A Healing Prayer for My Church
This “Healing Prayer for My Church” centers on strengthening and healing the relationships between church members that often keep congregations from being well functioning, caring, unified churches where people love and respect each other and work together to share God’s love and forgiveness with each other and the world.
All churches have hurts and problems between members. Author Kay Swatkowski says, “Relational issues cause the greatest grief and hinder the local church’s witness in the community.” She says these problems can “destroy a church body and waters down our message. Desiring God’s best for our church means not only praying for an increase in attendance and finances, but that we would each grow in love and that this love would be seen in our community.”
This prayer for your church is for anyone who loves the people in their church and wants to see your church move beyond problems between members and grow in God’s love. It can be used as a pastoral prayer, a group prayer at prayer meetings or at church council meetings or as an individual prayer for your church.
A Healing Prayer for My Church by Kay Swatkowski
We thank you for the gift of the church. From the days of Abraham, you have made it known that you desire to have a people, a royal priesthood that will bring honor and glory to your holy Name. This holy nation was destined to be a source of blessing to the world. Father, it is a privilege to be part of the Body that you have created to be the dwelling place of truth, grace, loving fellowship and the salt and light the world so desperately needs.
We celebrate this community and we thank you for each member that you have called and equipped to serve. Each one is precious. Today, we commit ourselves to the care, nurture, building up, edifying and protection of the precious Body of Christ.
We thank you for the Head of the Body, Jesus Christ. Lord, teach us to humbly depend upon you for guidance and help in every situation.
We pray that you will give us a sincere love for our brothers and sisters so that the world will recognize the truth and power of the Gospel.
We pray that as we walk in the Spirit, we will diligently preserve the unity of the Spirit by living at peace with you and with one another.
We pray that you will enable us to be patient with one another, to bear one another’s burdens and to generously offer mercy and forgiveness to each person, just as you have offered mercy to each of us.
Lord, may our spiritual communities be a safe place where we each can confess our sins and share our struggles and grow in holiness. Give us the courage to speak the truth in love in a way that brings maturity to the Body. Help us to take seriously the ministry of extending grace and accountability to a brother or sister who stumbles. May those we love and care for be fully restored.
May we seek not only our own interest but intentionally work to further the interests of and honor of our brothers and sisters.
Father, protect our church from bitterness, gossip and division. Convict us of – and forgive – our sins of selfishness, greed, anger, tendency to take things personally and desire for control. Grant us instead, selflessness, generosity, gentleness, long-suffering and submission.
Make us a people of prayer who intercedes daily on the behalf of the needs of our spiritual family both here and around the world.
Keep us on our knees, always submitting to you and mutually submitting to one another. May our churches be known as the houses of prayer of which Jesus spoke.
May we love and live in harmony with one another, so that those around us will be filled with a longing for the Christian life. Lord, fill us and use us so that our friends, neighbors, family and loved ones will be drawn to Jesus as they observe Christian love in action.
We, your people, look forward to the day when believers from the four corners of the earth will gather before your throne. On that day, men and women from ever tribe and nation will give you the honor and glory you are due. Give us strength and wisdom as we work to bring others in to the fellowship of the Church, ready to join with those who worship you with gladness and thanksgiving.
Heavenly Father, build your Church we pray. Amen.
The Story behind this prayer
We love the church. Not the building, programs or decor – as much as we appreciate those things. No, it is the people we love. After forty plus years of ministry in, with and through the local church, we love the people of God more than ever.
Over the years, we have spent hundreds of hours with pastors, pastors’ wives and church members reeling with excruciating pain. Whether the obvious problems are finances, attendance or lack of volunteers there is always an underlying, chronic problem. The tears they shed are not for facilities or funding. They weep for the loss of relationships and unresolved conflict within church. Relational issues cause the greatest grief and hinder the local church’s witness in the community.
Can you relate?
The night before He died, Jesus told His followers, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” (John 13:34) He also goes on to say that the world has permission to judge the sincerity of our faith by the sincerity of our love for one another.
Loving one another in the church brings life, joy, health and adds credibility to our message. Members feel at home with one another and grow in their faith. Selfishness, unkindness, unforgiveness destroys a church body and waters down our message.
Because of the hundreds of sad stories we have seen, and the tears we have tried in vain to dry, we are convinced that God’s call to love one another is vitally important. Burdened by the many churches that struggle and live in a state of lovelessness, we wrote “Make Yourself at Home: Discovering the Heart of the Church.” We know that within every church there are loving believers just waiting to impact their community.
It is our hope that as believers reacquaint themselves with the “one another” commands of the New Testament, love for fellow believers will be rekindled. Currently, my husband is interim pastor at a church. In a few short months, we have grown to love these believers and they have showered us with love in return. How wonderful to see God’s love in action in a church!
Desiring God’s best for them means not only praying for an increase in attendance and finances, but that we would each grow in love and that this love would be seen in our community.
Love is the answer!
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Copyright Kay Swatkowski 2016. All rights reserved.