Dear friends and fellow-workers, I was recently asked to write 1000 words for the Gospel Coalition on what I am praying for Christians in Australia. I found it a productive task, as it clarified my prayers, and so clarified my actions! Here it is. You may find it useful to write out your answer to the same question!
Peter Adam | April 2018 | stjudes.org.au/peteradam
What are you praying for Christians in Australia?
I am praying that God will convert many Australians to Christ including many atheists, secularists, poor people, rich people, indigenous people, new arrivals, people of other religions, people of no religion, ‘unconvertible’ people, people with a Christian background, people in prison, people in need, the educated and the uneducated, young people, children, students, university students, workers, the unemployed, middle-aged people, old people, people in nursing homes, and people on the streets.
I am praying that Australian Christians would stop pursuing trivial happiness, and instead start pursuing holiness.
I am praying that Australian Christians would start dying to sin every day and living to righteousness.
I am praying that Australian Christians would stop being consumers, and start being contributors in their churches and ministries.
I am praying that God will revive and reform existing churches, and plant new churches, and bring the members of those churches and those churches themselves to maturity in Christ, holiness of life, and usefulness in service.
I am praying that new converts will be quick to repent of their sins, quick to join a church, and quick to witness to their friends.
I am praying for a new spirit of cooperation, mutual encouragement and mutual engagement in a common gospel mission between churches, church plants, chaplaincies, and Christian ministries and Christian schools.
I am praying that God will raise up a mighty army of gospel workers from our churches and ministries, who will be godly in life, resilient in ministry, servant-hearted in attitude, Biblical in life, thought, and ministry, able to minister effectively in different and changing contexts, cooperative with others, humble, wise, prayerful, reflective, and energetic and effective!
I am praying that this army will be willing to serve anyone, anywhere, at any time, throughout Australia, and throughout the world.
I am praying that people in gospel ministry in Australia would pray.
I am praying that people in gospel ministry would use the Bible and so let people hear God’s words directly: in their sermons, training, counselling, evangelising, and mentoring.
I am praying that people in gospel ministry in Australia would train and equip everyone for ministry.
I am praying that people in gospel ministry in Australia would raise up, pray for, train, and mentor people for full-time gospel ministry for the future.
I am praying that gospel workers would work well and cooperatively with co-workers in their churches or ministries, with fairness, justice, and mutual support and encouragement, and prayerfulness.
I am praying that people in gospel ministry in Australia would learn to be cooperative rather than competitive with fellow-workers in other networks and churches and ministries.
I am praying that people in gospel ministry would be self-disciplined and wise in their personal lives, marriages, family lives, and ministries, and not fall into sins which would disqualify them from ministry.
I am praying for an increase in internships for people to try out their competence for ministry and learn skills in ministry: on university campuses, in churches, in schools, in prisons, in sport’s chaplaincies, in workplace ministries, in indigenous ministry, in rural ministry, in outback ministry, in working-class and welfare class areas, in migrant communities.
I am praying that God would raise up young indigenous Australian leaders for churches, ministries and communities.
I am praying that God would raise up indigenous Australians and people from ‘ethnic’ backgrounds to convert white Australians.
I am praying that Australian Christians would study the Bible deeply, so that their lives will be changed, and they will be equipped in mutual ministry to other believers, to enquirers, and in apologetics and evangelism.
I am praying that white Australian Christians would repent of their innate cultural arrogance, be alert and respectful to people of other cultures, and not engage in cultural imperialism in evangelism and gospel ministry in Australia or overseas.
I am praying that people in gospel ministry would be more aware of the great significance of sub-cultures with Australian society, and also be willing to become ‘all things to all people’, so that they may win people and sub-cultures for Christ.
I am praying that Australian Christians would see the value in their daily lives and work, paid and unpaid, and live and work to express their love for their neighbours by the work they do and the way they do it, and also life and work for God’s glory.
I am praying that Australian Christians would be salt and light in their communities.
I am praying for wise and stable government, that we may live in peace, that the world may live in peace, and that the gospel of Christ may flourish throughout the world.
I am praying that Australian Christians would learn to teach and admonish one another with all wisdom.
I am praying that God in his kindness would help us grow multi-racial churches, multi-cultural churches, multi-ethnic churches, multi-lingual churches, and even more miraculously, multi-class churches!
I am praying that God would sustain and strengthen our theological and Bible colleges, equip them to train their students in godliness and good ministry, bring many good students to join them, and provide the prayer and financial support they need, and the staff and faculty they need.
I am praying that Christian parents and teachers would prepare children and young people to live as disciples of Christ in a changing world, and would prepare them for the persecution to come.
I am praying that God in his mercy would do whatever it takes to reform, refine, revive, and revitalise his people in Australia.
I am praying that Australian Christians would be passionately committed to God global gospel plan.
May God in his mercy hear and answer our prayers!
Useful UK resources for raising up and training the next generation of gospel workers
Here is the website of the Matthew 9:28 movement, with lots of good resources. www.ninethirtyeight.com
And this is a useful book: Vaughan Roberts and Tim Thornborough, Workers for the Harvest Field,
New Maldon, GoodBook, 2006. It seems to focus on men and not women, whereas I think we need as many as possible of both!
With all good wishes for your lives and ministries,