Day 18

A Prayer for the Church

from the Psalms for Prayer reading plan

Psalm 84:1-12

BY Guest Writer

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.


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.

Post Comments (88)

88 thoughts on "A Prayer for the Church"

  1. Molly Gilbane says:

    I pray that our Church be a place that bridges the gap between heaven and earth. That it be a family and a community. That it be a safe place to worship and experience our Lord!

  2. E Hong says:

    I pray that Church can be a safe and joyful place for everyone -ellie

  3. E Hong says:

    Church is not to exclude people out but to have everyone included and loved

  4. Jenny Dunn says:

    Love this. I’ve been feeling this about church for awhile that it’s not necessarily someplace that an outsider can walk into and feel comfortable but the Church maybe that’s the place.

    1. Brianna Bogner says:

      It can be hard even for members of the church sometimes to feel comfortable.

  5. Sharon Ide says:

    May we often consider the blessings of peace and joy granted to those who are the Lord’s. We eagerly await entering into His eternal presence!

  6. Julienne Dolera says:

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

  7. Natasha Pavez says:

    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!

  8. Shelby Garduno says:

    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?

    1. Donna says:

      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.

      1. Natalie says:

        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.

    2. Lauren says:

      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!

      1. Steph says:

        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.

    3. Becky says:

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

    4. Beth Harper says:

      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!

    5. Sarah S says:

      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.

    6. Steph says:

      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.

    7. Bethany says:

      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.

    8. Myra C says:

      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.

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