By Cliff Bira | July 15, 2016
The place to begin a church multiplication movement is on our knees.
Prayer is a key element in church planting movements, and prayer begins with God’s people begging Him for eyes that see the harvest, for hearts that break for what breaks His heart, for ears that are open to hear His Word, and for hands and feet that are ready to move and love and serve.
What is the focus for your prayers? How would the Lord have us pray for multiplication? What Scriptures come to mind that help you pray for Multiplication in God’s Kingdom Advancement?
As I was pondering these questions, I came up with a few ideas using the word “M-U-L-T-I-P-L-Y.” You might use these in your prayers… and share them with others who are praying for the harvest.
Many. Pray that many will come to faith; that heaven will be full and hell empty. Pray that many will come from each tribe and race. (Matthew 8:11; Matthew 28:18-20; Revelation 7:9)
Understand. Pray for God’s Church to understand the ability of God to provide in abundance for the work that He invites us to join Him in doing. (Mark 8:14-21; Philippians 4:19)
Look. Pray that God will open our eyes to see how the harvest is plentiful but the laborers few. Pray with eyes on the harvest to identify more workers to come from the harvest. (Matthew 9:35-38; John 4:1-42)
Touch. Pray that God will use you to touch those whose lives are hurting, in need, discouraged, outcast, victims of injustice. Pray that you will follow the example of Jesus, whose touch brought healing to the broken and marginalized. (John 9:6-7; Matthew 14:36; Matthew 19:13-15; Mark 5:24-34).
In Christ – One. We are many and diversely gifted but we are one body in Christ. Our gifts are used for one purpose – to Glorify God through serving in His Mission. Our voices are one in proclaiming that “Jesus is Lord” to the glory of God the Father. (Romans 12:5; 15:5-6; 1 Peter 4:10-11)
Patience. Prayerfully we wait patiently for the salvation of those for whom our hearts are broken, and for those whose salvation we are interceding. (James 5:7; Colossians 1:11)
Lead. Pray to lead a life of Godly character, love, mercy, justice and grace which attracts others to Christ. (1 Thessalonians 4:11-12; 1 Peter 2:12)
Yield. Pray for abundant fruit, that God’s word will yield a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Pray for a bumper crop of lives transformed by the Gospel as the Holy Spirit connects people to Jesus by faith. (Matthew 13:23; John 15:5-8).
Rev. Cliff Bira is the Director of the Center for US Missions’ Intercessory Prayer Team (IPT). The IPT meets on line monthly to intercede for the Center and its ministry and for the Church at large, with emphasis on Church Multiplication. Cliff also serves as a member of the Center’s Administrative Cabinet, and is a Coach-Mentor for the Center. He is the Senior Pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Flushing, Michigan.
Questions for Discussion
1. Why is prayer an essential element in a church multiplication movement?
2. How will you use the “MULTIPLY” acronym in your personal prayer life? With others in a prayer group, or in your church?
3. What Scriptures come to your mind which help you to pray for multiplication?
4. How does your church pray for multiplication in its corporate prayers? If you don’t, why not begin this Sunday?
5. Consider these types of prayer: Prayer for the missionaries; Prayers for the lost (people groups, neighbors, family members); Prayers for new believers; Prayers for more workers; Prayers by missionaries (modeling prayer); Prayers by new believers; Prayers by partner churches.
Resources You Can Use
Movements That Change the World. Steve Addison, 2011. Christianity is a missionary movement founded by Jesus and empowered by the Holy Spirit. Addison lays out characteristics of a dynamic missionary movement.
Pioneering Movements: Leadership that Multiplies Disciples and Churches. Steve Addison, 2015. What it takes to lead movements that successfully carry out God’s mission.
Churches Planting Churches training by C4USM highlights the “Prayer Focus Principle” as one of the essential mission principles for church planting. This principle based training is useful for those considering planting new churches, starting new ministries, or for those who simply want to learn more about church planting basics from a “mother church” perspective. For more information or to schedule a CPC training, contact Peter Meier, email@example.com.
Mission Moments is the e-newsletter sent by the Center for U.S. Missions to bring information and encouragement to all who desire to share God's great love in Jesus Christ with others. Permission is given to copy this article for distribution within your congregation or organization. Please credit the author and the Center for United States Missions. For more information contact the Center at (952)-221-0362, or visit our website: www.c4usm.org
Center for U.S. Missions – Contact Information
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