2/28/2006

A Blessing for Church Members

Consider the grace God has shown in your life. Blessings abound, and each new challenge brings depth and understanding to your relationship with God.

That has certainly been my experience. What I have found, though, is that there has been no greater area of blessing on my life than that of the Church. I've especially been meditating on this of late because a friend encouraged me to write out my prayers for the church as a starting point for a project we're doing. I hope this blessing will benefit you in your reflections and meditations on your own experience with the church.

A Blessing for Church Members

Dear friend, my prayers for you are these;

I pray that you enter a church for the first time with fear and trembling, wanting to be loved but afraid of being unwanted. May you find big smiles, warm handshakes, and maybe even an invitation to lunch.

I pray that you experience relationships, that the process of opening yourself up would be continual. May each new face be a new opportunity to be vulnerable, be known, and be loved.

I pray that people recommend books to you, especially of the old variety. A few will be cheesy, but that's ok. You'll learn from all of them.

I pray that you will be led well in the beginning, and will lead others down the road. Nothing will grow you like good leadership, and nothing will mature you like leading.

I pray that you will be teachable. Everyone has something to offer, and it's your job to listen. May you realize, too, that each conversation you have is also an opportunity for you to teach others.

I pray that you will get hurt or put out financially by your service to the church. I especially pray that nobody will know about it, or at least that praise won't be your motivation. May you look at the walls of your old church and remember problems and conflict in a personal way. Love that requires nothing of the giver is no love at all.

I pray that you will experience chastisement, maybe even discipline. It will show you that the church is doing its job in helping you fulfill your commitment to Christ.

I pray that you will spend hours on a committee arguing about seemingly minor things. It's not real service until you've taken bureaucratic tedium in stride.

I pray that delight will brighten your heart when another member shares their joys, and I pray that your stomach will drop with a sickening thud when you hear of their pains. I pray for the reverse as well… you will have the hard times and need sympathy, and you will want others to be excited when you share your triumphs.

I pray that would grow to love the sacraments. The beauty of remembering Christ's death and resurrection and the joy of regeneration symbolized are as wonderful as they are meaningful.

I pray that you would participate in making your church a light in the town and in the world. Anything else would be small, and would disregard obvious commands. May the entire community bless God because of His obvious work in you.

I pray that you would give. Money is a fleeting thing and you'll be embarrassed by every penny you fail to put to good use. May God's ministry of meeting real needs be shown clearly in your life.

I pray that hours would be spent in tears, distressed by the sheer ugliness of your sins. I pray, too, for the joy that comes when you remember God's amazing grace.

I pray for prayer, bible study, worship, service, relationships, evangelism, and all the other things that go with being a true servant of the King.

I pray that you would see souls repent of their sins, turn away from themselves toward God, and be radically changed by his offer of salvation. It is the miracle of all miracles, and it should never lose its freshness.

In fact, I pray that the gospel would continually refresh you as well, that its power would be reinforced in your mind. May you be aware that this is a gift that cannot grow old.

I pray that God would be glorified. I pray you realize that your commitment to His Bride is the vehicle He prescribed to accomplish that purpose. I pray that you will forever be a part of the body, and never a part of nothing but yourself. I pray that God would be honored by your life, and I praise God because He has promised that it shall be.

1 comment:

amanda said...

amen