Prayer builds church community

By  Erin Stackhouse, Catholic Register Special
  • February 21, 2008

{mosimage}Editor's Note: This is a runner-up essay winner in the Friars’ Student Writing Award. Erin Stackhouse is a Grade 12 student at Jean Vanier Catholic High School. This is the last of six winning essays that the The Register published in the past weeks.

All across the world, Christian communities experience difficulties that they are challenged to overcome. Such can only be achieved through one thing: unity. Unity within Christianity has always been of utmost importance because without it, the church would never have been able to survive from the beginning. Even in modern society, persecution still exists and unity is relied upon more than ever for the purpose of keeping the Christian faith alive. One of the most effective ways that the church can unify themselves is through prayer; it not only brings people together as a community and strengthens personal morals and beliefs, but it also provides Christians with a way through which they can influence the world they live in from day to day.


In the Christian community, members rely on one another for support as much as they work to provide it for each other, and the best way this can be done is through prayer. Prayer was given to man by God in the beginning, and through centuries, it has served the purpose of providing the church with a means through which they can connect to both fellow members and God Himself.

Through prayer, the Christian community is empowered to help build one another up, with the purpose of creating the strongest church body possible, enabling it to help itself as an inner community and thereby possessing the strength to help the surrounding community. However, the only way that one can work to achieve this greater goal is to begin with the seemingly lesser ones that must be accomplished within oneself.

Through prayer, individual members of the Christian community are able to build themselves up in their own personal faith and moral beliefs. While it seems as though one should pay more attention to the good of the community rather than to their own inner strength, building oneself up in the Lord through continuous prayer is the only way through which they can aid others in need of help. Through this, they are then able to use the power that they have to assist in building the church up from the inside out. This is truly the only way to create a unified community that is capable of surviving hardship and moving past it to achieve future goals.

The goal of every church community should not only be to build themselves up for the purpose of inner strength and stability, but rather, they should hold an even greater focus on the larger community that surrounds them so that they can have an effect on the near parts of the world, and finally, the outer reaches. This is the only way through which the church can fulfil its objective to spread the Good News to all nations, and such is only possible through the building up of the church community through prayer from the inside out.

With God, all things are possible and one can only get to God through prayer. Prayer serves the purpose of building up the church community, first through development of inner security, so that members are empowered to affect the world at large. Through this, the entire church body across the world can work to achieve a greater objective, and this gives the universal church the unity that is required for such a task.

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