Father, when people look at Your church, what do they see? Love and selfless sacrifice? Or competition and selfishness?
I think I know.
And I, along with many others, am so very sorry.
Forgive us for our pride and our know-it-all attitudes. For caring more about our own needs than the needs of others. Forgive us for focusing on growing our churches, rather than joining with others to meet the needs of our communities.
Reach deep into our hearts and help us see our self-righteousness. Convict us not to judge others for their imperfections, but to love them as You love us.Convict us until we truly understand how our behavior grieves You. And keep convicting us until our behavior grieves us.
Give us a desire to make every effort to live out Paul’s words in Ephesians 4:1-3 (ESV):
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.
Help us to change so people will see Your church differently, Father. Remind us, despite our rebelliousness and unloveliness, how much You love us. Let this memory cause us to fall to our knees in sincere repentance.
Renew in us a desire to draw so close to You, to love You so completely, and experience Your love so absolutely that we’re compelled to love one another. May we never want to return to our old ways.
Help us, instead of judging our brothers and sisters when they struggle, to compassionately lift them up and pray for them to be restored. Let our love for each other become a testimony of the way You love us.
Show us how us how to recognize the adversary and his tactics so we won’t fall for his lies. Remind us that the devil is our enemy, not each other. Satan would gladly use us to crush each another. Equip us to effectively resist his plan.
Father, help us grow into a new, deeper and more mature way of loving one another, so …
… when people see Your church, they see You.
What do you think?
I’d love to hear your thoughts about this post. (Others might also benefit from your comment.)
- What part of this prayer most resonates with you?
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