Confession time: I’m not a good pray-er. There are those that pray and the words just flow eloquently from their mouths. I’ve been around those people, and I deeply respect them. They always have a prayer on their hearts and lips, and I used to find myself feeling spiritually lesser than these individuals. Over the past few years though, I’ve found that maybe I don’t have to be the best pray-er. I think some people have a gift, and maybe for some they work a bit more at it. I work more at it, and I’ve found that written prayers prayed over and over seem to work well for me. I’ve found a rich history of prayers in the Christian faith that still work well when prayed today. And, I’ve found that I tend to pray the same prayer often.
So, with all of that, I wanted to share a prayer with you, my church, that I pray for you most everyday. I hope this prayer blesses and encourages you. For any of you who struggle to pray, I hope this encourages you to know that you are not the only one. And for anyone who wants to pray for their local church, I hope this gives you a starting point.
I pray today for my church. Not the building or institution, but the people scattered all over this community in their neighborhoods, schools, places of work, and anywhere else they find themselves today.
For those who are hurting and sick, I pray for your healing, peace, and comfort.
For those who struggle with addictions, I pray for freedom.
For those who feel lonely, I pray for them to find community from this church family.
For those who feel far from you, I pray that you would be near.
For those who feel lost in the routine of life, I pray that you give them purpose.
For those who are faithful and dedicated, I pray for renewed energy to continue faithfully following you.
And for everyone within our church, I pray they know they have been called to partner with you in your mission of restoring the world, beginning right where they are today. Help them to see you at work all around them, and to see Christ in others. Grow within them the fruit of your Spirit, that they may be more loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, generous, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled people, so that they may live lives that point to you, and proclaim the nearness of your kingdom in the River Region.
In the name of the one we call Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,