Thirty-One Days of Prayer Refocus, Replenish Ohio Church
By Kim Ousley
Pastor Tracy Stephens of Lebanon First Church of God in Ohio is excited about his congregation partaking in a “31 Days of Prayer” experience during the month of August. Preparation started in July as he and his congregation prepared to commit to praying daily for different needs both locally and around the world.
“We take our message from 2 Chronicles 7:14, where God says, ‘If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land,’” said Stephens.
He shares a sweet story about his wife’s grandmother, who was became both a bride and a widow in the same year. “She shares how her grandmother had an old hen that laid eggs, and she depended on those eggs to give for tithes. The hen was hit by a car, but Grandma prayed, and that old hen lived!” The faith that our ancestors in the faith had in those days still inspires us today.
He goes on to disclose that his congregation is mostly made up of older saints; praying for the sick or ill is continually important. Lebanon First Church of God is praying for those who are suffering or perhaps grieving. Pastor Stephens hopes they will fill God’s comfort and healing.
Each day, a message of what to pray for is published on the Facebook page of the church. Some of the followings are what is listed there:
Missionaries across the world and those in volatile conditions. Saints living in places where the name of Jesus may lead to death and prosecution.
Family units. Parents, children, and grandchildren, as well as extended family. May each one of them draw closer to God and pray that issues within the family can be resolved.
Pray for our nation’s leaders. May the Spirit of God break through the spiritual darkness that penetrates our land and that the light of truth would shine on the hearts of everyone.
Pray for loved ones to come to know Jesus.
Pray for the church at large, and the pastors to be anointed and bring truth to those who hear. Pray for the unbelievers to come to know Christ, and pray that believers would be brought closer to God in faith and obedience and holiness.
And, last but certainly not least, the pastor of Lebanon First Church of God and the ministry and outreach of the church—that it would be effective and fruitful for the kingdom of God.
“On Tuesday mornings from 10:30 AM to noon, we open the sanctuary for those wanting to sit quietly and pray.” There are scriptures on the screens up front while instrumental worship music plays softly in the background.
Pastor Stephens says he hopes people are reminded of who they are praying to, and the awe and majesty of God. “He’s willing and able to answer our prayers, exceedingly and abundantly.”
Kim Ousley is a freelance writer from Anderson, Indiana.
Learn more about the Church of God movement at www.JesusIsTheSubject.org.