The Products of Prayer

We welcome Pastor John Onwuchekwa, author of "Prayer: How Praying Together Shapes the Church," for a conversation on the formative power of corporate prayer.

 

Christian Civics Executive Director Rick Barry sits down for a revealing conversation with Rev. John Onwuchekwa, pastor of Cornerstone Church in Atlanta, Georgia, and author of Prayer: How Praying Together Shapes the Church. They talk about how prayer was modeled in Pastor Onwuchekwa’s childhood home, how group prayer saved Rick’s faith, and why prayer is an important part of outreach and church growth.

Mentioned In This Episode

Prayer: How Praying Together Shapes the Church by John Onwuchekwa
Light to the World: Navigating Politics in Light of the Christian Story
Journey in Prayer: Learning to Pray with Jesus by John Smed and Justine Hwang

In this episode…
  • Pastor John Onwuchekwa is pastor of Cornerstone Church, in Atlanta, Georgia, and author of "Prayer: How Praying Together Shapes the Church." He's a Texan at heart, and can be found on Twitter at @JawnO.

  • Rick Barry is Executive Director of Center for Christian Civics, where he helps ministry leaders and faith communities develop missional approaches to their local public squares. He has worked on campaigns for local, state and federal office, is a former writer and editor for Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City and oversaw communications for the Grace DC church network. He and his wife live in Washington, DC.

Prayer Exercise

Think about someone in your church who does not share your politics. Then, take some time to pray through the below prayer, making sure to pray for both yourself and this other person, by name, every time the prayer mentions, “we,” “us,” or “our.”

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PRAYER

God,

Thank you for making yourself our father—for putting us in that kind of intimate relationship with you, for choosing us and adopting us into your family for assuring us that there is nothing we can do to change your love for us.

Your name is worthy of reverence. Teach us to worship and honor you, not for your mighty deeds, but for the beauty and purity of your character.

We are broken and bruised, but you commissioned your Son to pay an incredible price so that we could be in relationship with you, the Holy God. We want to be more like Jesus. Please fill us with the Holy Spirit and give us the power to follow Jesus and be advocates for his goodness, justice and righteousness in this world.

Please make Jesus the leader of our lives. Give us the grace, wisdom, and courage to live out the values and character of Jesus’ coming kingdom today. Through our lives and our life together in the church, let Jesus’s restoration and rebuilding be felt in our town here and now.

Our hearts are not always in line with your will. Please open our ears to hear the cry of the victim. Give us passion for justice. Give us compassion. And give us hearts that seek the rehabilitation of both victims and offenders.

Give us hearts that are willing to carry out your will on earth by getting involved with the needs of our town that you have carried us into.

Thank you for everything we have, for every good gift of grace you’ve given us to make living in this world bearable and even enjoyable. Give us grateful, content hearts and lead us to joy and even generosity in simplicity.

Provide for our earthly needs. We are often more anxious than we are willing to admit and more set on feeling like we are capable of providing for ourselves than a dependent creature should be. Give us hearts that trust and rely on you.

Thank you for sending us Jesus to make forgiveness and reconciliation not just possible, but guaranteed. Through Jesus, cleanse our hearts and heal our wounds.

And as we are forgiven by you, give us the power to forgive others. As you bear with us, give us the patience to bear with others. Teach us to be peacemakers in the relationships and brokenness around us.

Guide us. Be present with us. Protect us. And through your spirit, give us the power and confidence and grace to resist temptation and to overcome trials. Teach us to bear one another up in this so that we can each say that we are stronger because of the work you have done through the other.

Defend and deliver us in our trials. Restrain evil in our lives. And teach us to be agents of your restraint in the community around us.

Thank you that your goodness will prevail. Lead us to celebrate that eventual victory now and together.

Amen.

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Light to the World

A Bible study guide on faith and politics for small groups, now revised and updated!

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