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. Tonia says:

    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.

  2. Michelle Emery says:

    “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.

  3. Brittany Holmes says:

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

  4. Rebecca Michelle says:

    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

  5. Tanya says:

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

  6. Melody IreneConey says:

    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.

    1. Rachel Marshall says:

      What part of San Diego?

  7. JD says:

    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!

    1. Donna says:

      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.

  8. SarahB says:

    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!

    1. Tina says:

      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

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