotypes perpetuated by the mainstream, but, how can we best silence these voices and instill true fear? Let us cry out that the presence of God in our churches may not simply be a theological truth which we believe and embrace by faith, but a reality that even the lost cannot deny.Jim Savastio, Pastor Reformed Baptist Church of Louisville