Pray for Your Elders
Pastor Eugene requests prayer for himself and the rest of the elders, as they serve us in the gospel.
One striking aspect of Paul’s letters is how often he asks for prayer. Here is a sample:
- “I appeal to you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf,” (Rom 15:30)
- “You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.” (2 Cor 1:11)
- “Pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison—” (Col 4:3)
- “Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you,” (2 Thess 3:1)
We can infer two points from Paul’s requests: Firstly, they tell us that God is sovereign over gospel work and gospel workers. The ministry of the gospel is a spiritual work that can only be accomplished by spiritual means. Unless God builds the house, we labour in vain. The Father must draw people to His Son by His Spirit. God must grant the gifts of repentance and faith. Only by God’s gracious initiative can the work of the gospel bear true and lasting fruit. Gospel workers are powerless to convert or transform a single soul; God must give life.
Second, Paul’s prayer requests reveal his heart of humility. His great apostolic accomplishments notwithstanding, Paul saw himself as someone in need of the prayers and encouragement of other disciples. The apostle did not work solo. He served through the fellowship of the saints, who continually intercede for one another.
As I take on the role of lead teaching pastor, it is heartening for me to learn from Paul’s example. I’m reminded of my inability to bear this weight of responsibility; I’m completely dependent on the sovereign Lord who works through the prayers of His people. So, while I’m indeed grateful for the privilege of serving Grace Baptist Church, I also humbly recognise my need to be served by your prayers on my behalf. And not only for me, but also for the rest of the elders: Ian, Oliver, Beh, Thian Chye, Chong Tien, Lup Meng, Chuan Xin, Caleb, Jonathan and Nehemiah. This is a way in which we, as fellow members of the church, partner with one another in the work of the gospel.
What can you pray for the elders? As we heard from 1 Timothy last Sunday, pray that we will be faithful in sound doctrine. Pray also that the truth will move us to sincerely love God and His people “from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith” (1 Tim 1:5).
In addition, please also pray 1 Timothy 4:15-16 for us: “Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.”
Pray that the elders will keep on practising and being in the truth. We need grace to persevere in trust and obedience, both in good and bad times. May God help us to be men who not only teach God’s word, but who also faithfully live it out in our daily lives.
Pray that the elders will continue to make progress in the faith. None of us has “arrived”—we are not yet what we should be. But by God’s grace we are not what we once were, and we are being renewed in the image of Christ. Therefore, may we be humble and teachable examples of what it means to grow in Christlikeness.
Pray that the elders will “persist in this”. Our faithfulness to Jesus is a matter of life and death. Our spiritual wellbeing—as individuals and collectively as a church—depends on it. May we continue to hold fast to the gospel, for by so doing we will save both ourselves and our hearers.
This Saturday, we will be launching our second service which begins at 5pm. Adding a second service will give us more opportunity to gather. Our meetings have been curtailed by the pandemic. I’m thus grateful that the government has approved the increase of the capacity of our worship services. I hope we will seek to come together again, as far as we are able. You can register for the services here: http://gracebaptistchurch.sg/service-registration
This weekend, we will be hearing from Luke 17:20-18:8. In this second part of our mini-series “Living by Faith”, Jesus teaches us how we are to live in light of His return. Let’s prepare to hear God’s word by asking him to open our hearts to His truth!
Our membership class, Church Matters, begins on Sunday. All are welcome to attend, whether you are exploring becoming a member of GBC or if you want to hear what Scripture says about our life together as a church. The class will be conducted in person over three sessions (Jan 17, 24 & 31; 11am-1230pm). Sign up here: http://gracebaptistchurch.sg/churchmatters-jan2021
In February and March, there will be an Equip class focusing on the topic, “The Gospel at Work: how working for King Jesus gives purpose and meaning to our jobs”. Do join us to find out how Jesus makes a difference to what, how and why we work. The class will take place over eight weekly sessions on Tuesdays (8-9pm; Feb 2 to Mar 23). It will be conducted over Zoom via this link: http://www.tinyurl.com/Equip21