Psalms for Prayer: Day 18

A Prayer for the Church

by

Today's Text: Psalm 84:1-12

Scripture Reading: Psalm 84:1-12

I learned how to drive on the interstate that we took to get to church every Sunday. My parents forced me to drive on that busy road because they knew I would have to drive it many, many times over the next few years while I lived in Birmingham. My family was in that building every time the doors were open. Sunday school, Sunday morning worship, Sunday evening worship, Wednesday evening Bible class—you name it, we were there sitting on the front row.

While I was growing up, church always felt a little bit like something I had to check off a to-do list. I never spent the night at friends’ houses on Saturday night because I had to go to church in the morning. I would always rush home from sports practices on Wednesdays so I could make it to youth group on time. I loved church, yes, but it never felt like the kind of church the psalmist is describing in Psalm 84.

When I was in college, I spent a semester in Santiago, Chile, and for three months, I didn’t go to church, not really. I didn’t speak much Spanish at the time, and so when I did attend church there, I spent more time and energy trying to translate the sermon in my head than just worshiping. While I was in Chile, church began to take on a completely different meaning than it did when I was a child.

Over the course of a few months, the idea of “church” shifted to “Church.” The distinction of the capital “C” allowed me to view the Church as a larger being, as something other than just the place I went to worship. The Church is so much more than the small box in which I’d stowed my idea of our local church. It is family, community, a safe place to worship and experience the presence of our God.

Even a sparrow finds a home,
and a swallow, a nest for herself
where she places her young—
near your altars, LORD of Armies,
my King and my God.
How happy are those who reside in your house,
who praise you continually.    Selah.
—Psalm 84:3-4

 Let us use Psalm 84 as a means of pleading with God for what we want His Kingdom to look like here, now. May we be a people and a Church that reside in the house of our Lord, a people who praise Him continually. May we allow the Church to be a safe place for outsiders, a home for those who are lost, and a family for the broken. And may we pray for the Church be a place that bridges the gap between heaven and earth, where we meet with our God and enjoy His presence together, as a community.

SRT-PsalmsForPrayer-Shareimage-Day18

Ellen Taylor was born and raised in sweet home Alabama, but has called Nashville home since 2013. When she’s not working as the editorial assistant at She Reads Truth, you can find her enjoying good food and good conversation with her friends and family. She is a lover of good books, ugly dogs, and the Oxford comma.

  • Emily Dick

    It is difficult for me to connect with this entry. I will reflect on the scripture and ask for understanding.

  • Jami Nelson

    Shockingly this messages today revealed that my mind set about “church” isn’t where it needs to be. I certainly didn’t see it as a bridge between heaven & earth. At my young age of 51 it is something I need to check off my weekly list. I can now pray specifically that the Lord will change my mindset. I want to yearn for “Church” not merely check a box on my weekly to do list.

  • Abbigail Clark

    I really appreciated this message. My husband and I have been “looking” for a home church for over a year now. We haven’t found exactly what it is that we are looking for, and because of that Sunday’s can sometimes be discouraging. But I know those thoughts are attacks from the enemy – trying to get us to know go in general. I am looking forward to trying somewhere new this weekend with this new approach in mind. I will view each church as a Church, and I will try to connect and worship the same.

  • Julienne Dolera

    One of my favorite church songs is based on this Psalm. “How lovely is your dwelling place”

  • Natasha Pavez

    I’ve been thinking about this as I plan an overseas trip – I’m not sure there will be much in the way of churches where I can understand the message. This reading reminds me to be grateful for the church I have here!

  • Shelby Garduno

    I read this in dire desire for a female community, in Detroit area. My friends walked away as I pursued my walk with the Lord. My husband is newer to Christ since we married almost 3 years ago, he tries. Unfortunately I cannot attend church every Sunday due to work, which leads me to feel bad for not being in Gods holy temple. I understand my body is also a temple of His depending on what I do to fill me up. There are not a lot of women my age, 26, at my church so it’s difficult. Anyone with suggestions?

    • Donna

      It is true in the church of America that your age is a minority. Befriend older women in the church. Let your focus be on growing and grounding yourself in relationship with Jesus. Seek an evening Bible study or start one with another couple or one other women. Pray for a younger women age or spiritually to mentor. Titis 2 tells us how to be in fellowship and keeping ourselves right before the Lord. Now in my 50s I see over the years I was drawn to anyone who had a desire to walk with the Lord. Invite believers to your home or out for for deseart or coffee even the pastor. This will help you and your husband feel connected. I also relate to missing church due to work and getting saved and no friends as believers. I’m praying for fellowship and connection with other believers.

      • Natalie

        I totally agree! I am also 26 and I have relied heavily on my “older” friends who are in their 30s and 40s. There’s nothing better than walking alongside a godly woman who’s been there and can give advice and wisdom. I’m so grateful for the women of my church that encourage, edify and build me up on a daily basis.

    • Lauren

      Hey, Shelby! If your church offers any small groups, I would suggest getting involved with one. Maybe a women’s Bible study or even a couples class that you and your husband can get involved in. Even if you can’t be there every week, getting involved in a small group setting can make a huge difference in connecting with others. It’s hard to really get to know people in a larger worship setting. Hope that helps!

      • Steph

        Yes! My church started small groups last year and it has been amazing! So much sweet fellowship and friendships have occurred that would most likely not have otherwise. I know I have grown so much in the Lord through these groups, and I know others have as well.

    • Becky

      Have you looked into Bible Study Fellowship? Or there is a Coffee Break bible study group in Dearborn. Neither are on Sundays.

    • Beth Harper

      I’m in a similar situation and cannot always make it to my church every Sunday. I started attending bibles study groups and attending as many women’s outings as I can. Unfortunately, I’m always the youngest one and single.
      But your age, relationships or schedule should never discourage you or instill guilt. I always enjoy the fellowship I receive, even if I’m just meeting up at a fast food restaurant for a quick bible study with fellow believers. Be encouraged my friend!

    • Sarah S

      Shelby I am also in a very similar situation! It’s so difficult as a young adult to find close Christian community, especially when there aren’t many people your age. Are there any small groups during the week you can join? I did a small group with some older people in my church and got to know an older and wonderful woman that way. I would just say to start somewhere. Make a move and be patient. God loves giving good things to his children in His time.

    • Steph

      I agree as well. It’s nice to have women your own age, going through the same things you are in that period of life, but having older, godly women in your life is invaluable. I attend a weekly small group in my church of a few ladies. We are all fairly close in age range but at varying stages in our walk with Christ. It’s a wonderful group. We study the Bible, pray for and with each other. But… there are also a few women that are quite a bit older in age and walk with the Lord that I dearly love to talk with and seek encouragement from. I cherish my friendships with the older women in my church just as much (more?) than the younger women. I think the most important thing is to make sure you are surrounding yourself with God-fearing women who unapologetically make Jesus the center and core of their lives, regardless of their physical age.

    • Bethany

      When my husband and I first got married, we found a new church and got involved in their Life Group ministry (also in Metro Detroit!). We joined a young couples group, and it was great for us to meet new couples and grow together. More recently, I have been involved in an inter-generational women’s discipleship, and it has been amazing to be poured into by older, mature sisters in Christ. I also work weekends, so I understand that struggle.

    • Myra C

      Hi Shelby! I have a friend moving to the Flint area (not too far from Detroit) also looking for a church home & Christian gal pals. I’ll encourage her to post here in hopes that you two can connect.

    • Jami Nelson

      I have spent many years in search of great Christian friends. Praying and pleading with the Lord to send me just one friend. He has never failed me. Although at times the friend(s) were eight in front of me and I didn’t see them because they didn’t fit the “image” of what I thought a friend should be. Ask the Lord to reveal to you those He has placed in your path.

  • Oh the Glory of God’s presence surrounds us all as we worship and praise Him. We are refreshed and strengthened in Him.
    Thank you God.

  • Michelle Emery

    “Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
    in whose heart are the highways to Zion”

    What would my heart look like as a highway to Zion? As someone who finds strength in Him alone? Leaning into him today.

  • Brittany Holmes

    In your group years ago, we sang Better is One Day quite often. The reading made me think of the song

  • Rebecca Michelle

    Can you even imagine the joy of being in His court?

    Surrounded by Your glory, what will my heart feel
    Will I dance for You Jesus or in awe of You be still
    Will I stand in Your presence or to my knees will I fall
    Will I sing hallelujah, will I be able to speak at all

  • Amen. I went through so much hurt last year because of a small letter c church.

  • Melody IreneConey

    We are planting a new church in San Diego and boy, has it been a wild ride. Our prayer is that as a church, we would strive for His presence rather than perfection, that we can be a home to the lost, that our church would reach every corner of the city with love and belonging. We are so needy without our Jesus and we long for His spirit to dwell in our church.
    We need Him. Please pray for us.

  • It’s interesting to read through the comments and see that several of us have been wounded by fractures, fissures, and fighting in our local church communities. I, too, have had my heart ripped open by this. My husband and I left the church where we had met and married after some very hurtful things happened to us. God provided a Biblical counselor for me during this time, and I am so grateful that she pointed me *constantly* back to Scripture and to God. The Lord also graciously brought to light the full details of the situation at our church, which allowed us to see His hand in moving us out of there. The last few years have been difficult in that we have longed for a church *FAMILY* but have not yet found it. We currently attend a church where our older kids are welcomed with open arms, but as adults we struggle to feel connected. My youngest won’t go in the nursery there, so I have resorted to staying home and watching church on tv while my husband takes the other kids to church. My prayer – the cry of my heart really – has been for a local church community where we can all plug in, and it is the prayer I pray over all of us who are in similar situations today. Thankful for places like SRT, where I can find community online at least!

    • Donna

      I’m sorry for the pain of your last church. I’m also starting over in a new church due to hurt towards my husband. Pain yes but not destroyed. What a blessing our husbands are in fellowship and desire church. Not knowing the age of your youngest can you take them with you and be in worship till they can’t sit and leave service for the foyer. Even the small amount of time in service will connect you and your little one also. They will know church is important and safe. Many Moms have gone into classrooms with there child. You both will be in fellowship getting to know others no matter the age. You are blessed that your older children and husband desire church. Even the car ride to church and home is bonding as a family. I hope this helps in knowing where you and your child belong on Sundays. I’m praying for you.

  • Reading your comments, the theme I read and feel in my own heart is prayer for unbelievers (siblings, partners..)
    My prayer is Ezekiel 36:24-27 “For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.”
    Any verses you pray over your lovelies who don’t know the Lord? Looking for inspiration to keep praying when it’s been some looong years of unanswered prayer!

    • Tina

      I’ve been praying for my husbands salvation for a long time. I really cling to the verses where the Bible talks about how the Lord opened Lydia’s heart, and the verses where it speaks of him drawing hearts, opening the eyes of the blind….etc. It reminds me that his salvation is out of my control, that it’s God that opens and draws hearts and I pray that the Lord would open my husband’s heart just like he opened Lydia’s to receive him. I don’t have the verse numbers in front of me, but you could probably google the exact ones. :) If you cant find them, let me know and I’ll try to post them tomorrow. <3

  • Churchmouse

    Oh I forgot to mention that I also attended a house church in a predominantly Jewish neighborhood for three years. That was an awesome experience because their mission statement was simply to let Christ shine through us as we went about being good neighbors. Simple but profound. Where the Spirit is, there is church to be found.

    • Debbie L.

      I love your comment: “Where the Spirit is, there is church to be found.” You are so right, Churchmouse! It matters not the size of the church, or where the church gathers (i.e.: home, building, open field, cathedral). It is about letting Christ shine through us as we serve and live out His Message in our community.

  • Churchmouse

    I was raised in one denomination but grew in faith and in the Word in a nondenominational church when I married. I loved and served that community. Unfortunately the senior pastor had a moral failing which resulted in two church splits. It was heartbreaking. Our family left when it appeared yet another split was going to occur. There was a lot of “friendly fire” and it was a very hard season. Our family has settled in another church in our community for several years but I have not been able to replicate the feeling I had in that first church. It was “home.” I have served in our current church but there are established groups that are difficult to penetrate. The worship team is awesome and so we stay. It’s all ok. I do not like the idea of church hopping. My little home Bible study is more fellowship and teaching for me than at the church. I keep my eyes on Jesus and feed on His Word here with you all. It is a good fit. Church is the fellowship of believers and it manifests itself in different ways. I’m content. God is near.

  • Lizzieb85

    I am a Christian who grew up going to church. I am the only one of 4 siblings who still attends. I have 3 yr old twins. We go to church worship service, Sunday school, bible study, I’m an AWANA director. My boys are still a bit young, but I pray that God gives me the ability to show & tell my boys WHY I go to/ “drag them” to all these things. My prayer is that I don’t give off the “it’s what you do” vibe, but am able to communicate my heart’s desire & need to go to/do them. I pray God will soften their hearts & open their eyes to understand it’s not just a check list.

  • Thank you, that was so good. It is so important to remember that “church” is more than the building we go to on Sundays.

  • I so lived this very same experience growing up – I think there are many – which in return has rippled to many beautiful church buildings that I drive past where the doors are covered with plywood, no light, no Spirit inside…….it breaks my heart.

  • Like the author, I also grew up attending church regularly. However, during my first year of college I didn’t attend church (because it was also a matter of box checking for me). I could feel myself growing more indifferent to God and that experience made me realize the importance of the Church in the life of a believer. My second year I joined a church and a Christian organization on campus that held weekly Bible studies. Years later, I am many miles away, but still keep in touch with the people I met through the church and the organization. How amazing to think that God led me to them and has allowed them to continue to be a blessing in my life all these years later!

    Today’s reading is bittersweet for me though, because while I celebrate how God has transformed my view of church attendance, I mourn because my sisters no longer attend church. They both live in the same area and will go to our childhood church (where I still attend) whenever they visit me. But they do not attend church where they live. I found a lovely church in their area and go there on the weekends that I visit them, but they don’t always come with me, even when I invite them. It is so discouraging. They have wandered so far from the Lord and I am praying that He will bring them back into the fold and put a new spirit in them. If you have a few minutes, please join me in praying for them today.

    • Churchmouse

      I have family members as well who are good people but distant from church attendance. And they see no need for Him in their lives. I join my prayers with yours for God to continue in pursuit. I know He desires an abundant life in Him for them.

    • Ruth Lorentz

      I have a similar experience to yours and the authors. Attending all services as a young girl, not attending regularly during college for several years and recently rediscovered church with a capital C. Attending now every almost Sunday because I want to, like this Psalms states. But sad because some of my family doesn’t attend or want to attend. Especially one of my sisters who is openly agnostic now. Prayers for your sisters.

  • Momtomany

    I am a pastor’s kid and I LOVED church. We moved away from family at age 5 and the church became our family. I grew up loving youth, Christian summer camp and met my dh at Inter varsity at college. We married, had some kids and continued (in a new church) to be involved in many ways and had our kids involved too- first because we took them to nursery and Sunday school and later because they desired to go and learn and develop their faith.

    I LOVED church, until I didn’t. A messy church split, with follwers of Jesus turning on each other in the most un-Christlike manner shattered my church world (which i know now I had perhaps even idolized “church” over Jesus. ) There were many days I did not want to enter the sanctuary BUT Jesus is walking with me through the broken places- and it is long and hard and painful. We are so good at putting on our best images on Sunday mornings and not acknowledging our brokenness and desperate need for our Saviour.

    Lord may your church be a place where all are welcome to bring our broken selves for healing and wholeness. You see the real me- help me be not afraid to let others see her too.

    • Joy

      I could have written this letter. My heart and prayers go out to you that you can find healing and a renewed love for the Church. I’m still working on this for myself.

  • Erica Cook

    I was raised in a Unitarian Christian cult that claimed to have the “all truth,” which separated me from the big “C” Church for my entire childhood and into adulthood. In the process of Jesus setting me free from that organization, He began to reveal to me the beauty and diversity of the Church. I was then finally able to experience the Church in all its glory when my husband (who also grew up in the cult) and I were set free from its heretical doctrine and welcomed in with open arms by our current church. In that time and now, I have seen both sides of the Church – how damaging spiritual abuse and legalism can be, and how healing and freeing the Church who puts Christ at its head is for those who are searching for Him. Now, in a time when we are divided from our families who are still in the cult, we have amazing family in the Church.

  • Annebet Pettit

    I encourage you to get the kids up and go. Have you read The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis? In it, a demon trains his nephew how to tempt his patient away from faith, and setting up obstacles to church attendance is an important one. I’m trusting that when you go with an open heart, the Lord will bless you, redeem your time, and provide a beautiful witness to your husband. Your 2 year old could stay home but by around 5, I’d start taking the children. Many people have their first encounter with Jesus when they are very young and that faith, while immature, will often grow into something vibrant. I have three kids and have moved a lot so I know all the complexities of what I’m encouraging you to do, but I teach at a Christian high school and have older kids now myself and I know a Christian “home” — including church—is of great value and worth making happen through all the challenges.

  • We are looking to start a new church in an area close by. However, the building was a store and would have to be rezoned and wouldn’t provide tax money for a township that’s struggling. We want to be a church, but also a ministry center for the people providing food, clothes, medical care, youth programs and more. The planning commission want us there, but recommend a no vote to the mayor and her team. We had a meeting Monday, and the mayor was torn on how to vote. A pastor fri. The audience didn’t know why he came to the meeting, but God told him too. He spoke in our favor. God’s Word can change lives, families, and situations for now and eternity more than tax dollars. God’s math isn’t ours! Two members of council weren’t present. So they ranked the vote until June 4th. Please pray for God’s Will wether it’s that building or not. Please pray that the people of that township of Penn Hills get saved, delivered, and set free from all addictions and strongholds in Jesus’ Name. Please pray for God’s Kingdom to come and Will to be done there! We are trying to think of ways to reach out to the people in the community even without a building. Thanks! Prayers are appreciated.

    • Allison

      Penn Hills? Are you in PittsburghPraying for great good to come of this, no matter where you are from. That God’s light would shine through you into this community! Know that even in the meantime, before you get the building approval, you can still be the Church. By loving and caring for this around you, and being kind, even to those who voted against you. Sometimes reactions go a long way. Praying for you all!

  • Ruth Lund

    This struck home today and had me in tears.

    I’m at a point where I have two young children (4 and 2), a husband who is not a believer, and no church that I can call ‘home’. We moved countries 5 years ago and although I’ve been involved in two different Churches I have never been really ‘part of it’ because I’ve always had my children with me or too many other things to juggle, so there is little left.

    She Reads Truth is my link to the community of Christians at the moment (plus my Dad and sister who live in other countries).

    There are so many challenges in getting to Church…e.g. I struggle to get ready in time, it’s on one of only two days we spend together as a family, taking the kids on my own is just too much, when i go I don’t know many people and it’s hard to build relationships from scratch, if I go without the kids then what’s the point because I want them to grow up knowing Jesus…the list could go on and on. Some are excuses, others things I genuinely find hard.

    The sweetest thing I know is when my older boy asks me to sing amazing grace. I have sung it to him as a lullaby since he was small and it’s like a comfort blanket for both of us, and his younger brother. But I really want them to be immersed in that sense of grace in a way that I feel that I can’t give them on my own without a Church.

    I would appreciate it if some of you lovely people could find it in your heart to help me pray today that I get the direction and wisdom and strength to change this situation.

    Also, if anyone has advice or has been in a similar situation that would be great too I will check back here.

    Love in Jesus,
    Ruth

    • Bessie

      I will pray for you, Ruth.

    • SB Taunton

      Ruth, prayers for you and your family that you’ll find the answers you need to hear and a way to worship God with your children! I know for a while, my parents did devotional with us in the mornings at breakfast or after dinner. It was really nice way to check where we were at and keep us all in the Lord. I hope you find a community of believers to meet with some! Maybe social media or meetup groups could help find a few places to try out! God knows your heart, keep seeking Him! Praying.

      • Lindsay

        Ruth, I am in a similar situation. Praying for you and know you are not alone. I do devotionals while they eat dinner. Keep noticing the wonder and I’m sure the community will find you.

    • Megan Crane

      Praying for you, Ruth. Although my husband is a believer and joins me in church Sunday, I’m trying to attend bible studies and Wednesday night services solo with my 3 littles (5, 3, and 7 months), so I get how hard it is! But you know that’s where you’re supposed to be, and where your kids need to be. God will help you do it!

    • Penny McAuley

      Ruth, I would encourage you to find a church that will gives you and your children a place to grow in the knowledge of the the Lord. My children are grown now and when they were small I took them to church, but never involved them in Sunday school. Although they have turned out to be very good people and I know they love the Lord, they do not make a place for Him on Sunday and I fear when they have children they will not see this as a priority. Your children will see what is important to you and mimic your behavior. You have a fresh open book that you are beginning to write in their lives. Fill it with the joy of the Lord you will never be sorry for taking the time to do this. This is your time.

    • Chris Gruhlke

      Praying for you sister! My season of littles has long gone away, but I remember how hard it was being in your exact shoes. I also have much regret for not helping my family find a home church sooner. We now attend a church in which my non believing husband attends regularly. I can see the power of the Holy Spirit working in my family and in our small community. I understand the difficulties but I’m also beginning to see the reward. The peace it brings is beyond measure. Blessings!

    • Erica Cook

      Hi Ruth, where are you living?

    • Susan

      My father-in-law once told me, “if something is worth fighting for, than fight.” There is nothing more important than our own salvation and the salvation of our kids. We can pray for our husbands, but we must be strong women of God and let God do His part and work on our husband’s hearts. Your husband will soon feel a void and start to join you and your kids on Sunday at church. Go no matter the work it takes to get there. It is not about you so much as your kids. Once they get into school, if they do not have the foundation of Jesus in their lives, they can get swallowed up by the world. Show your husband your dedication to this, keep praying for him, but don’t give up. The Lord will truly bless you!

    • Crystal Wallace

      Hi Ruth! I grew up going to church. It was just what we did. I knew I wanted that for my kids too. I had to decide eventually that I was going. With or without my husband. I also had to decide that I was going with or without the right clothes or hair properly done etc. Still to this day the enemy will try to swoop in and attack on Sunday morning. But I just get through the preparation and get to church.
      Keep going until
      You find one that feels like home.

    • Pam White

      Finding community in the church is beautiful but not always easy. I felt like an outsider in my church for years but continued to attend because I loved the worship and the sermons. I’m only now finding that sense of belonging and will freely admit- I didn’t always put forth my best effort at trying to meet others and getting involved, so I was part of the problem, holding myself back.

    • Annie

      Hi Ruth,
      I read your comment and my heart went out to you immediately. I have been (and in many ways still am) where you are almost exactly. My family moves frequently and has lived in different countries. I know the challenge you are facing. I intimately relate to your situation and emotional turmoil (down to singing ‘Amazing Grace’ as a lullaby to a sweet boy!lol) . It is not easy to be the only one in the family searching for a church in a new place and longing to give your children the spiritual community they need. It is very difficult to get yourself and your children ready in the morning to walk alone into yet another new and unfamiliar situation when you are also new to the entire country and culture! Especially at a time when you long to be spiritually fed and encouraged in the midst of the upheaval and emotions of a move! It is a very lonely feeling and sometimes seems insurmountable. I get it completely and don’t have the answers yet as I’ve just moved again and am starting all over with the process, having not really felt I was successful in finding a church in our last location in the UK (although over time, through ardent prayer and relationship struggles my husband is partnering with me this time).

      I have learned this: Don’t beat yourself up (as I did for years feeling like I wasn’t making enough of an effort and knowing the importance of a church community for my children) and keep praying.

      If you run empty on energy and motivation to go church-hunting again or to get ready in the morning, maybe try doing a devotion with the children. I began to do this (I began with Jesus Calling for children then later moved on to The Dig series) and we eventually worked it into our morning routine during breakfast. It became such a blessing to me and the children. They began to really seek and ask questions about what we were studying and we began to have ‘real’ conversations that grew all of us spiritually. I began to realize that we were having Church where we were. We were a little community of believers and worshippers and we were growing. I also came to realize that our devotions were a witness. Over time, as my husband began to realize that the devotions were a non-negotiable fixture in our day (the children began to ask for them first because they were part of their fixed routine, then because they wanted them as part of their day) , he began to conduct them when I could not be home (I would leave them prepared). Gradually he became more accepting of the importance I placed on finding a church, then he began making comments about finding a church…and it went on from there.

      We are now starting over with this whole process ( and your post has encouraged me to implement our devotional time again – I’ve let it drop in the chaos of another overseas move- thank you) yet I feel more at peace with taking my time in finding a church and am encouraged that this go round – after many years – my husband is more on board. Do what you can and keep praying. That’s what I’m doing. God will be faithful. Pleased be encouraged! I will pray for you.

    • Bee

      I’m in a similar spot. It’s so hard to get out of the house on Sunday mornings when the kids are little and you are doing it on your own. I actually ended up switching to a church that offers Saturday afternoon services for this very reason. I have always struggled to find my place in the church community, and I’m praying to make connections there. At this point that means getting involved with the children’s ministry because it’s just not realistic to serve in a way that doesn’t involve my kids.
      Our efforts at home matter too! But the community of believers is so important… this hard phase won’t last.

    • Churchmouse

      My niece and her husband host a home church in Malmo, Sweden. Are you in that city?

    • Brittany Holmes

      Father, I pray that you will guide Ruth. Your word says not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together but to gather all the more as we see the Day of Christ approaching. I pray that you will help her to overcome the struggles she has and find a church home. I pray that you will also be with her house. I pray that you will save her husband by the lifestyle and example that Ruth lives out. I pray your Spirit will woo him into a relationship with You so he can be part of Your Church. I pray that as they raise their sons to be godly young men that you will bring other people from your Church to surround them and support them. As Ruth continues to dive in Your Word and allow it to dwell in her richly, I pray You will cause an outpouring from her to those around her. In Jesus’ name, amen

    • Ruth Lund

      I can’t seem to reply to each of you who took the time to pray and advise and encourage me, but I wanted to put this information here in case anyone is wondering how things are going. I’m going to a completely new church today, a little further from home but I think it might have more to offers myself and my boys in the phase of life we’re in now. I’m going to go on my own so that I can concentrate on the service and talk to people properly afterwards. If it feels like it could be the right place for us I will take my boys along in future. If it doesn’t feel like the right spot for any reason, I’ll try the church nearer to home again but give it more time.

  • I love God’s Church and I am so glad that God decided that church was how we would do this faith journey together. I am 60 years old and have been in church since I was a baby. My husband has been a youth pastor for most of our married lives. (We will have been married 37 years this June!). There have been times that the church has driven me crazy, but then there are times when the experience of being with the body of Christ, being with His Church, leave me absolutely speechless.
    We have a new pastor starting June 3. I am very excited and maybe a little apprehensive. This devotion expresses my prayer for my church and the Church at large exactly. I pray that we will be a people who reside in the house of the Lord, praising Him continually. I pray that my church will be that safe place, a home, and a family. But mostly, I pray that my church and all our churches will be a place that “bridges the gap between heaven and earth, where we meet with our God and enjoy His presence together, as a community.”
    Be blessed today, sisters. And may I add – ONLY 12 MORE DAYS OF SCHOOL!!!!

  • Leah McGinnis

    Oh, so good. Bridge the gap. Let’s do it, Father!

  • Samira Stein

    I love this. Today we start a 4 day sleepover with the youth group I lead at my local Church in Wetter (Germany). And that’s exactly it- why I am part of this community. I found a save haven when I was lost and God put me in the privileged position to be part of the nest where the young ones grow up. And it is my mission to build real community and family in Jesus with them. Days like the next ones are part of that process and my prayer is that we experience even a little bit of the treasure community unified by and with the Lord promises.

  • The first and second verses of psalm 122 are on my daughter’s headstone…
    I was glad when you said to me.. let us go to the house of the Lord. And now we are here, standing inside the gates of Jerusalem..

    It was in God’s house that He found me a broken lost wreck, whose heart felt so shattered, broken, there was no way to mend it.. it was in God’s house that He took my hand saying I see you. I know you and I know the sorrows of your heart.. He gave me hope….It was in God’s house that in realization of who He was, I gave my life to Him… it is in God’s house I am happiest worshipping and praising.. it is in God’s house I feel I am home..
    Absolutely happy to have made my nest near the Lord’s altar..
    Praising you Lord God always… thank you…thank you in the mighty and most powerful name of Jesus… Amen.

    Happy Thursday sisters.. be Blessed…

  • Faith Femi-O

    Idk if anyone will see this but here goes

    If you have it in your heart, please pray for me. I am taking the MCAT exam on the 18th. I am very nervous that I will not get a good score…without an excellent score, I will not be accepted into medical school. I know if I am not accepted, my family will be so embarrassed of me…they won’t say it to my face, but I know that this is what they will think. And I would be embarrassed of myself. I have been studying for the since the beginning of the year…I just really want to do well. I have been hating the process of this whole test, and sometimes I question if it is my purpose to do this…but I feel like I have already invested so much time and energy and there is not much else I could do (especially because my undergrad degree is in biology)..trying to trust God, but I alway truffled with test taking and tbh, I just not naturally smart….idk I’m jut really scared that I am going to be disappointed and continuing to feel inferior to my peers. who received high scores and already in medical school. I want to go in with confidence, but I don’t want to have too much confidence and then be disappointed when I get my scores Idk if I will get a miracle for this…not sure if God does miracles for tests. Anyways, prays and advice would be nice. Thanks for reading and sorry for making this so long, just had to vent

    • Dana

      I see it and I’m praying for you. Not only for the test but for Peace, Calm and Clarity. Blessings to you. Take deep breaths and Trust in Him and His Will in your life.

    • Clare

      Hello Faith, reading your post, I could feel your anxiety coming through, what a lot you are carrying on your shoulders, not only the test but also the expectations of others and the fear of not measuring up to everyone else. That is a huge burden to carry, and I’m sure your brain is just overloaded right now! My mind was drawn back to the Psalm, ‘blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose heart is set on pilgrimage… They go from strength to strength…. Hear my prayer Lord…. Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere.’As you prepare for the test, my prayer for you is that you will see Jesus first and last in your day. That you would seek His face not his hand, and that in drawing close to him you would be assured of his perfect love for you and plan for your life. I pray that your testimony would be that dwelling with him meets your needs, and that in this time of struggle that you truly met with Jesus as you set your eyes on him.
      Sorry for the long post! Love and prayers from across the pond x

    • Sarah Shannon

      Praying for you this morning, that you will know God’s peace in whatever the outcome. God absolutely does do miracles for tests by the way! – if that is in his will. Just keep seeking Him, and everything else will fall into place just as He wills it.

    • Tina

      Faith… what a beautiful name…
      Good morning.!
      Philippians 4:6 says. Do not worry about anything but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking Him with a thankful heart, and God’s peace which is far beyond human understanding will keep your heart and mind safe in union with Christ Jesus..”
      Verse 9 says.. I love this..
      In conclusion Faith, fill your mind with things that are good and that deserve praise. Things that are true .. God is good.. Things that are noble.. He is faithful.. things that are right.. trust Him.. Things that are pure.. His love for you is pure… Lovely, you my sister are lovely because you are made in His image.. (Genesis 1:27)
      Honourable… do your best and know that God is with you..
      Prayers wrapped in love and hugs to you Faith..

    • Samira Stein

      I will pray for your success- but most of all I pray for a future that is tied to Gods plan for you. He will do miracles in your life!

    • Jenn

      I will be praying for your test to go well. For God to give you the wisdom and the knowledge to do well. In reading you post I do question whether or not your heart is truly wanting to go. Know this, if God is leading you somewhere else then don’t be afraid or be embarrassed. You have to follow your heart. I know a girl who made it all of the way through med school and was literally at the end and felt in her heart that wasn’t what she was supposed to be doing and she quit to pursue what her heart desired. Prayers and blessings. May the Lord bring you peace in whatever the outcome. Praying for you today and the days in the future.

      • Bukky A.

        I agree with Jenn, Faith. If this is not truly what you want to do. Please don’t pursue it just to make your family feel good. I was pressured to go into the Nursing program while in college, fortunately my boyfriend (now husband) encouraged me to drop out of the program if it won’t make me happy. I can tell you now that it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Do not give your family happiness for a miserable career and life. All the same, you’ll be in my prayer for God to give you divine clarity in all that you do now and in the future.

    • Katie Morrison

      Faith, God is your Father. He is listening and is with you. You are so precious. No matter the outcome, you are the creator of the universe’s greatest joy. I know how you feel. I have gone through similar struggles in my own life with my career choice. I thought I put myself in this position and God will let me face the consequence of a wrong choice. Years out from that, I could not be more wrong. He directs your path, He is bigger than the stumbles you are afraid you’ll make. You are doing the right thing to press into Him. Every time you feel yourself thinking “I can’t” tell yourself that it’s a choice to choose if you can or can’t, and you CAN do all things through Christ who gives you strength. You are loved, you are made with intentionality and you are worthy of a proud family. I don’t know you but I can tell you that I am proud of you for sticking with this. If you don’t get a good score, you get back up and run harder. You will be successful. I believe in you. Love to you Faith. I’m so proud of you.

    • Kathy Valentine

      Praying for you, Faith! Thank you for sharing with us. May the peace of God, which transcends our understanding, guard your heart and your mind in Christ Jesus.

    • Sandy Walker

      My best friend’s daughter is also preparing for the MCAT in June. She feels the same way and feels like she has to knock this out of the ballpark because her GPA isn’t as high as others. You are not alone in your fears, but you don’t have to worry. Turn this over to God. He has a plan for you and all will work out according to HIS plan. Your family loves you and I’m sure they don’t want you to be disappointed, so you may be letting the enemy get in your head and make you think they will be disappointed in you. I know they must be very proud that you have already achieved so much and that you are preparing for the MCAT!!! It takes a very special person to get where you are now! Don’t forget that! I will add you to my MCAT prayer list! You’ve got this!!!

      • Faith Femi-O

        Thank you sandy!! I am in the same situation as your friend’s daughter…I know worrying won’t get me anywhere, so all I can do (and the best thing for me to do) is to put this in God’s hands. I will be praying for your friend’s daughter and her exam

    • Marlaena Guenther

      Faith, I know a bit of what you feel! I studied and wrote my MCAT a couple years ago and it is hard work! But you can do it! I ended up choosing a different path (now I am in my last of four years in Midwifery school) because being in med schoolers something I thought I wanted but then realized it became something that I thought other people wanted for me more than I even wanted it myself. Even though I also had invested time and money into a bachelor of science in biology. So I switched. I prayed for you to have confidence in your studies and in writing your test. I also prayed that you would have confidence to do what you want to do and not what you think is expected of you. Med school is hard and getting through it without truly wanting it yourself will be even more difficult. I am now in a profession I love! I want that for you. But if it’s not something you love, the time invested in it will not be worth it. Just some thoughts to think on. Praying regardless!

    • Churchmouse

      I walked alongside my husband through the MCAT and medical school and residency and private practice . NOT EASY. I admire you for seeking this very competitive career path. It is a good time to apply blinders – keep your eyes on yourself and not on others. They are on their own journey – some will struggle more and less than you. Keep the blinders on also in regards to family’s expectations. They are not you and they are not on this path. They have followed their own and now you follow yours. Seek encouragement from those who are true cheerleaders. And remember that the process is just that… the process to discover God’s career for you. All you have done to this point is not, and never will be, wasted at all. It’s part of your journey and no doubt you have learned so many things about yourself. Our youngest daughter chose a medical career. She became a Physician Assistant. She prayed and felt it was a better fit. There are options. Do not put undo pressure on yourself that this is the only medical path. It is not. You are exploring for the open door. I’m praying for peace, wisdom, discernment and acceptance. God knows where He wants you. He has a plan. Hold tight to His hand. You will be fine.

    • Krystle

      Faith, please know that your worth is not in whether or not you pass this test, but in Christ alone! Let go of the worry of failure and what people will think of you, and cast your cares on the Lord because He cares for you! I will be praying for peace and success on your test! ❤️

    • Andrea Hall

      Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness. I encourage you not to seek the approval of your peers based on a grade but to seek the approval of the Lord and his will for your life. I too have an undergrad degree in biology and was premed. It was not his will for my life. There are plenty of careers available with your degree- i’m not even using mine But I have found a career I love and am fulfilled because I am following his purpose for my life. Your ability to pass the test is not necessarily an indication that that is the Lord‘s will for your life- seek him. Much love -you’re in my prayers.

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