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/

Diving into the Word this summer

It’s summer!!

In addition to splashing in the pool, exploring at the river, sleeping in (well, we are working on that!), and jumping on the trampoline, it’s also a perfect time to dive into the Word of God.

Though we emphasize the Bible as a family in our devotions, AWANA work and special experiences (like Christmas Countdown and 2 Weeks 2 the Cross), summer is a special time to dig deeper in the Scripture sandbox. We want our kids to discover God’s Word for themselves, and independently spend time with their Savior. Summer provides us an expanded format for them to learn how, at their own level and pace.

The kids' Bibles and devotion binders

The kids’ Bibles and devotion binders

Here’s how we are approaching our personal devotions this summer. This plan may change, because I want to give each of us the opportunity to wander down the paths where Jesus leads us!

We are using this page out of Lauren's Explorer Bible as a template for her devotions to start the summer.

We are using this page out of Lauren’s Explorer Bible as a template for her devotions to start the summer.

Early Reader Plan
Lauren, my six-year-old, has leaped forward with her reading skills. She surprises me every time I hear her read. This is her first time to study God’s Word on her own, since she now has the ability to read and write very well. I just bought her an NIrV Explorer Bible (with a purple cover), and she loves it! It is a treasure to her, as God’s Word should be. I love the NIrV translation because it is specifically geared toward young readers. Inside her Bible, we found a highlight page with Scriptures taking the reader through the life of Jesus. What a perfect place for her to start! So, each day (most likely weekdays), she reads the Scripture verses, then writes a few sentences about what she’s read and then draws a picture to help her remember. In addition to embracing the Word of God for herself, she is also furthering her reading, writing and comprehension skills. When we finish the life of Jesus, we will likely focus on another Bible hero, like David or Esther.

This is Lauren's first devotion page. She started reading about the life of Jesus in her Bible, and this is her synopsis and illustration!

This is Lauren’s first devotion page. She started reading about the life of Jesus in her Bible, and this is her synopsis and illustration!

Advanced Reader Plan
Jackson, my nine-year-old, is an advanced reader who just needed some focus and a plan to process and apply what he was reading. I discovered he was jumping around in Scripture rather than reading it through, so I asked him what he would like to study. He knew right away he wanted to know more about the life of Jesus! So, I collected devotions from TruthforKids.com. They have a plan for kids to work through the entire Bible in a year, with Scriptures and devotions for each day. I had downloaded them last summer and we had started from the beginning, but trailed off during the school year. So, I printed off the first chunk of devotions starting in the Gospels. In addition to the Scripture and devotional reading, Jackson needed a place to process and record what God was teaching him. So, I found a great free resource for kids and teens to use for Scripture journaling. Each morning, Jackson will read Scripture and the corresponding devotion, then journal and pray. He is currently using his NIrV Explorer Bible, because his NKJ version has a tiny font size, but he’s ready for a good beginner study Bible, probably in a NKJV, HCSB or ESV. (Not sure what I mean with those acronyms? Find out more about Bible translations and what might be a good fit for you!)

Adult Reading Plans
Both Matt and I are working through different Bible reading plans with YouVersion Bible App. If you don’t have their Bible app downloaded on your phone, you need to! There are so many plans to choose from, and you can sign up for reminders, and even push the “catch up” button if you get behind. I’ve completed many reading plans that have taken me from “cover to cover”. Right now, I am doing a 100-day focus on the Gospels. Matt is working through a read-the-Bible-through-in-a-year plan.

Even if these Bible study plans aren’t the right fit for you and your family, find a way to focus on God’s Word this summer! And, please drop me a note to let me know how you are diving into the Bible!