Couch to 5K. Flab to fit. There are plenty of programs and plans to help you become healthier in a few weeks time. What might it look like if we 'worked' on becoming a healthier part of the body of Christ this month? With that in mind, here are a few ideas I jotted down. I will following this myself for the next month. On this Lord's Day, let's focus on Him and how to build up His Body, the church.
Day 1: Pray for yourself ~ ask for God to search your heart and see if there be any wicked way in you. Repent of any revealed sin. Your part of the body must be healthy spiritually if you want to be a part of a healthy local body.
Day 2: Pray for the body’s head, your pastor ~ ask God to illuminate his time studying the Word, to encourage him as he works under the burden of leadership, to give him guidance for the body.
Day 3: Pray for the pastor’s wife ~ ask God to bless her as she sets the emotional tone for the parsonage and bears the main responsibility of daily training any children still in the home.
Day 4: Pray for the music minister and musicians ~ ask God to guide them in making the best music decisions that will set the atmosphere for the Body to worship God each Sunday and that they will steward their musical gifts for His glory.
Day 5: Contact two people in your local body who have been suffering physically. Ask how you can pray for them and offer to help in a practical way.
Day 6: Prepare your home, clothes, food and mind for the coming Sabbath. Expect the devil to be resisting more than usual a calm, peaceful atmosphere in the home. Limit unnecessary words and refuse to be sucked into family conflicts.
Day 7: This is the Lord’s Day. Pray for yourself ~ that you will be a blessing to your local body today. Thank your pastor for his sermon.
Day 8: Pray for yourself ~ ask God to help you see ways that you can bless your local body through the skills you have. Commit to finding a way to use your spiritual gifts to bless your church.
Day 9: Pray for your pastor ~ ask God to protect him from sexual temptation and to bless his marriage and home.
Day 10: Pray for the board ~ ask God to give them wisdom and unity of Spirit in helping the pastor guide the church. Pray that none of them would allow pride or selfishness to pull them into power struggles.
Day 11: Pray for the teachers of the children ~ pray that God will refresh them with new ideas, creativity, and endurance as they present the gospel to impressionable souls.
Day 12: Pray for the teachers of the adults ~ pray that they will have a love of the Word and be faithful to bring meat to the body and not settle for milk.
Day 13: Contact two people in the local body who were absent from the fellowship last week. Tell them that you love them and look forward to seeing them tomorrow. Prepare for the weekend attacks of the enemy by working ahead for the Sabbath responsibilities.
Day 14: This is the Lord’s Day. Pray for yourself ~ that you will be a blessing to your local body today. Stay engaged in the service and at least nod your head when you agree with the pastor’s points. Thank him for his sermon.
Day 15: Pray for yourself ~ commit to thinking only things that meet the Philippians 4:8 guidelines today about your church and its members. If negative thoughts come to mind, quote Phil. 4:8 instead and whisper a prayer for whomever entered your mind.
Day 16: Pray for your pastor ~ pray for him to be filled with the Spirit as he goes about his week. He is often called on to fill the pastoral role at all hours of the day and night, requiring him to be on his toes spiritually. The devil is continuously hounding him in ways a layperson does not experience. Pray for his protection.
Day 17: Pray for the pastor’s children ~ the health of their relationships with God affects your pastor and his wife spiritually and emotionally, whether they are still at home or not. Pray that God will give them a desire to serve Him and preserve them from bitterness against the church (a common pitfall).
Day 18: Pray for the person who sits in front of you in church. Pray for the person who sits behind you in church. If you know their needs, mention them specifically to the Lord. Make an action plan to encourage them this week – a card in the pew, a homemade goodie bag, a phone call – whatever ‘fits’ you and your skill set.
Day 19: Pray for the youth of the church ~ that their enthusiasm and energy will be channeled by God in serving Him. Pray that they would be protected from Satan’s attacks at school today.
Day 20: Prepare yourself for the weekend attacks of the enemy. Pray for the person in the church who makes you most uncomfortable. Ask God to bless them. Contact one person who has been out of fellowship for a while and ask them to join you at church tomorrow.
Day 21: This is the Lord’s Day. Pray for yourself ~ that you will build up the body today in all you say and do. Mentally engage in worship today. Really read the words of the songs from your heart. Make a point of looking a child in the eye and making them feel important.
Day 22: Pray for yourself ~ being a healthy member of the Body of Christ extends far beyond the walls of the church. Ask for His help as you share the gospel and live in His power in your own family. Smile at each of them today.
Day 23: Pray for your pastor ~ contact him and ask what you can do for the church. If you feel unsure of the best way you can be used, ask him to help you pray that God will show both of you the best way you can build up the church.
Day 24: Pray for the people who sat in your pew last Sunday. Pray that God will give each of them a desire to love and serve Him. If they all live under your roof, give each of them a hug today.
Day 25: Pray for the people who clean and maintain the church grounds. This is often a thankless job. Pray that they would do this ‘unto the Lord.’ If you know who does this, tell them thanks. If not, find out.
Day 26: Pray for the new converts in the church that God will bless and protect them as the seed of the Gospel grows in their hearts. If you don’t have any new converts, pray for unsaved family and friends that need Jesus desperately. Speak a word for God in public today. Tell the cashier, “Have a blessed day” or answer “God’s been so good to me” when asked how you’re doing.
Day 27: Prepare for the weekend attacks by the devil. Dwell on the privilege of the freedom to worship. Get excited about tomorrow! Make a special dessert for Sunday lunch. Get ready to celebrate the best day of the week!
Day 28: This is the Lord’s Day. Play hymns in the car or pray on the way to church. Talk about things God is doing for you with your family in the car. Tell your kids stories of how God has worked in your life. Give a little extra money in the offering. Healthy bodies have expenses. Thank God for your church!