Tonight I participated in a prayer service at my church. I was asked to pray for the “groups” at my church—the young, the old, the married, the single, and so on. It’s kind of a weird thing to write out a prayer beforehand–and even weirder to practice it in the kitchen!–but this tapped into something that’s been on my heart lately. The coolest thing is that from some feedback I’ve gotten, it’s obvious I prayed about some stuff that other people have had on their hearts too.
I love it when God is up to something! So here’s what I prayed—sort of an extension of Mama’s Fake ID. More like, my Church’s Got a Fake ID. Here it is. Tell me what you think!
I pray that we as a church learn to look beyond the “groups” to which we belong and to see those individual gifts in each of us. That we see each other as you see us.
Lord, let us be a church that encourages one another in those gifts—no matter what they are—and that builds one another up. So that together we can meet the needs of this world and spread your Good News to the best of our abilities, in the way you created us to do so.
Lord, I pray for those who feel alone, like they don’t belong or fit in. I ask that you open our eyes to those who struggle in these areas and offer them a true, honest welcome. That we show them love for who they are, that we help them find their place among us, and that we help them understand that all of us at times feel like we don’t fit—here or anywhere. But that we always fit with you, Lord. Thank you for that.
Along those lines, I ask that we can get beyond image and façade and be willing to share and to see what is real in each of us. I pray that we as a congregation can be open to sharing our hurts and our shame as a means of sharing your glory and your grace. This requires vulnerability, though Lord, so I ask that we stay safe people—ones who don’t gossip or delight in the wrongdoings or suffering of each other—but ones who protect and support one another.
But in families, that doesn’t always happen. So I pray that you will heal those of this church who have been wounded, disappointed, or let down by fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Help them forgive and even reconcile where possible.
Same goes for those of us who have had disagreements on issues ranging from what seems silly to serious. While we will never agree on everything this side of heaven (and maybe not even on the other side!) I ask that in these disagreements or discussions, you help us maintain open hearts and open minds, that we maintain integrity, and at all times realize that what we seek to do as a body of Believers is to honor you, to do right by you, to act as we believe you are calling us to do.
So thank you again, Lord, for the magnificent, gifted individuals who make up the people of Elmhurst Christian Reformed Church. I pray that you bless us, protect us, embolden us, shape us, and use each of us in your kingdom, for your glory.