– 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. Churches Marked by Rejoicing, Reasonableness, Prayer, Thanksgiving, & the Peace of God
Philippians 4:4-7 (ESV)
“4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
– Pray that regardless of what happens RBC and CWBC would only grow in rejoicing because of the gospel.
– Pray that in conversations God would bear the fruit of reasonableness, seeking to be understanding and bear with one another in love.
– Pray that both congregations would devote themselves to continual prayer for guidance from God’s Word.
– Pray that thanksgiving for God’s work in the gospel would only grow from any interactions we have.
– Pray that the peace of God in Christ would overcome any anxiety of the flesh we may feel in considering how the Lord may work in the future.
2. Physical & Spiritual Protection of Both Congregations
Romans 15:30-33 (ESV)
“30 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, 31 that I may be delivered from the unbelievers in Judea, and that my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints, 32 so that by God’s will I may come to you with joy and be refreshed in your company. 33 May the God of peace be with you all. Amen.”
Ephesians 6:12 (ESV)
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
1 Peter 5:6-9 (ESV)
“6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.9 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.”
– Any work to pursue building up of healthy churches and spreading the gospel will face a multi-faceted opposition, pray that God would equip us with perseverance no matter what the future holds.
– Pray that the Lord would protect us from our sinful flesh.
– Pray that the Lord would protect us from opposition from the world.
– Pray that the Lord would protect us from the devil.
– Gospel growth is often slow, pray that we would be patient as we seek to discern if the Lord would have us pursue merger.
– Pray that we wouldn’t be blinded by optimism or pessimism.
– Pray that we would be watchful for the ways the devil would seek to gain a foothold in causing division over secondary matters, falsely feeling offended, showing partiality and favoritism, prioritizing sentimentalism and personal preferences, etc.
– Pray that conversations about the possibility of merger would not distract either congregation from the priority of caring well for each congregation and the faithful teaching of God’s Word.
3. That Both Congregations Trust in God’s Providence
Romans 8:28 (ESV)
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
1 Peter 4:12-13 (ESV)
“12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.”
– Pray that any risk, difficulty, success or failure would not deter either congregation from pursuing the faithful work of building healthy churches and making disciples to the glory of Christ.
– Pray that our certain hope of future glorification in Jesus Christ in the new heavens and new earth would motivate faithfulness in both churches even as we prayerfully consider merger.
– Pray that any trials either church faces in considering this would be received from God as a loving test that is normal as we walk through this world.
– Pray that God would grow us in a trust of God’s sovereign love toward us in Christ.