Pray.Network

A Community of Prayer Champions, Praying Churches, Prayed-for Communities

I received permission from Jon Graf to post the daily Connection! prayer devotions on Pray.Network.  These devotions are available as a free e-mail subscription from the Harvest Prayer Ministries website at http://connection.harvestprayer.com/.

I have found these devotionals to be not only inspirational but also great equipping for my own prayer life.  There aren't many devotionals that are actually about prayer - most have a quick prayer at the end and that's about it.  But this one has prayer as its focus.  I thought others on the Network might be interested in it.  I will attempt to post each one daily - although I'll inevitably miss here and there. 

I have previously written a Spotlight blog post on the Connection! devotional; if you're interested, check it out here: http://www.pray.network/profiles/blogs/praynetwork-spotlight-connec....

I hope you enjoy and benefit from this devotional as much as I have.

--Andrew

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Jan. 20: Life as Mission

“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14).

The gospel is going to be preached to all nations. Jesus said so. If Jesus said so, then we believe it will happen. Sometime after the gospel has been preached to all nations, the end of all things will come. Evangelism is tied to the Second Coming of Christ. Sometimes we get caught up in the minutia. “What does it mean to preach the gospel to all nations?” “How soon after that will Jesus return?”  On and on the questions come, until we find ourselves spending our time on the details instead of the main event.

The real question is, “Do we want to be a part of the fulfillment of Jesus’ words?” If our answer is “yes,” then we will find our lives caught up in the greatest of all adventures. Everything we do from this point on will revolve around who Jesus is and our desire for all people everywhere to know Him as we do. No longer will we see “missions” as a program within the church. Instead, we will see life as mission. Our prayer lives especially will begin to shift away from our own needs, and will focus on the completion of the Great Commission in our own day.

Holy Father, I can hardly wait for You to give the word for Jesus to return to planet earth. How I long to see Him face to face! But You have given us a task to do first. I ask You Lord, to pour out Your Spirit upon the Church to empower us to finish the task of world evangelization. Father, You are the only One who knows where the finish line really is. We seek in vain to try and figure out when and how we have completed what the Lord Jesus has given us to do. Set us free from such details, and help us to pull out all the stops in our desire to share Christ with everyone on the planet. Wake us up Lord. Let us be done with lesser things. Give us Your heart for those who are lost without Christ in this world. Come soon, Lord Jesus!

Prayer Points

Praise the righteous God whose face shines upon you (Psalm 4). Thank him for setting apart the godly for himself. Confess any unresolved anger that causes you to sin. Commit yourself to bringing to God gifts worthy of his name. Ask the Lord to surround you with his favor and spread his protection over you so that you may rejoice in him.

Pray that the Spirit may thrust believers into worldwide mission, impelling young and old, men and women, to go next door and far away, into science and art, media and marketplace with the good news of God’s grace.

–Adapted from Revolution on Our Knees: 30 Days of Prayer for Neighbors and Nations by David and Kim Butts. This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend.

Jan. 21: Come Near!

Samuel Prime’s The Power of Prayer, published by Banner of Truth Trust, explains how corporate prayer ushered in the famous 1857-1859 revival (sometimes called the Third Great Awakening) along the eastern coast of the United States, then spread west, resulting in the conversion of hundreds of thousands of people.

Beginning in the fall of 1857, six men gathered at noon every day for corporate prayer in the consistory room of a Reformed church in New York City. Prayer was the Spirit’s means to germinate the seeds of revival. By early 1858 more than twenty prayer groups were meeting at noon in New York City. In Chicago, more than 2,000 people gathered daily for prayer at the Metropolitan Theatre. The movement spread to nearly all the major cities of America, then made its way to the British Isles and around the world. Prayer meetings sprang up everywhere: in churches, on college campuses, in hospitals, among sailors, on mission fields, and at orphanages and colleges. To mention only one example, at Hampden-Sydney College, one student found another student reading Joseph Alleine’s Alarm to the Unconverted, and told him that there were two other students who were also in favor of such literature. The four students held a prayer meeting, while fellow students harassed them. When the president heard that the four young men were accused of holding a prayer meeting, he said with tears, “God has come near to us,” and joined them himself at their next meeting. A remarkable revival swept through the college and into the surrounding area. Soon, more than half the college was attending prayer meetings.

Lord God, when You move, everything changes! I give You praise for the ways You have met Your people in the past, and I ask You now to please “do it again!” Meet with us as You did in the prayer meetings of News York and Chicago! May we seek You on college campuses, in our workplaces and in our homes. Fill us with an overwhelming desire to draw near and to encourage others to do so as well. Fill us with great passion for prayer even in the midst of trials, ridicule and persecution! Come near to us as we come near to You and then propel us into the midst of the nations!

Prayer Points

God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. Praise God for the radiance of his presence. Give thanks that you can have fellowship with him and walk in the light. Confess any dark sin that you have not yet exposed to that light. Commit yourself to living by the light of God’s truth (1 Jn. 1:5-7). Ask “that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness . . .” (Phil. 1:9-11).

Pray for husbands that they will give spiritual leadership in their households and will love their wives as Christ loved the church.

–Adapted from Giving Ourselves to Prayer: An Acts 6:4 Primer for Ministry (Chapter 45, Prayer Meetings and Revival in the Church by Joel R. Beeke). This book is available at  prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend.

Jan. 22: Turning the World Upside Down

The priority of spiritual awakening was so important that the Holy Spirit breathed on Luke to record His dealings with the early church. That first church was initiated and sustained by a prayer movement. The glory of God covered that early church.

Jesus told the disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the promise of the Father. The first call upon the New Testament church was prayer. Intense praying resulted in the powerful proclamation of Christ. In Acts 1:14 the church is found seeking the face of God: “These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer.” In Acts 2:4–41 the church is empowered to proclaim the resurrection of Christ. Three thousand people were converted in this mighty visitation of God.

This incited the church to move forward in prayer. Acts 2:42 says, “They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” The results were phenomenal. People came to know Christ daily. Peter and John are on their way to a prayer meeting in Acts 3, and five thousand are converted before they even arrive. The church continues to pray in Acts 4, which results in an even more powerful proclamation of the gospel. In Acts 5:14 they stop counting those who are being saved, simply stating, “All the more believers in the Lord, multitudes of men and women, were constantly added to their number.” This should be ample evidence of the relationship between prayer and the phenomenal growth of the New Testament church.

But we should also look at the apostle Paul. Paul’s ministry grew out of a prayer meeting. All of Europe and North America should be grateful for several humble men of prayer. The history of both continents would never be the same because of that prayer meeting, where a ministry was born that would ultimately shape much of Western civilization. The early church’s motto was “pray and proclaim.” It was said of them that they were “men who have upset the world” (Acts 17:6).

Lord Jesus, You grew Your Church through the prayers of Your people! As I consider the intensity and the depth of desire of men and women living only to worship You and to proclaim Your awesome Name, I recognize the lack of passion that often resides in my own heart. I don’t want to be on the outside looking in, but in the very middle of all You are doing! Teach me how to change the world as Your people did in the book of Acts, and may my prayers and my worship be continually pleasing to You.

Prayer Points

Magnify the Lord and exalt his name. Give thanks for the privilege of corporate worship. Confess any irreverent use of his name or wrong use of his day. Commit yourself to worshiping in Spirit and truth. Ask for the fruit of the Spirit in your life: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal. 5:22-23).

Pray for wives who will have the God-honoring beauty described in 1 Peter 3, who will love their husbands as the church loves Christ, and who will develop their gifts and skills for the sake of family and kingdom.

–Adapted from The Prayer FactorAdventures with a God Who Hears and Answers by Sammy Tippit.  This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend.

Jan. 23: Fresh Encounters with God

One of the reasons that people don’t go to prayer meetings is that they’ve already gone to one . . . and don’t want to go back. Most prayer meetings are poorly attended, poorly planned, and lacking in enthusiasm and effectiveness. This should never be the case. Prayer meetings ought to be the highpoint in the life of believers . . . a time to be ushered into the throne room of God to worship Him and present our requests before Him.

A traditional need-based meeting begins with someone asking the dreaded question, “Does anyone have any prayer needs?” That typically leads to a long period of discussing needs of people rather than praying. Somehow we have allowed prayer meetings to degenerate into an unplanned, disorganized event in which not a lot gets accomplished for the kingdom. When I am asked to lead a prayer meeting, I feel a solemn responsibility to prepare myself spiritually and to plan carefully. Why? Because I am leading people into the presence of God! What an awesome responsibility. Good planning may be the most spiritual thing you can do as you lead a prayer meeting.

Daniel Henderson, in his excellent book, Fresh Encounters, teaches about moving prayer meetings from need-based to worship-based. Prayers that emerge out of times of worship are typically much more God-centered than man-centered. These times of prayer stay fresh and dynamic because of their focus on God.

Father, You have made a way for me to come into Your Presence through Your Son, but so often I am spiritually lazy with my prayers! Begin with my life and teach me to allow Your grace to inform my life of prayer. Help me to be a catalyst within my church to bring Your creativity and the purposes of Your kingdom into our prayer meetings for the sake of Your glory!

Prayer Points

Praise God, who is your refuge and strength (Psalm 46). Give thanks for his “ever present help in trouble” (v. 1). Confess any desire to live life apart from God. Commit yourself to being still and knowing that he is God. Ask him to prosper you and not harm you, to give you hope and a future (Jer. 29:11).

Pray that your pastor may have a fruitful ministry and that he may handle responsibilities with grace and patience. Ask that he may have a harmonious working relationship with other congregational leaders.

Prayer Pointer

“Prayer is the most vital force in world evangelism.” —Anonymous

–Adapted from Giving Ourselves to Prayer: An Acts 6:4 Primer for Ministry (Chapter 44, How to Build a House of Prayer by David Butts). This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend.

Jan. 24: Can He Count on You?

“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people”(Ephesians 6:18).

Even though intercessory prayer originates with God, God still counts on us and our prayers. We are part of the prayer cycle by which He accomplishes His work in the world.

Sometimes when I receive an e-mail asking for prayer, I hit “reply” and say, “Count on me!” When I say “count on me,” I do not take that lightly. I always make a note of the prayer request and add it to my list of daily prayer prompts. It occurs to me now that I have never said “count on me” to the Father. But I think that I should. I realize that this is an awfully big promise to make. But I can do it, and you can do it too, because of the intercessory work of His enthroned Son and the work of His indwelling Spirit. God the Father is seeking intercessors He can count on. What do you think? Would you join me in saying to the Father, “Count on me”?

Righteous Father, forgive me for the many times I have told others I would pray for them, but have forgotten!  Prompt me by Your Spirit to develop a holy habit of praying for a person or situation as soon as possible, even immediately in the presence of the one who asks! May I boldly trust You to give me Your words to speak into every life and situation.  Keep my mind from moving on to the busyness of my day until I have sought Your face on behalf of the one who has asked! Count on me, Father, to do the work of an intercessor, releasing Your power into the lives of others.

Prayer Points

Praise God as the blessed and only Ruler over all things (1 Tim. 6:15). Thank him for sustaining all things by his powerful Word and holding all things together. Confess any situation in which you have resisted God’s rule in your life. Commit yourself to knowing and doing his will. Ask the Lord to put a hedge of protection around you and your loved ones.

Pray that the lives of children will be filled with growing love, true knowledge, and mature judgment so they will be able to choose what is best (Phil. 1:9-10).

–Adapted from Praying God’s Heart (Prayers that Make a Difference) by Alvin VanderGriend. This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend.

Jan. 25: Jesus – the Mission and the Message

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Luke 4:18-19).

Most churches today have mission statements that help them stay focused on the task ahead of them.  Many individuals and families have also been encouraged to write a personal mission statement. This passage in Luke 4 can be considered to be Jesus’ personal mission statement.  As He read this passage, originally from Isaiah 61:1-2, in front of His hometown synagogue, He claimed it as His own mission in the world.

In a very real sense, Jesus Himself was both the mission and the message. To everyone, whether poor, blind, imprisoned or oppressed, the message was clear: God Himself was walking among the people of earth, and nothing would ever be the same! God’s favor had come to the world through the person of His Son, Jesus.

The gospel message that we have is still the same. God is walking among us. He has come to dwell in His people as they live among the poor, blind, imprisoned and oppressed, and He has come to make a difference.  Jesus carries out His mission today through His people. Ultimately, His mission is yours. Are you living life on mission today?

Awesome God, I thank You for the clarity in Your word concerning the mission of Jesus. There’s nothing ambiguous in what You have said. Help me to take hold of Your mission and run with it. Give me Your compassion for those who are hurting or suffering. Please live out in my life the life of ministry that You demonstrated in the flesh. Increase my dependence upon the Spirit to proclaim the Good News in everyday life.

Prayer Points

Praise God that he is absolutely holy; that there is no sin in him at all. Thank him for making you holy through the blood of Jesus Christ. Confess any known sin that is contrary to God’s will. Commit to his lordship in every area of life. Ask that in all you are facing, your faithful God will “not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear,” but will always “provide a way out so that you can stand up under it” (1 Cor. 10:13).

Pray that your Christian example may encourage others to seek the Lord. Ask that you will “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have” (1 Pet. 3:15).

–Adapted from Revolution on Our Knees: 30 Days of Prayer for Neighbors and Nations by David and Kim Butts. This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend.

Jan. 26: Who Can Tell What He Will Do?

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen”(Ephesians 3:20-21).

Scholars estimate that two million or more were converted in the revivals of the late 1850s, while hundreds of thousands of professed Christians were deeply affected.

In the 1860s, Charles Spurgeon organized prayer meetings at the Metropolitan Tabernacle. People met at 7 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. every day. More than 3,000 came to the meeting on Monday evenings. One evening a visitor asked Spurgeon what accounted for the success of these meetings. Spurgeon walked his visitor to the sanctuary, opened the door, and let him watch the participants. Nothing more needed to be said.

The great revivals of the twentieth century were likewise inspired by prayer. The Welsh revival of 1904-05, the revival in Riga, Latvia, in 1934, and more recent revivals in Romania and Korea were all born and nurtured in prayer. Today, most evangelical churches hold weekly prayer meetings, but there seems to be so much lukewarmness in prayer. We desperately need churches to unite in the kind of prayer that the Spirit may use to produce world-wide revival.

Praying together is often the means God uses to initiate or increase revival and renewal in the church. Let us treasure prayer meetings. Let us engage in them with all our heart, remembering that revivals usually begin with prayer meetings. As one divine put it, “The Holy Spirit loves to answer petitions that are appended with many signatures.” Let us keep praying. Let us pray without ceasing. God is able to do “exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Eph. 3:20). Who can tell what He will do?

Lord, Your people are hungry for a fresh touch from You, and Your world is groaning with the cries of the poor, homeless, marginalized and weak. Prick our hearts to come together as Your corporate body to cry out for Your Presence in our midst so that we will be launched into the work of Your kingdom.

Prayer Points

Praise God that he is trustworthy. Give thanks that his unfailing love surrounds all who trust in him (Ps. 32:10). Confess any doubt you find in your heart. Commit yourself to knowing God better. Ask him to reveal himself to you through his Word and Spirit in the midst of life’s circumstances.

Pray for laborers to be called into God’s harvest field. Ask that hearts may be prepared to accept the gospel, and that the necessary tools, such as Bibles and Christian literature, may be readily available.

Prayer Pointer

“Who rises from prayer a better man, his prayer is answered.” —George Meredith

–Adapted from Giving Ourselves to Prayer: An Acts 6:4 Primer for Ministry (Chapter 45, Prayer Meetings and Revival in the Church by Joel R. Beeke). This book is available at  prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend.

Jan. 27: Winning Souls for the Lamb

John Wesley was converted after attempting to be a missionary in America. He wrote in his dairy on Tuesday, January 24, 1738, “I went to America to convert the Indians; but oh! who shall convert me?” The answer to his question was found in a praying group of Germans called Moravians.

The leader of the Moravians was Count Ludwig von Zinzendorf. He stated, “My joy until I die . . . [is] to win souls for the Lamb.” Zinzendorf established a community called Herrnhut (“The Lord’s Watch”), located in eastern Germany. A prayer meeting began and had far-reaching effects. These Moravians sought the Lord and cried unto Him for His power and presence. That prayer meeting lasted one hundred years, and out of it grew a missionary movement. The hearts of the Moravians were touched by the heart of God, which resulted in them developing a heart for the world.

Wesley had a “divine appointment” with some of those Moravians on board a ship for America. A great storm overtook them while they were at sea. The water split the mainsail in pieces and covered the ship. The English began to scream for their lives. However, the Moravians quietly worshiped God in the face of death. Wesley asked one afterward, “Were you not afraid?” He simply responded, “I thank God, no.”

John Wesley saw God on the faces of those dear praying people, and he never forgot what he saw. When he returned to England he visited the Moravians and had discussion with some of them. He attended a prayer meeting that the Moravians held at Aldersgate

Street in London. Martin Luther’s preface to the epistle to the Romans was read during that prayer meeting. Wesley described what transpired. He wrote, “About a quarter before nine, while he was describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone for salvation; and an assurance was given me that He had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death.” That group of praying Germans lit a fire in

Wesley that spread throughout Britain and extends today around the world. The forerunners for the revival in the 1700s were a band of praying men and women in Germany. They waited for the Lord at Herrnhut, and He visited His people.

Gracious Father, draw me to my knees again and again so that my heart is fully bowed before You. I repent of my lack of faith, and my inability to trust You completely for all that You long to do in me and through me if I would simply be yielded. May my life reflect the life of Christ and may it be as fruitful as John Wesley or the Moravians! Light the fire in my soul that burns like a torch for the sake of Your name!

Prayer Points

Express your love and admiration for the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Thank the Father for his love, Christ for his grace, and the Holy Spirit for his fellowship. Confess any unresponsiveness to the Father’s love, the Savior’s grace, and the Holy Spirit’s inner working. Commit yourself to loving God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. Ask that you may become a temple of the living God so that he will live in you, walk with you, and be your God (2 Cor. 6:16).

Pray for a congregation whose members are bound by love to each other and willing to say “I am sorry; please forgive me.” Pray that the Spirit may mold your congregation into a loving, redemptive fellowship.

–Adapted from The Prayer FactorAdventures with a God Who Hears and Answers by Sammy Tippit. This book is available at  prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend.

Jan. 28: A Pervasive Prayer Strategy

Becoming a house of prayer is far more than adding a prayer meeting to an already hectic church calendar. It is a church in which prayer has become pervasive in all aspects of church life. Leaders and members of the congregation cannot imagine prayer not being a part of everything they do.

This will not happen automatically. It must be an intentional decision made first by leaders and then carried out systematically in the life of the church. There can be a basic church-wide accountability system in which, for every proposal made or program initiated, the question is asked, “Where is prayer in this?”

The local congregation that begins to move toward becoming a house of prayer is changing more than methods and techniques. It is honoring the Lord by turning to Him first and by depending upon His power and might released through prayer. There is a spiritual dynamic that is unleashed within the body that cannot happen in any other way than through God’s people bringing everything to the Lord in prayer.

Lamb of God, teach my congregation to become a house of prayer and pour out Your power in our midst. Show us how to infuse every aspect of the life of our church with world-changing intercession! Fill our leaders to overflowing with wisdom and discernment as they focus upon prayer and the ministry of the Word. May we stop our strategic planning to win the lost through our own programs and committees and instead become dependent upon the leading of Your Spirit. We long to do nothing apart from You as You build us into a true and faithful house of prayer for all nations!

Prayer Points

Praise God as the only true God who has revealed himself to you in his Word and through his Son. Give thanks for the Bible through which God reveals himself and his will for your life. Confess any failure to use and respond to that revealed Word. Commit yourself to meditating on the Word and allowing it to dwell richly in your heart (Col. 3:16). Ask that you may remain in Christ and his words in you, so that you can bear much fruit to the Father’s glory (Jn. 15:7).

Pray by name for unsaved friends and neighbors that they may know the love of God, may believe in his Son Jesus Christ, and will not perish but have everlasting life (Jn. 3:16).

–Adapted from Giving Ourselves to Prayer: An Acts 6:4 Primer for Ministry (Chapter 44, How to Build a House of Prayer by David Butts). This book is available at  prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend.

Jan. 29: Praying Kingdom Prayers

This, then, is how you should pray: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. . . . And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” —Matthew 6:9–10, 13

Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all the saints, on the golden altar before the throne. The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of the saints, went up before God from the angel’s hand. Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the earth; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake. —Revelation 8:3–5

One of the most exciting discoveries that I ever made about prayer was that, when we are praying for ourselves [petition], if our hearts are right with God and we ask in accord with His will, God will give us what we ask (1 John 5:14–15). In an effort to personally claim that promise and receive God’s riches, I made a list of seventy-five spiritual qualities and blessings mentioned in scripture—things I could be sure were “in accord with God’s will.” I understood these to be God’s purposes in my life. I asked God for these things several times each week. What I found was that God, true to His word, heard and answered these prayers. Little by little these qualities and graces became more and more real in my life. God was answering because I was praying for what he wanted. I was praying kingdom prayers.

When we intercede in faith for things that God purposes to do, we can pray with absolute assurance that He hears and answers these prayers. They may not always be answered according to our expectations or on our timetables, but they will surely be answered. Our prayers contribute to what God is doing—building His kingdom.

Lord God, it awes me that You hear and answer my prayers when they are aligned with the purposes of Your kingdom. Show me how to have a lifestyle of prayer that touches peoples and nations for Your glory. Thank You for the complete assurance that when I intercede as You desire, You will build Your kingdom upon my prayers. May I faithfully learn how to be the answer to the prayers You bring from my spirit so that my life becomes a praise to Your Name!

Prayer Points

Praise God for the depth of his love, which is the very core of his being (1 Jn. 4:8-9). Thank God that he will never take his love from you or your family (Ps. 103:17). Confess any times during the last week when you gave little thought to God’s great love for you. Commit yourself to beginning each day with the refreshment of God’s love (Ps. 90:14). Ask that you “may have power . . . to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge” (Eph. 3:17-19).

Pray for specific places in the world where violence, greed, and hatred are wounding many lives. Pray that this work of Satan will be defeated, overpowered by the love of God shown through Jesus and his church.

–Adapted from Praying God’s Heart (Prayers that Make a Difference) by Alvin VanderGriend. This book is available at  prayershop.orgUse the code CONPSP3at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend.

Jan. 30: Your Prayers Open the Door of Life

“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:44).

This verse became very personal for me one winter, shortly after I had given my life to Jesus. Clara, an older woman in my church, revealed that she had been praying for me daily for over two years. She didn’t really know me, but she knew that I needed to give my heart to Christ. The significance of that moment didn’t hit me until I came face to face with John 6:44. Had God been drawing me while I was too busy to hear or pay attention? I could truthfully say that I had never known any other person who was interceding on my behalf. It made me ask, “What if she hadn’t been praying for me?”  I believe that Clara’s prayers allowed my heart to be open to the voice of the Holy Spirit. Because she cried out to God for my soul, I now have everlasting life. God was patiently wooing me, but in my ignorance and pride, I already believed I was going to heaven because I was a “good person.”  Clara prayed that I would bow my knee before the King of Kings. As she did battle on my behalf, I began to soften my will before God, responding to His call to make His Son my Lord and Savior.

As God’s people have gotten serious about the need to pray for the lost, unreached peoples all over the planet are responding to Him. Even in nations where missionaries are not tolerated, people are having dreams and visions of Jesus. How is this possible apart from the Spirit of God drawing them to Himself in response to the prayers of God’s people? Consider how many people are lost to the prince of darkness because no one has prayed that their lives would respond to a beckoning Father? I have no doubt that prayer is the front line strategy for missions. We may never know until heaven how many lives have been opened to receive Christ because of our prayers.

Spirit of the Living God, break my heart for lost people! Touch me in the deepest places of my soul with longing to be continually aware of those around me, and those around the world who have yet to come to You. Give me a burden to pray for their hearts to be opened so that they might respond as You draw them to Yourself. May I never make an assumption that someone else will pray when You have placed a person, a people group or a nation upon my heart. Use me, Father, to be the conduit that allows lost people to be drawn by You and to You.

Prayer Points

Praise God as the source of everything that is good, holy, just, and beautiful. Thank God for inviting you to remain in him, as a branch remains in the vine, so that you too can produce fruit that is good and holy (Jn. 15:7-8). Confess your failure to “remain in” Jesus, to find your fullness and your satisfaction in him. Be specific about the things that crowd out your desire to abide in him. Commit yourself to finding your fullness in Jesus during this day. Ask him to show you that apart from him you can do nothing (15:5).

Pray that the spiritual leaders of your church will see their need to be abiding daily in Jesus and his Word, constantly in prayer, and completely dependent on him for their ministry.

Prayer Pointer

“Arguments never settle things, but prayer changes things.” —Anonymous

–Adapted from Revolution on Our Knees: 30 Days of Prayer for Neighbors and Nations by David and Kim Butts. This book is available at  prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend.

Jan. 31: The Wind of the Spirit

“Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn” (Isaiah 60:3).

The Great Awakening of 1857 was so profoundly affected by prayer that it was known to many as the revival of the prayer meeting. During 1857 financial panic occurred in America. Spiritual and moral decline had been on the rise for approximately seventeen years. God had used Charles Finney in years previous to the decline; however, economic greed and speculation had grown since that time.

Jeremiah Lamphier began a noonday prayer meeting for laymen in downtown New York City on September 23, 1857. He sat alone for the first twenty-five minutes, but by 12:30 there were six men present. The following week twenty men attended. Within six months, more than ten thousand businessmen were attending.

The Holy Spirit began to call people to pray. Many people were converted in the prayer meetings, and others found victory in their walk with God. It has been estimated that in America, “In just two years, over a million converts were added to the churches of all denominations. Over a million converts were added to the churches of Great Britain,” God wanted to bless His church, and the wind of the Spirit blew across the hearts of the people of God, calling them to prayer.

Out of the prayer meetings grew a great harvest, and following the harvest grew great ministries. God raised up a shoe salesman, D. L. Moody, who would become one of the great evangelists of the world. Hudson Taylor, who would lead a great missionary movement, was ultimately affected by the revival. Men sought the Lord, He set them aflame, and nations were affected by the flames of revival.

Father, when I hear the stories of faithful men and women who simply called others to join them in prayer…and see how You were pleased to add to their numbers, I long for the same! Give me the courage to call others to join me in seeking Your face, and to be open to the moving of Your Spirit in response. May the flames of revival be sparked in my life and spread to many others as You draw all people to Yourself!

Prayer Points

Praise God for his deep compassion for the poor, the suffering, the lonely (Isa. 58:5-7). Give thanks for the times when God has lifted you out of the pit of depression or loneliness or from the mire of circumstances (Ps. 40:2). Confess any times recently when your ears have been deaf to the cries of the poor in your area (Mt. 25:31-46). Commit yourself to becoming more aware of their needs. Ask God to show you his heart of compassion and how it can be revealed in your life (Isaiah 58).

Pray that oppressive governments may learn to respect the rights of all people and that true justice and mercy will prevail in courts and government decisions.

–Adapted from The Prayer FactorAdventures with a God Who Hears and Answers by Sammy Tippit. This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend.

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