In love after 30 years

My current daily Bible reading plan. Search for “A Passion to Serve” on the Bible App (YouVersion).

My heart leaped this morning when I saw what was next in my Bible reading plan!

I’m currently working through the “A Passion to Serve” plan on the YouVersion Bible app, focusing on places in Scripture that detail what it means to serve God and serve others. I’m on Day 305! ūüôā Yesterday I finished the book of Genesis and the life and legacy of Joseph. Today, I opened up the app, and I’m diving into the book of Acts next!! This is one of my favorite books of the Bible. I was almost giddy when I saw it!

In that moment of silly joy over Scripture, it hit me all over that this is what it means to be in love with Jesus.

God saved me 30 years ago. It really blows my mind that we have been in relationship for three decades!! The God of the Universe has chosen to walk by my side for all these years, putting up with my faults and annoyances, my failures and fears. He’s seen my best and my worst, and His love has never changed. He’s never left my side. He’s carried me through the darkest moments, shouldered my burdens, and held my heart through unbearable loss. He’s invited me on mission, imparted the words and the courage to share the Greatest News, and given me the precious privilege of seeing my children come to know Him. He’s blessed beyond what I’ve ever deserved! His patience astounds me, His compassion overwhelms me, and knowing He will never give up on me makes me love Him even more.

So when my heart beats a little faster opening up God’s letter to me, it makes me smile. Not everyday is like that. There are times I read and pray because I should, and not because I want to. Yet, God’s faithfulness isn’t determined by mine. I’m in a love relationship with the God who created me, with the Savior who sacrificed everything for me, with the Spirit who has chosen to dwell within me.

When God redeemed my life, it was for keeps. I can think of nothing better than growing old with Jesus. After 30 years, He still makes me smile.

 


**I do realize that many of us have and are walking roads where our faith has been stretched across the painful realities of life, and our love relationship with God has been strained. Our hearts don’t match with our heads. We may be asking hard questions, struggling to see where God is in the midst of a difficult situation, or perhaps we’ve just grown apathetic over time without meaning to be. Our desire is gone. I raise my hand and confess to all of these scenarios over the course of my relationship with Christ, even recently. Please know in those moments, God’s love does not change. He has not left you, and He is continually choosing to love you. There has never been a time He has regretted dying on the cross for you. Pray for God to renew that love and joy in your heart. Pray over Psalm 51:12. ¬†There is no distance that God’s grace cannot reach. I’m praying for you today.

10 Scriptures to Pray for Your Church

Church is a family
 
It is our privilege to come into God’s throne room to intercede and lift up our church and its leaders. Church is not a place, it’s a body. It is family, with blood ties through Jesus Christ. Join me in regularly and faithfully praying for God’s hand, presence and work in our local churches. Use these 10 Scriptures as a beginning guide.
 
Pray that the church stays true to God’s message – and we proclaim it whether or not it’s convenient.
Proclaim the message; persist in it whether convenient or not; rebuke, correct, and encourage with great patience and teaching.
– 2 Timothy 4:2
Lord Jesus, compel us as a church to proclaim Your truth and preach Your message. It won’t always be easy, and it may not be convenient. But Jesus, Your words are life to us. Use Your Word to rebuke us, correct us and encourage us — and let us follow you as we hold each other accountable. Only You can give us great patience and the words to teach. We fully depend on You! Amen.
 
Pray that the church would be deeply committed to seeking God in prayer.
Devote yourselves to prayer; stay alert in it with thanksgiving.
– Colossians 4:2
Jesus, twice You cleared the Temple in righteous anger, because Your house was to be a house of prayer. Help us not to take that lightly. Lord, direct us to our knees, and seal our commitment and desire to be devoted to communing with You in prayer. Let our church be known as a house of prayer. Keep us awake, alert. Fill our hearts with joy no matter the circumstances as we come to You as a church body in prayer. Amen.
 
Pray that the church will boldly share Jesus — the ONLY way and ONLY hope!
There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people, and we must be saved by it.
– Acts 4:12
Savior, fill us with Your Spirit to boldly proclaim there is salvation in no one else but You! Through our church, shout Your name, lift up Your name for all to hear and all to see. Jesus, Your name is above all names. Only You can save! Keep us committed to sharing Your salvation and Your beautiful, wonderful, life-changing, eternity-altering name. Compel us to boldly speak Your name! Because of Your Name, and in Your Name we pray, Amen.
 
Pray that the church will worship, adore and praise God, in spirit and in truth.
God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.
– John 4:24
Lord, forgive us for worshiping what is not You. Direct our hearts to understand the fullness of Your character, Your heart, and Your truth. Open us up to fully live out our adoration of You, as a church family. Help us to honor You with our lives, and within the life and ministry of the church. Teach us how to worship You in spirit and in truth. You are holy, You are righteous, and You are absolutely worthy. Amen.
 
Pray for the church leaders to follow Christ, and serve humbly. Pray for protection of their witness and example.
Shepherd God’s flock among you, not overseeing out of compulsion but freely, according to God’s will; not for the money but eagerly; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.
– 1 Peter 5:2-3
God Almighty, we lift up our church leaders to You. We pray for our pastors and ministers, elders and deacons, teachers and ministry leaders. Instill shepherd hearts in them. Inspire them to dig deep into Your Word and root their lives in You alone. Protect their families and time with their families. We pray for humility as they lead, pouring out Your grace and generosity in them and through them. Preserve their witness – lead them as they walk with You, and give them the capacity to showcase Your love, mercy and forgiveness. Provide accountability as they lead us, and compel us to be faithful to stand in the gap for them. We praise You for the leaders You have raised up in this church! Amen.
 
Pray for the church’s dedication and¬†perseverance¬†to press believers onto maturity in discipleship.
We proclaim Him, warning and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ. I labor for this, striving with His strength that works powerfully in me.
– Colossians 1:28-29
Jesus, we confess as a church that we want to know You more. We commit to prioritize discipleship, to actively participate in the study of God’s Word, personally and corporately. God, come alongside us, and mold and make us to become more like Jesus. May our leaders labor and strive to present this body mature in Christ. Help us to grow! Give us a passion and zeal for the Bible and prayer — feed us, strengthen us and move us when necessary so that we are men and women of faith, full of grace and truth. Amen.
 
Pray for more servants to join Jesus in His Kingdom work.
Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is abundant, but the workers are few. Therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.”
– Matthew 9:37-38
Savior, open our eyes to the harvest before us. Lead us as a church to go out in the fields and get to work. We pray that you raise up men, women and children to make disciples here and around the world. Show this church how to be involved in Your Kingdom work, and motivate us to get to it. You are our Lord — and we will follow You! May your Holy Spirit give us the power to preach the Gospel to all creation, to make disciples of all nations, to care for the widows and orphans, to be Your hands and feet. In Jesus’s name, Amen.
 
Pray that church leaders prepare and equip believers for service.
And He personally gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, for the training of the saints in the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ.
– Ephesians 4:11-12
Lord God, encourage our church leaders – and reinforce their calling and commitment to serve You. Give them the wisdom, knowledge, fortitude and zeal to train and equip the believers to be the church. Pour into them, and guide them as they pour into us. Lord, You are the master builder, and we pray that You supernaturally gift our leaders to build up the body of Christ. Amen.
 
Pray that the church clings to its first love.
But I have this against you: You have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember then how far you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. Otherwise, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place–unless you repent.
– Revelation 2:4-5
Jesus, we can only love because You first loved us. You gave Yourself for us. We are YOUR body. We are nothing without You. Do not allow us as a church to take You or Your message of redemption for granted. Deepen our love. Show us how to love. We proclaim as a church that we love You!! You are our God! We want no one but You! Show us where we have failed. Bring us to repentance. Forgive us! You are our first, and only love, dear Jesus. 
 
Pray that the church will trust Jesus to grow the church, in His way and in His power.
And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the forces of Hades will not overpower it.
– Matthew 16:18
Jesus, build us, strengthen us, grow our faith. This is YOUR church. You created us. We are Yours. Use this church as YOU will, not as we will. Do what only You can do. We claim this promise: the forces of Hell will not overcome Your church. We stand in faith, covered in Your armor and armed with Your Word. You are our source of life and strength. We find sure footing, security and victory in the all-powerful, supreme King of Kings and Lord of Lords — Our Savior Jesus Christ! It’s in Your almighty name we pray, Amen.
 
 

*This post is adapted and expanded from http://neuething.org/10-scriptures-to-pray-for-the-church/