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Why I Pray Publicly for Other Churches

Praying for other churches also communicates an important truth about the various churches in a city: We are all on the same team!

We all have the same mission, and it is to proclaim the gospel of Jesus and make disciples of him. The last thing we should want as pastors is to communicate a provincial, myopic spirit among our members that recognizes good only in our church, and cannot see what God is doing more broadly.

We serve a massive God, and an important way to show that to our people and teach them to rejoice in it is to teach them to care about God’s work in the lives of other churches.

I have found that praying for other churches also helps me to cultivate friendships with their pastors.

It reminds me, week after week, that there are other men engaged in this same work that so consumes me each day, and challenges me to strain against any tendency I might have to isolate myself in the work.

In our church covenant at Third Avenue, one of the promises we make to one another as members is that we will not “omit the great duty of prayer both for ourselves and for others.”

At its heart, that is a promise that we will remember not only God’s great delight in answering prayer and his unstoppable power to do so, but also the great truth that he is glorifying his Son through the work of churches all over our cities and the world. 

Note: This article originally appeared here on the 9Marks website.

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Greg Gilbert is the senior pastor of Third Avenue Baptist Church and is most recently the author, with Sebastian Traeger, of The Gospel at Work: How Working for King Jesus Gives Purpose and Meaning to Our Jobs (Zondervan, forthcoming).