Lutz Campus

18333 Exciting Idlewild Blvd.
Lutz, FL 33548

Idlewild at The Springs

8209 N 19th St
Tampa, FL 33604

Iglesia Bautista Idlewild

Main Campus, Student Building, Hall 2

Prayer in Transition

Prayer in Transition


The early church prayed through transition. The church was always in transition as seen in Acts and the apostle Paul’s epistles, and so they were unceasing in prayer.

After the ascension, the disciples and some followers of Christ Jesus, “…returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives…. they went upstairs…. They all joined together constantly in prayer….” (Acts 1:12a, 13a, 14a) As the growth and movement of the church increased, they faced hardship and prayed in every season including times of persecution. “So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him…. he went to the house of Mary… where many people had gathered and were praying.” (Acts 12:5, 12b)

As churches were planted, built up, and established through the preaching of the Gospel and continued ministry, there was ongoing transition. At the beginning and end of Paul’s letters, one could glimpse of Paul’s relationships, exhortations, greetings, plans, needs, cautions, God’s provisions, and Paul’s commendations and recommendations of preachers and workers. Everyone was moving about. Things were in flux. There was growth and resistance. Through it all, God responded to their prayers with relationship, direction, purpose, power, protection, provisions and the extending of His kingdom in the hearts of people through salvation in Christ.

As a church received a letter from Paul, they would first encounter God through Paul’s prayers. In Ephesians 1:16-17, “I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation so that you may know him better.” In Philippians 1:4, 6, “In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

Paul then finished his letters with prayers for the church, “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.”  (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24) Paul’s “fellow workers for the kingdom of God” (Colossians 4:11) are also seen praying in these times of transition. “Epaphras…is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured.” (vs. 12)

Even when the apostle Paul ministered in one location for several years or made tents to provide income for himself and ministry, the church was not seen settling in; but active, faithful and praying fervently. As Idlewild transitions and journeys forward in worship, ministry, relationship and faithfulness, we can stand firm in prayer as Paul exhorted, “Be joyful always, pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

Greg Murphy – Pastor, Pastoral Care, Prayer, and Life Discovery