A Prayer For Real Church

Spirit of God, restore my soul, in church. Revive Your people, as Christ’s body.

Wake us up to realize that we need to be restored and revived.

Deliver us from smug complacency in all its well-disguised forms:

Doctrinal – we’re right!

Spiritual – we know God!

Relational – we love!

Missional – we’re doing kingdom work!

Form us into a gathering of humble Jesus-followers who are hungry to know the Christ You reveal to us in the sixty-six love letters You’ve written, even when that knowledge upsets our whole approach to life and for long seasons along the way leaves us more empty than fulfilled, more questioning than dogmatic, more certain of less, but very certain of a little.

Work in us until more than anything else we long to become little Christs who love the Father as He does and who live in this world as He did, even when loving and living like Jesus require suffering the loss of everything we mistakenly believe is necessary for joy in this life.

Shape us to realize that we exist as persons of value and worth only when we exist in true community with You and with others, even though true community demands that we give up the self-protective maneuverings that we deceive ourselves into thinking are loving ways to relate.

Prompt us to follow Your lead in joining Christ in His mission to bring His kingdom to earth.  Strengthen us to stick with it even when the glamour and excitement are gone and when following You means suffering injustice against ourselves in order to restore justice, to make things the way they should be for others.  Create the desire in us to keep in step with You even if it leads us into dark nights where we feel empty, futile, weary, and disconnected from You.

Spirit of God, lead us into brokenness and through brokenness into trust, into conviction, into the joy of hope.  When we gather as Christ’s body, guide us in deciding how to meet and what to do when we meet so that we give You the best opportunity to do in us and for us and through us what You most want to do.

Transform our mere gatherings into a living body, into the church of Jesus Christ.

~ Larry Crabb in Real Church, pages 131-132.

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