What to wear to church this Sunday

At some point on a Sunday morning, you will end up standing in front of your dresser or in your closet, trying to figure out what to wear to church. Some of us grab whatever is handy and move on. Others of us (more than we would want to admit) hem and haw and go through multiple choices before settling on the outfit (and then maybe change our minds one more time).

God is definitely interested in and cares deeply about what we wear to church. And, it has nothing to do with suits and ties, T-shirts or jeans. We are His body, and He shares specific instructions with us on what we are to wear when we gather and live life together with other believers.

Check out the guidance that Colossians 3:12-15 gives us:

Therefore, God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, accepting one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive. Above all, put on love — the perfect bond of unity. And let the peace of the Messiah, to which you were also called in one body, control your hearts. Be thankful.”‭

Let’s put on our identity in Christ.
We are chosen by God to be His. Let that sink in. God absolutely loves us, and He has taken away and forgiven what separated us from Him. Because of what God has done for us, we can be who He created us to be – in Christ. We are because He Is.

Let’s intentionally and overtly wear the fruit of the Spirit.
From that position of being chosen, made holy and wholeheartedly loved, God gives us His own Spirit. As the Spirit works in and through our lives, His fruit creates beautiful garments we are to put on and show off. We aren’t to hide what God has made and given us to share. We are to put on heartfelt compassion. We are to dress to the nines in kindness. We are to be known for being humble and elevating others. We are to showcase gentleness and wow with the patience that flows from our lives. We should be known for these things. This directive from the Lord is convicting because it reveals our heart. We cannot be selfish and display these qualities. Pride must go. Because God loves us so completely, we can let go of our agenda and embrace Him wholeheartedly. It’s when we surrender fully to the Spirit, that He produces His fruit to clothe us with His character. 

Let’s cover each other in forgiveness.
To forgive is to obey the God who loves us so much. And, God says to those of us who are in the body of Christ, that we must accept each other. When someone has a complaint against us or against another brother or sister (and we know that happens), we must forgive each other. God includes a major zinger in this passage to emphasize how important this is to Him. Just as the Lord has forgiven us, we must also forgive. That puts offenses in perspective. All of our sinful behavior, all of our selfish actions, all of our speaking before thinking, all of our disregard for others or elevating ourselves above other brothers and sisters, all of the ways we squelch the growth of the fruit of the Spirit in our lives — all of our sin, ALL OF IT, Jesus willingly laid down His life to pay it off. And, that’s how we are to forgive others. 

Let’s put on love, which pulls it all together.
It’s the most important – what we cannot leave without. Scripture says, “above all.” The signature piece is love. Simple, pure, unblemished, the perfect piece that complements and sets apart. Love is the hallmark, the defining signature of a Christian. Above all, put on love. This love saturates, encompasses and is the lens through which we see everything else. We put on Christ when we put on love. Our Savior is love, His life is love, His eternal purpose is love. And when we wrap ourselves up in His love, our lives radiate the glory of His Gospel. His love is what pulls it all together. It is the perfect bond of unity. Love is the reason we are family, because God so loved each of us. Now that we believe, we are brothers and sisters – and can come together united in His love, as His church. Love now is our definition, and must be what we are known for, because of Whose we are.

Let’s tie peace around our hearts.
God’s peace is always available to us. The peace of knowing Jesus came to earth with us in mind, willingly making a way for us to have a relationship with Him, is overwhelming. Yet, so often we wouldn’t use the word peace to describe our crazy lives. Peace is either an afterthought or an unattainable ideal that one day we might achieve. Jesus came to set us free from that kind of thinking. When we embrace His love, and give Him our hearts, we have forever access to His peace. However, peace isn’t an automatic result. It is a decision. It’s a choice to let the peace of Jesus have complete control of our hearts. We release our preconceived ideas, and let go of getting a say. We relinquish full authority to the Author of faith. He is God, and we are not. It’s only then that we can clearly hear The Word speak over us, and we can live out the fullness of our calling in Christ.

The way we dress really does matter. By following the pattern of Colossians 3:12-15, we can show the world, and our family, that we belong to Jesus. So, let’s embrace our identity, and follow the Spirit’s lead. Let’s forgive and love like Jesus. And, let’s allow God’s peace to lead the way.

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/