Cry Out #3: A Prayer for the Church

When an elite university, a Fortune 500 company, or a burgeoning democracy needs a leader, those in authority choose among the best and the brightest to lead them. God, however, chooses the foolish things of the world to confound the wise:

On this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. —Matthew 16:18

He reaches into the mud of humanity, lifts people out, washes them in the blood of His Son, and makes them His children. Then He puts them into a family He calls the
Church. For thousands of years, He’s used the Church—the Body of Christ—as His main vessel to draw the lost and spread the gospel.

Perhaps more than ever, popular opinion, culture, government, and spiritual forces of wickedness persecute and attempt to destroy the Church. But the gates of hell cannot prevail against her.

God’s Church marches on.

Will you join me in praying that the Church will be everything God created it to be—for His glory?

A Prayer for the Church

Father God, we come to You today as members of Your Church—to pray for Your Church. Your Body. Your Bride. You’ve gathered us into a family that spans a hundred generations and crosses the barriers of time and space. We are old and young, rich and poor, seasoned saints and newborn babes. How wonderful that You have made us the objects of Your love—Your children!

Lord Jesus, help us love the Church like You loved the Church and gave Yourself for it. Forgive us for taking it for granted. For fighting among ourselves like spoiled children. For bringing shame to Your name. We confess that we’ve been more concerned about glorifying ourselves than glorifying You. About building our kingdoms instead of building Yours.

Lord, we have sinned. We deserve Your judgment, but we plead for Your mercy. Help us to humble ourselves, pray, and turn from our wicked ways so You will hear from heaven and heal our land. Awaken us from our spiritual apathy.

You gave Your Church a weighty task—to preach the gospel to all people—and our mission isn’t complete. Open doors, we pray, for Your Word to go forth. Help us boldly proclaim the mystery of the gospel. Add to our numbers daily, Lord, those who will be saved. Empower us to serve each other as if we were serving You. To love in Your name. To stand for what is right, even when it costs us. Make us bold and courageous witnesses—for Your glory.

This world is not our friend, Lord. Some of our sisters and brothers suffer in prison. Others are persecuted. Still others have given their lives for Your sake. When persecution comes, give us the strength to bear up under its weight and the wisdom to leverage it for the sake of the gospel. Help us rejoice when we are counted worthy to suffer for Your name.Whatever circumstance we live in, help us not waste a moment of our pain.

Father, inspire our love to abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so we may approve what is excellent, and be pure and blameless for the day of Christ. Fill us with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. Make us men and women of Your Word, thirsty for living water and hungry for spiritual food that will satisfy our souls.

O Lord, incline Your ear and hear. Open Your eyes and see. We come to You today, not because of our righteousness, but because of Your great mercy. Bless us. Use us. And when the time comes, take us home to live with You forever. Until then, may we be found faithful.

May Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus.

Your Turn to Cry Out:

  • What aspects of the Church do you love? How has God used the Church to minister to you during your spiritual journey? As you pray this week, thank God for the beautiful aspects of the Church.
  • What aspects of the Church cause you the most concern? Bring these concerns before God this week in prayer.

Scripture References