One thing I am learning as I get older is just how much I care about and appreciate my church family. My church is very active in helping those in it wherever it can. If you are part of a church then I think you will agree that it is so important to pray for those in your church family. There are many different areas of life that we all go through, some good and some bad, but prayer is always a great thing! Here are 6 prayers you can pray for your church family!
Table of contents
For Our Pastors
Dear Father In Heaven,
I can’t say enough words to thank You for the men you’ve placed in pastoral roles in my church. I pray that You would continue to mold them into the children You have called them to be. Grow their intellect. Empower them to be bold. Give them peace in the midst of difficult sermons to preach. Lead them Father, as they continue to lead the congregation for You! Lord, You are sovereign over all things and I pray that You will open the hearts of this congregation as our leaders lead us in song and sermon. Thank You for them, Father! Amen
Your Close Brothers/Sisters
Thank You for leading me to my church family! I am surrounded by a few extremely close brothers and sisters that I love with my whole heart. I pray that as we get older and closer that we will never lose sight of what brought us together and that was You, Father. I pray that You watch over them and keep them safe, Lord. May we always be accountable to one another and never demean one another but always encourage each other in the times of blessing and of trials. I thank You for my brothers and sisters, Lord! I love You! Amen
Those In Conflict
The church has been the same since its beginning. There have been disputes among believers since the beginning. Paul opposed Peter in Galatia. (Galatians 2:11-14) Paul reminded the church of Philippi to do nothing out of rivalry (Philippians 2:3). There is a reason why You are in charge, Father. We could never keep order in the church without Your presence there. Father, I pray for those in conflict right now that they would not give the devil a foothold in their lives, but that they would come together in Your Name to resolve any conflicts between them. I pray that You will be glorified in everything they do. I pray this in Your Son’s precious Name! Amen
Those Whom Are Ill
Father In Heaven,
I pray for those who are hurting in my church family today. Lord, some have minor health problems while others have some very serious ones. I pray that You will be with them and heal them, Father. You are the Great Physician and I believe in Your power to heal! Lord, please give peace to those who are in the midst of serious health issues. Father, I pray that they turn to You and know that You are right there beside them in their time of crisis. May Your will be done in their lives this day. Amen
The Workers Are Few
Our congregation is struggling so much. The ones who are leading are exhausted because they are being stretched so far. I pray that You will convict others to rise up and help lead. We need more worship leaders, teachers, greeters and other positions to be filled. Lord, so many want to be fed the Word of God but they won’t raise a hand to help carry the flock. I pray that You will bring about a passion in the hearts of those who are sitting by idly knowing that they could be doing something to grow and nurture the church. I pray for strength for the ones that are giving so much to keep the church running. Be with them, Father. Amen
Expanding And Growing
We are in an exciting time in our church! Our family is growing so much and I have seen personally so many things happen for Your glory here! We are at a crossroad and it looks like an expansion is necessary. Father, I pray for Your wisdom to overflow into the congregation as we hold our congregational monthly meeting to talk about this. May we not expand the church for our own pride or accomplishments. You are the One who has accomplished the growth of this church. You are moving big time right now and we all need to focus on You and not ourselves. Give us wisdom as to what to do in this expansion. May we build exactly what You are leading us to build. I give You all the praise in this, Lord! Amen
The church has many functions and it is a job for us all to be in prayer. Whatever issues your congregation is facing, pray about them. Pray for your close brothers and sisters. Pray for those you don’t know well. Just as we are washed by the Word, we can cover the church congregation with prayers and petitions before God. May God bless you as you continue to live a life worthy of the calling!
Read Derek Hill’s personal testimony here: From the Muck and Mire to a Higher Calling
Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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Have you ever been reading your Bible and noticed how Paul prays such rich, kingdom-saturated prayers for churches?
- For the church in Thessalonica: “To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power” (2 Thess. 1:11; see also 1 Thess. 1:9–13).
- For the church in Colossae: “We have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God” (Col. 1:9–10).
- For the church in Ephesus: “I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him” (Eph. 1:16–17; see also 3:14–21).
- For the church in Rome (Rom. 15:14–33) and the church in Philippi (Phil. 1:9–11).
Of course, there’s far more where this came from. See Don Carson’s excellent book on the topic, Praying with Paul: A Call to Spiritual Reformation (Baker) , as well as TGC’s corresponding eight-session group study curriculum (LifeWay) .
Leading the Charge
It’s comparatively easy for you and me to pray for ourselves, our families, and our friends. But how can we learn how to pray more fervently and consistently for our local churches?
For one, we just need to start doing it—and encouraging others to do so.
To help with that, here are 18 things you can pray for your church. They aren’t as rich as Paul’s since I wanted to keep them simple and Twitter-length. (Also because I’m not inspired.) Still, perhaps you could print out this article and pray two or three of the points below per day for the next week—maybe in your quiet time, maybe at the family dinner table.
Also, consider copying and pasting your favorite prayers below into Twitter or Facebook, led by the phrase “Pray for your church: . . .” Don’t insert my Twitter handle or TGC’s. You don’t have enough room, and it’s not the point. The point is to use your social media platform to encourage others to pray for their church.
Who knows? One day in glory, perhaps we’ll see all the good accomplished from believers being more deliberate about praying for their churches.
What to Pray For
1. That we would have unity amid diversity—loving those with whom we have nothing in common but the gospel.
2. That a culture of discipling would form in which making disciples is viewed as an ordinary part of the Christian life.
3. That faithful elders would use Scripture to train members to do the work of ministry.
4. That a hunger for studying the gospel would form among members so that they can guide and guard one another in it.
5. That transparent, meaningful relationships would become normal and remaining anonymous strange.
6. The preaching of God’s Word—that it would be biblically careful and Holy Spirit imbued.
7. That elders would remain above reproach, kept from temptation, complacency, idols, and worldliness.
8. That the church’s songs would teach members to biblically confess, lament, and praise.
9. That the church’s prayers would be infused with biblical ambitions, honesty, and humility.
10. That adult members would work to disciple teenagers and not just leave it to programming.
11. That the church’s primary teachers grow in dedication to God’s Word even when no one’s watching.
12. That it would grow in being distinct from the world in love and holiness, even as it engages outsiders.
13. That members would share the gospel this week—and see more conversions!
14. That members would be prepared for persecution, remembering to love, not curse, their persecutors.
15. That hopes for political change would be outstretched by the hope of heaven.
16. That giving would be faithul, as well as joyful, consistent, and sacrificial.
17. That more members would use their careers to take the gospel to places it’s never been.
18. That members would be good and do good in their workplaces this week.
Can you think of something I didn’t include? Then pray it and share it! This is hardly the “official list” of the 18 most important things to pray. They’re simply what one guy thought of while sitting in his office chair.
The point is for all of us to start praying more intentionally for our churches, and to encourage others to do the same.
As we turn our calendars to a new year, we instinctively make plans to give attention to what matters. As Christians, we know that when we think about our priorities, prayer is right at the top of the list. I was reading through Nick Batzig’s helpful post on how to pray for our pastors and thought about how we could pray for our churches. Here are 5 ways that we can be praying for our own church family and other churches as well.
1. Pray for a Hunger for the Bible.
If the goal of the church is Christlikeness, then the diet for the church must be the Bible. After all, it is the Bible that God uses to make the child of God more like the Son of God (John 17:17). Therefore, we can pray that the church would be filled with people who hunger for hearing from God in their private devotions, public gatherings, and conversations with other believers. Imagine the impact of a church full of people who wake up eager to come and hear the Word preached on Sunday morning. Imagine a church that longs to open the Bible each morning to discover anew the truth of God’s character and conquests. Imagine hearts so overflowing with the Bible that their text messages, conversations, and meditations just drip with the Scriptures. Everything pivots on what we do with the Bible.
Our Father, give our church—give me—an abiding delight in your Word. Cause me always to hunger for the truth while being ever satisfied with the truth. Lord, make our church a Bible-saturated church.
2. Pray for Thankfulness.
A thankful church should not be taken for granted, and an unthankful church should not be left alone. The Apostle Paul identifies being unthankful as a footprint of unbelief (Rom. 1:21) while noting thankfulness as a mark of a believer (Col. 3:15–17). One way we can be praying for our churches is to plead with God that we would be thankful.
But thankful for what? And thankful to whom?
The Apostle shows us that the thankfulness we are after is God-centered and gospel-wrought. In other words, we want to see churches enveloped by a real joy in God because of what He has done for us in Christ. You see this in Colossians 1 as Paul, himself in prison, prays for a church full of people whom he has never met—that they would understand the greatness of God and joyfully respond to the gospel with thanksgiving to God (Col. 1:9–14).
God, make us to be a church that is thankful to You and for You. May Your worth and work captivate our hearts, minds, and wills so that circumstances are transcended by the fact that You are for us in Christ.
3. Pray for Gospel Growth.
The gospel is intended to advance. Jesus commissioned His disciples as missionaries (Matt. 28:19–21) and churches have been advancing the gospel ever since. This cannot happen, however, with churches full of people unmoved by the gospel. The truth of the gospel must get down deep into the marrow of our beings, our very souls. It is a truth that must color every thought, action, and reaction. As we grow in our understanding of the gospel (and its implications), we find ourselves growing in our knowledge and application of the Bible. We become mature. Now, please understand—there is a difference between knowing about the Bible and gospel growth. The Pharisees knew a lot about the written Word but they rejected the incarnate Word. You have to do more than graduate with a degree in Bible Trivia. To grow in the gospel is to have one’s identity, mission, security, and hopes all built on what Christ has done. A church that is growing in the gospel is filled with people who are joyfully loving, serving, and sacrificing for one another as they demonstrate the gospel. They are also tactfully, winsomely, and zealously declaring the gospel to each other and the world around them.
God, strengthen us in the gospel. Draw us deeply into the glory of Christ. Make us more and more impressed with Him this very day. Cause us to grow in the gospel and walk in a manner worthy of it.
4. Pray for Holiness.
The Apostle Peter exhorts us to be holy because God Himself is holy (1 Peter 1:15–16). Before the church is anything else, she is set apart to holiness. Therefore, one of the prevailing burdens for us in prayer is to walk in holiness that corresponds to the reality of being positionally set apart by God. This is a challenge because we live in the midst of a world that is not holy. It does not regard holiness as a virtue. It, quite frankly, mocks holiness. As a result, we need to continually pray for our church family that we would be a holy people. The Bible tells us to pursue, or strive, after holiness with an intense effort (Heb. 12:14). This unwavering burden to reflect the divine character to one another and to the world around us must be an ongoing prayer.
Our holy God, make us to prize and pursue Your holiness. Strengthen our burden, commitment, and endurance to strive daily after holiness in our lives.
5. Pray for Unity.
The gospel brings people together. What’s more, it brings sinful people with various backgrounds (geographic, ethnic, economic, etc.) together. The gospel takes selfish people and causes them to love one another. However, we know from reading the New Testament and from experience that selfishness constantly attempts to overthrow unity. How do we combat this? We are told to preserve unity (Eph. 4:2) by walking in a manner that is worthy of the gospel. This is a humble, gentle, enduring, and loving walk. It tends toward preserving unity rather than fracturing it. As long as selfishness exists, we must find ourselves praying for unity. We get there by asking for believers to walk this gospel walk, leaving footprints of humility.
Father, You are one God in three persons. There is such a loving, happy unity in the Trinity. Make this church—make me—to feel this happiness. Cause us to be united in and through the Trinity so that we might be united together, as a church, in love.
“Prayer meetings were the arteries of the early church. Through them, life-sustaining power was derived. The condition of the church may be very accurately gauged by its prayer meetings. So is the prayer meeting a grace-ometer, and from it we may judge of the amount of divine working among a people. If God be near a church, it must pray. And if He be not there, one of die first tokens of His absence will be a slothfulness in prayer!” Charles Haddon Spurgeon
When is the last time you prayed for your church body? What about for your pastor? Staff? Leadership? Have you prayed for your Sunday School teacher? Have you interceded on behalf of issues taking place in your church or decisions that need to be made?
Our churches are under the attack of the enemy like never before. Our leaders and each of our brothers and sisters in Christ need our prayers. We are the Body of Christ and we must lift one another up!
A Prayer for Good to Prevail over Evil
“‘As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones.’ Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.” Genesis 50:20
SEE ALSO: The Lord’s Prayer – Our Father – Be Encouraged and Strengthened!
Lord, what the enemy means for evil against our church body, we believe You can use for good. Remind our hearts of this. When we are being attacked and crushed from all sides, remind us of Your faithfulness to use everything for Your good and Your glory. May we not fear but trust in Your provision for our church family. May we not only be readers of Your Word, but believers and doers. Increase our faith, Lord.
A Prayer for Unity as a Church Body
“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:1-3
God, help our church body to walk in a manner worthy of the calling You have given us. Help us in all our interactions with one another to have humble and gentle hearts. Grant us patience for one another, bearing with one another in love. Grant the Body of Christ unity. May we walk humbly with You, God, allowing You to show us our wrongs.
SEE ALSO: 10 Morning Prayers to Use Daily
A Prayer to Seek the Lord
“If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place.” 2 Chronicles 7:14-15
Lord, You have told us in Your Word that You hear our prayers. We are crying out to You, we are humbling ourselves before You and seeking Your face. We come together as a church body to seek You. We repent and turn from our wicked ways, thank You for hearing us. Thank you for Your forgiveness and healing.
A Prayer to Pursue Peace
SEE ALSO: A Prayer to be Like Jesus – The Greatest Intercessor
“So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.” Romans 14:19
Father God, You desire peace and unity and encouragement for our body of believers. Help us, Lord, to pursue what makes for peace and for building one another up. To pursue the things of You will lead to peace and unity. Give us discerning hearts to know Your will and give us the courage to be obedient. Lord, we know that without You and Your Holy Spirit indwelling each of us, we cannot do any of these things. But, with You and for Your glory, grant our body peace and unity.
A Prayer to Follow Jesus
“And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.” Luke 9:23-24
Lord, You have given us what seems like an impossible task with this passage. You have asked us to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow You. Even when our spirits are willing, the flesh is weak. You know our hearts, Father. Help us, with Your Holy Spirit, to examine our hearts and hear from You. The longer we walk with You, the more we look like You. We desire to become more and more like You, less selfish and more selfless, willing to deny ourselves in any and all situations. You have told us that when we lose our life for Your sake, we will save it. Save us from ourselves, God.
As we lift up these words for our churches, let us come before God with humility and a willingness to obey. Let us put others first and serve our brothers and sisters in Christ. May we seek God first, putting aside our own desires. May we become intercessors for our brothers and sisters in Christ. May we pray more and criticize less. May we be encouragers and uplifters.
Candace Crabtree is just a broken mama thankful for grace and new mercies every morning. She and her husband live in East Tennessee where they homeschool their 3 kids. Candace also enjoys teaching piano, coffee, good books and blogging at His Mercy Is New. On her blog she shares encouragement for weary women from God’s Word along with resources for learning to pray the Scriptures.
Publication date: July 7, 2016
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