Fasting & Prayer – Monday, August 2, 2021

Fasting & Prayer – Monday, August 2, 2021

– Choose one meal to abstain from for today the particular purpose of praying.
– Let our hunger for food be a reminder of our hunger for Christ and wisdom from the Scriptures (Deuteronomy 8:3; Matt. 4:4; Luke 4:4).
– Let physical hunger grow our spiritual hunger to honor Christ together as a church in future conversations and decisions (Phil. 1:20; 1 Peter 3:15).
– Let our physical weakness remind us that we need God to lead us by His Word (Exodus 15:2; 2 Corinthians 12:9).
– If you have a medical condition that makes fasting unwise, feel free to simply pray.

1. Purpose of the Church
Ephesians 3:10 (ESV)
“…through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.”

1 Peter 2:9 (ESV)
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”

1 Timothy 3:14-15 (ESV)
“I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these things to you so that, if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth.”

A. Pray that whether or not it would be wise to pursue conversations about church merger, that RBC and CWBC would be a display of the manifold wisdom of God in the gospel of Jesus Christ
B. Pray that whether or not there’s a possibility of merger that God would accomplish what is best for RBC, CWBC and our community for the sake of the gospel
C. Pray for wisdom to discern if RBC and CWBC are compatible in a shared mission and philosophy of ministry to make disciples and preach the gospel
D. Pray that both congregations would increasingly reflect the character of God and not the world

2. Authority & Sufficiency of the Bible for the Gathering of the Church
2 Corinthians 4:6 (ESV)
“I have applied all these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, brothers, that you may learn by us not to go beyond what is written…”

Ephesians 5:24a (ESV)
“Now as the church submits to Christ…” (ESV)

1 Corinthians 14:37 (ESV)
“If anyone thinks that he is a prophet, or spiritual, he should acknowledge that the things I am writing to you are a command of the Lord.”

A. Pray for wisdom regarding agreement about the “regulative principle” that the Bible positively outlines what we do when the church gathers (1 Corinthians 4:6; 14:37)
B. Pray for wisdom regarding agreement about the biblical “elements” (Acts 2:41-42) of corporate worship:
i. gathering on the Lord’s Day (Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:2; Luke 24:1; John 20:1, 19; Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:1-2; Revelation 1:10),
ii. preaching and teaching (1 Timothy 4:2),
iii. prayer (Acts 2:42),
iv. Scripture reading (1 Timothy 4:13),
v. baptism (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 2:41; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Corinthians 12:13; 1 Peter 3:21),
vi. the Lord’s supper (1 Corinthians 11:17-34),
vii. collection/offering (1 Corinthians 16:1-4; 2 Corinthians 8)
viii. congregational singing (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16)
C. Pray for wisdom regarding agreement about the “forms and circumstances” of the biblical “elements”
i. style of music
ii. time of meeting
iii. place of meeting
iv. order of service/liturgy
v. frequency of the Lord’s Supper
vi. children’s ministry
vii. frequency of member meetings
viii. membership process
ix. etc.
D. Pray for wisdom regarding agreement about meaningful regenerate church membership and church discipline (Matthew 18:15-20; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13; Romans 12:15; Galatians 6:1-3)
E. Pray for wisdom regarding agreement on the offices of elders and deacons (Philippians 1:1; 1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9)

3. Covenantal Agreement/Commitment
Hebrews 10:24-25 (ESV)
“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”

Matthew 18:18-20 (ESV)
“Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed  in heaven. Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”

A. Pray for wisdom regarding a shared understanding of elder-led congregationalism
B. Pray for wisdom regarding the responsibilities of church membership regarding agreeing in doctrine, members and choosing leaders
C. Pray for wisdom regarding the understanding that God we submit to the shared discipline and doctrine of a local church (Matthew 18:15-20) in mutual submission out of reverence for Christ (Ephesians 5:21)
D. Pray for wisdom and discernment about what self-sacrificial love means and looks like in the life of the church (1 Corinthians 13)