Payer For the Body of Christ
5 Prayers to Pray for Your Church
“Prayer meetings were the arteries of the early church. Through them, life-sustaining power was derived. The condition of the church may be very accurately gauged by its prayer meetings.
So is the prayer meeting a grace-o-meter, and from it, we may judge of the amount of divine working among a people. If God is near a church, it must pray.
And if He is not there, one of dying first tokens of His absence will be a slothfulness in prayer!” Charles Haddon Spurgeon
When is the last time you prayed for your church body? What about your pastor? Staff? Leadership? Have you prayed for your Sunday School teacher? Have you interceded on behalf of issues taking place in your church or decisions that need to be made?
Our churches are under the attack of the enemy never before. Our leaders and each of our brothers and sisters in Christ need our prayers. We are the Body of Christ and we must lift one another up! Let's use these prayers for the church — both your local church and those around the world.
A Prayer for Good to Prevail over Evil
“‘As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones.’ Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.” Genesis 50:20
Lord, what the enemy means for evil against our church body, we believe You can use for good. Remind our hearts of this.
When we are being attacked and crushed from all sides, remind us of Your faithfulness to use everything for Your good and Your glory. May we not fear but trust in Your provision for our church family.
May we not only be readers of Your Word but believers and doers. Increase our faith, Lord.
A Prayer for Unity as a Church Body
“I, therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:1-3
God, help our church body to walk in a manner worthy of the calling You have given us. Help us in all our interactions with one another to have humble and gentle hearts. Grant us patience for one another, bearing with one another in love. Grant the Body of Christ unity. May we walk humbly with You, God, allowing You to show us our wrongs.
A Prayer to Seek the Lord
“If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place.» 2 Chronicles 7:14-15
Lord, You have told us in Your Word that You hear our prayers. We are crying out to You, we are humbling ourselves before You and seeking Your face. We come together as a church body to seek You. We repent and turn from our wicked ways, thank You for hearing us. Thank you for Your forgiveness and healing.
“So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.” Romans 14:19
Father God, You desire peace and unity and encouragement for our body of believers. Help us, Lord, to pursue what makes for peace and for building one another up. To pursue the things You will lead to peace and unity.
Give us discerning hearts to know Your will and give us the courage to be obedient. Lord, we know that without You and Your Holy Spirit indwelling each of us, we cannot do any of these things.
But, with You and for Your glory, grant our body peace and unity.
A Prayer to Follow Jesus
“And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.” Luke 9:23-24
Lord, You have given us what seems an impossible task with this passage. You have asked us to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow You. Even when our spirits are willing, the flesh is weak. You know our hearts, Father.
Help us, with Your Holy Spirit, to examine our hearts and hear from You. The longer we walk with You, the more we look You. We desire to become more and more You, less selfish and more selfless, willing to deny ourselves in any and all situations.
You have told us that when we lose our life for Your sake, we will save it. Save us from ourselves, God.As we lift up these words for our churches, let us come before God with humility and a willingness to obey. Let us put others first and serve our brothers and sisters in Christ. May we seek God first, putting aside our own desires. May we become intercessors for our brothers and sisters in Christ. May we pray more and criticize less. May we be encouragers and uplifters.
Candace Crabtree is just a broken mama thankful for grace and new mercies every morning. She and her husband live in East Tennessee where they homeschool their 3 kids.
Candace also enjoys teaching piano, coffee, good books and blogging at His Mercy Is New.
On her blog, she shares encouragement for weary women from God's Word along with resources for learning to pray the Scriptures.
Publication date: July 7, 2016
This article is part of our larger Prayers resource meant to inspire and encourage your prayer life when you face uncertain times. Visit our most popular prayers if you are wondering how to pray or what to pray. Remember, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us and God knows your heart even if you can't find the words to pray.
Prayer for Healing
Prayer for Strength
Prayer for Protection
Good Night Prayers
Prayer for Forgiveness
Prayer for Guidance
Prayer for Peace
Prayer for Faith
Prayer for Love
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Body Of Christ
Body Of Christ — The Definition
The Body of Christ is a common, yet complex term used in the Christian faith. Some may initially think we are talking about the physical body of Christ, as in His human form on earth.
But the term «Body of Christ» actually refers to the members of His church, throughout history. Who or what is the body of Christ? The body of Christ is the Church, made up of all those who have accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. Each Christian, then, is a part of the body of Christ.
The first biblical reference to this body was made by Jesus during the last supper. Mark 14:22 says, «While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, 'Take it; this is my body.
'» This symbolic act is the beginning of the communion service which Christians accept as a remembrance that they are a part of the body of Jesus Christ, due to Jesus' death on the cross.
Body Of Christ — The Unit The Body of Christ, all bodies, is comprised of many parts. There are limbs, organs, and various members that, when left alone, are useless, but when assembled make up the entire body.
1 Corinthians 12:12-14 describe it this: «The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body — whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free — and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.
Now the body is not made up of one part but of many.
» This means each Christian is an equal part of the body of Christ! There is organization to the body of Christ, as described in Ephesians 1:22-23, «And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.
1 Corinthians 12:27-28 also says, «Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.
And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues.» Every Christian possesses a gift and is called to use it in service within the body to build up the body of Christ, to strengthen the body and to carry out its purpose within the world. Each member of the body of Christ is also called to serve the church through his or her natural gifts and abilities. This service is offered devotion to Christ for the sacrifice He made on the cross, providing them with eternal life in heaven. The diversity of gifts, each supporting the other, makes the body strong!
Body Of Christ — Personal Application
As a part of the church, what can you do to enhance the body of Christ? The body is a holy entity and is to be respected and treated with complete honor and care.
The Bible provides several action principles for building up the body of Christ:
- You are called to promote truth and unity — Ephesians 4:25 says, «Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body.»
- You are called to service — 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 outlines the importance of using your God-given spiritual gift. Your gift is unique and equally important. It is essential to the body that you use your special gift in service to God.
- You are called to share Jesus — Romans 1:16 says, «I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes…» As part of the body of Christ, you are to share your life-changing story with others!
- You are called to worship — «It is good to praise the LORD and make music to your name, O Most High, to proclaim your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night» (Psalm 92:1-2).
- You are called to love each another — «1 John 4:11 says, «Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.»
Are you a contributing member of the body of Christ? Are you actively serving God and sharing Him with others? Are you contributing to peace and unity within the body? Do you worship regularly? Take a moment to evaluate your life in light of these principles:
«Heavenly Father, Thank you for making me part of Your body. It is my desire to be an active part of Your church by serving, promoting unity, and sharing my faith with others. Give me opportunities to accomplish these things for Your glory! Use me LORD. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.»
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WHAT DO YOU THINK? — We have all sinned and deserve God's judgment. God, the Father, sent His only Son to satisfy that judgment for those who believe in Him. Jesus, the creator and eternal Son of God, who lived a sinless life, loves us so much that He died for our sins, taking the punishment that we deserve, was buried, and rose from the dead according to the Bible. If you truly believe and trust this in your heart, receiving Jesus alone as your Savior, declaring, «Jesus is Lord,» you will be saved from judgment and spend eternity with God in heaven.What is your response?
Yes, today I am deciding to follow Jesus
Yes, I am already a follower of Jesus
I still have questions
Liturgy of the Eucharist
The Liturgy of the Eucharist begins with the preparation of the giftsand the altar. As the ministers prepare the altar, representatives ofthe people bring forward the bread and wine that will become the Bodyand Blood of Christ.
The celebrant blesses and praises God for thesegifts and places them on the altar, the place of the Eucharistic sacrifice. In addition to the bread and wine,monetary gifts for the support of the Church and the care of the poormay be brought forward.
The Prayer over the Offerings concludes this preparation and disposes all for the Eucharistic Prayer.
The Eucharistic Prayer is the heart of the Liturgy of theEucharist. In this prayer, the celebrant acts in the person of Christ ashead of his body, the Church.
He gathers not only the bread and thewine, but the substance of our lives and joins them to Christ's perfectsacrifice, offering them to the Father.
The introductory dialogue, establishes that this prayer is the prayer of the baptized and ordained, is offered in the presence of God, and has thanksgiving as its central focus. Following this dialogue, the celebrant begins the Preface.
TheEucharistic Prayers make clear that these prayers are offered, not to Christ,but to the Father.
It is worship offered to the Father by Christ as itwas at the moment of his passion, death and resurrection, but now it is offeredthrough the priest acting in the person of Christ, and it is offered as well byall of the baptized, who are part of Christ's Body, the Church. This is theaction of Christ's Body, the Church at Mass.The priest offers the Eucharistic Prayer inthe first person plural, for example, «Therefore, O Lord, we humblyimplore you…» This «we» signifies that all the baptized present at theEucharistic celebration make the sacrificial offering in union with Christ, andpray the Eucharistic Prayer in union with him. And what is most important, wedo not offer Christ alone; we are called to offer ourselves, our lives,our individual efforts to grow more Christ and our efforts as a communityof believers to spread God's Word and to serve God's people, to the Father inunion with Christ through the hands of the priest. Most wonderful of all,although our offering is in itself imperfect, joined with the offering ofChrist it becomes perfect praise and thanksgiving to the Father.
The General Instruction of the Roman Missal (no. 79) provides the following summary of the Eucharistic Prayer:
The main elements of which the Eucharistic Prayer consists may bedistinguished from one another in this way:
a) The thanksgiving (expressed especially in the Preface), inwhich the Priest, in the name of the whole of the holy people, glorifies God the Father and givesthanks to him for the whole work of salvation or for some particular aspect of it, accordingto the varying day, festivity, or time of year.
b) The acclamation, by which the whole congregation, joining withthe heavenly powers, sings the Sanctus (Holy, Holy, Holy). This acclamation, which constitutes part ofthe Eucharistic Prayer itself, is pronounced by all the people with the Priest.
c) The epiclesis, in which, by means of particular invocations,the Church implores the power of the Holy Spirit that the gifts offered by human hands beconsecrated, that is, become Christ's Body and Blood, and that the unblemished sacrificial Victim to beconsumed in Communion may be for the salvation of those who will partake of it.
d) The Institution narrativeand Consecration, by which, by means of thewords and actions of Christ, that Sacrifice is effected which Christ himself institutedduring the Last Supper, when he offered his Body and Blood under the species of bread and wine,gave them to the Apostles to eat and drink, and leaving with the latter the command toperpetuate this same mystery.
e) The anamnesis, by which the Church, fulfilling the commandthat she received from Christ the Lord through the Apostles, celebrates the memorial of Christ,recalling especially his blessed Passion, glorious Resurrection, and Ascension into heaven.f) The oblation, by which, in this very memorial, the Church,in particular that gathered here and now, offers the unblemished sacrificial Victim in the HolySpirit to the Father.
The Church's intention, indeed, is that the faithful not only offerthis unblemished sacrificial Victim but also learn to offer their very selves,and so day by day to be brought, through the mediation of Christ, into unity with God and with each other,so that God may at last be all in all.
g) The intercessions, by which expression is given to the fact thatthe Eucharist is celebrated in communion with the whole Church, of both heaven and of earth, andthat the oblation is made for her and for all her members, living and dead, who arecalled to participate in the redemption and salvation purchased by the Body and Blood ofChrist.
h) The concluding doxology, by which the glorification of God is expressed and which is affirmed and concluded by the people's acclamation «Amen.»
The Communion Rite follows the Eucharistic Prayer, leading the faithful to the Eucharistic table. The rite begins with the Lord's Prayer. Jesus taught this prayer to hisdisciples when they asked how to pray (cf. Mt 6:9-13, Lk 11:2-4).
Inthis prayer, the people join their voices to pray for the coming ofGod's kingdom and to ask God to provide for our needs, forgive our sins,and bring us to the joy of heaven. The Rite of Peace follows. The celebrant prays that the peace of Christwill fill our hearts, our families, our Church, our communities, and ourworld.
As a sign of hope, the people extend to those around them a signof peace.
In the Fraction Rite, the celebrant breaks the consecrated bread as the people sing the Agnus Deior «Lamb of God.» John the Baptist proclaimed Jesus as «the Lamb of Godwho takes away the sin of the world» (Jn 1:29).
The action of breakingthe bread recalls the actions of Jesus at the Last Supper, when he brokethe bread before giving it to his disciples. One of the earliest namesfor the Eucharistic celebration is the breaking of the bread (Lk 24:35; Acts 2:42, 46).
Before receiving Holy Communion, the celebrant and assembly acknowledge their unworthiness to receive so great a gift. The celebrant receivesHoly Communion first and then the people come forward. Those who receive Holy Communion should be prepared to receive so great agift. They should fast (except for medicines) for at least one hour beforereceiving the Eucharist and should not be conscious of having committedserious sin.
Because sharing at the Eucharistic Table is a sign of unity in the Bodyof Christ, only those in communion with the Catholic Church may receive Holy Communion. To invite others presentto receive Holy Communion implies a unity which does not exist. Those who do not receive Holy Communion still participate in this rite by praying for unity with Christ and with each other.
The people approach the altar and, bowing with reverence, receiveHoly Communion. People may receive the Body of Christ either on the tongue orin the hand. The priest or other minister offers the Eucharist to eachperson saying, «The Body of Christ.» The person receiving responds bysaying, «Amen,» a Hebrew word meaning, «So be it» (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2856).
As the people receive Holy Communion, the communion chant/song is sung. The unityof voices echoes the unity the Eucharist brings. All may spend some timein silent prayer of thanksgiving as well.
The Communion Rite ends with the Prayer after Communion which asks thatthe benefits of the Eucharist will remain active in our daily lives.
Additional Information on the Liturgy of the Eucharist