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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Dec. 27: Knowing from Scripture

“…in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, understood from the Scriptures, according to the word of the LORD given to Jeremiah the prophet, that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years. So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes.” (Daniel 9:2-3).

We can “hear” as Daniel did from the scriptures. We may not know dates and times as he did, but we know from the scriptures that God wills to glorify His name in the earth, extend His kingdom, build His church, disperse the gospel, call workers into the harvest fields, defeat the powers of darkness, and reach out in love to a lost and hurting world.

Knowing from the scriptures that God purposes to do these things should motivate us to pray passionately and persistently for their accomplishment. The better we know scripture, the better we will know God’s purposes. The better we know God’s purposes, the better we will pray.

God of Grace, Your heart is written clearly upon and within Your word. As I read, study, memorize and absorb Your words of life, may I be a reflection of all that is contained in them! Fill me with a deep desire to listen to Your voice through Your word so that I might live a kingdom-focused life for Your glory!

Prayer Points

Praise your God, who is the giver of all good gifts (Mt. 7:11). Thank him for his promise to give you “whatever you wish” (Jn. 15:7) if you remain in him. Confess times when you have failed to thank God for his many spiritual and temporal gifts to you. Commit yourself to imitating God’s generosity as you give to others and to God. Ask him to help you freely give as you have freely received (Mt. 10:8).

Pray that parents of small children will give of their time to their children while they are young. Ask that family time will be viewed as a sacred trust and not as a burden.

–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.

Dec. 28: Walk by the Spirit

Galatians 5:19–21 clearly states the deeds of the flesh: “Immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealously, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these.” Many of these deeds are being cast out of Christians as demons. The Christian will never know victory over these deeds, however, until he owns up to his own responsibility for such deeds. Immorality and impurity are choices that people make. Satan is ultimately the seducer; however, the Christian is the one who makes the choice. He either chooses to yield to the Holy Spirit and crucify the lusts of the flesh, or he chooses to yield to the deeds of the flesh. He will have to make that choice as long as he dwells in his mortal body on this sin-cursed earth.

That is why prayer is vitally important. Prayer enables the Christian to put on the whole armor of God and make no room for the deeds of the flesh. Prayer enables the believer to prepare for the battle that will take place as he goes into a world that is contrary to the nature of God. Prayer brings the follower of Christ under the leadership of the Holy Spirit. And prayer gives him confidence in the truth of the apostle Paul’s statement, “Walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16).

Abba Father, my spirit is weak and the desires of my flesh often get the best of me. Forgive me for my weaknesses and fill me with the strength of your Son, Jesus Christ, who was tempted but did not fall into sin. Help me to continually choose to crucify my selfish desires and to keep my eyes fixed upon the purity and holiness of Your heart.

Prayer Points

Praise Jesus for the depth of his redeeming love, which sent him to the cross for you (Gal. 2:20). Thank him for dying on your behalf. Confess any lack of love you feel toward a brother or sister. Commit yourself to remaining in Jesus’ love by keeping his commandments (Jn. 15:10). Ask God to show his love to you in new ways today.

Ask that the redeeming love of God will come gently to an unsaved person you know. Ask God to reveal a glimpse of his unconditional love through you.

Prayer Pointer

“Nothing lies beyond the reach of prayer except that which lies beyond the will of God.” —Anonymous

–Adapted from The Prayer Factor 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.

Dec. 29: Prayer: The Life-Breath of the Church

In trying to understand the place of prayer in the early Christian Church, we would do well to remember that the Church was born in the cradle of Judaism. Over the centuries the Church has developed its own forms and practices, but it did not have to invent new ones from nothing. The apostles, like their Master, were all steeped in the Jewish faith and shaped somewhat by the religious life of the temple and the synagogue. The first converts were also drawn from this milieu. So it would be safe to surmise that the earliest Christians understood and practiced prayer from a context of Jewish traditions.

Of course, Christianity and Judaism had distinct differences from the start, the most significant perhaps being the centrality of Jesus and His reinterpretation of the Jewish religion. Jesus participated in temple worship, but in some sense He also replaced the temple and the sacrificial system. Jesus attended and preached in synagogues throughout His Galilean ministry, but He called out a new people, which would soon include both Gentiles and Jews, to be the people of God.

In addition to Jesus’ teaching on prayer His own personal example set the tone and pattern for prayer in the early Church. As the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, we can assume that this included Jesus’ instructions on how we should pray (Mt. 28:20; Acts 2:42). We note also that the role of the Holy Spirit in every aspect of the life of the Church, including and especially its prayer life, marks a new age that has dawned with the birth of the Church (Acts 2:1ff; 13:2).

Prayer has been the life-breath of the Church from its inception. From the earliest days believers have devoted themselves to prayer, individually and corporately, just as Jesus intended. In Luke’s history of the expansion of the church as in his gospel, prayer plays a key role. In the pages of Acts we discover all types of prayers— prayers of repentance, thanksgiving, rejoicing, praise and more. We see the Church praying in times of decision making and in times of crisis. We see them fasting, laying on hands, and kneeling. On occasion God spoke to his people through visions as they prayed. Both leaders and members in the early Church were committed to prayer as an indispensable part of the Christian life. Their example has challenged believers of every generation to be a people devoted to prayer.

Lord Jesus, because Your life is prayer, mine is also! Thank You, Father, for creating Your Body for such an awesome and precious relationship. May the Church of today clearly recognize the power at her disposal and be fully devoted to continually seeking Your face!

Prayer Points

Praise God that the Christian life includes periods of “complete” and unbridled joy (Jn. 15:11). Thank Jesus for being your joy-filled Savior (Lk.10:21). Confess any sin that stands in the way of your experiencing the fullness of joy which Jesus provides. Commit yourself today to rejoicing in the Lord, to being joyful in God your Savior (Hab. 3:18). Ask Jesus to make his joy in you complete.

Thank God that his kingdom is full of “righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 14:17). Commit yourself to being a joyful citizen of that kingdom in all that you do.

–Adapted from Giving Ourselves to Prayer: An Acts 6:4 Primer for Ministry (Chapter 42, The Place of Prayer in the Early Church by Steve Booth). 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.

Dec. 30: Prayer Rescues the Perishing

A battle rages for the souls of men. The man of prayer will recognize that the forces of hell will do everything to keep men in bondage to their sins. The man of prayer understands that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12). The man or woman of prayer must learn to wrestle in prayer against the spiritual forces of wickedness.

God is assembling an army of prayer warriors in this generation. The Spirit is whispering in the hearts of men and women, “Pray! Pray!” He is calling believers to put on the whole armor of God. He is our shepherd and protector, our deliverer and strength. We do not have to fear the enemy. We can storm the gates of hell on our knees and rescue multitudes that are perishing.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon said, “We are rowing like lifeboat men upon a stormy sea, and we are hurrying to yonder wreck, where men are perishing. If we may not draw that old wreck to shore, we will at least, by the power of God, rescue the perishing, save life, and bear the redeemed to the shores of salvation. Our mission, like our Lord’s, is to gather out the chosen of God, from among men, that they may live to the glory of God.”

Mighty God, You have created me to fight on my knees for the sake of those who are facing an eternity without Your Presence! May I be a faithful warrior, putting on Your armor daily and standing in the face of the enemy. You are the ultimate Shepherd and Protector and I put my trust in You to use me for Your purposes in the lives of lost people.

Prayer Points

Praise Jesus for calling you his friend (Jn. 15:15). Thank him for giving you a job to do in his kingdom—that is, to “bear fruit” (15:16). Confess those times when you’ve sought to do your own work rather than God’s work. Commit yourself to bearing fruit that will last. Ask Jesus for the strength and wisdom you need to carry out his commands.

Praise God for family members and friends who also have been called by him to bear fruit. Thank Jesus for his friendship with them. Pray that they will seek to nurture that friendship with their Savior.

–Adapted from The Prayer Factor 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.

Dec. 31: Praying with the Mind of Christ

We know how to pray in accord with God’s will because we have the mind of Christ. As we grow mature in the faith, are filled with the knowledge of God’s will (Colossians 1:9), and the eyes of our hearts are enlightened (Ephesians 1:16), we develop the ability to think like Christ. When Christ lives in us to the point where we think His thoughts, feel His emotions, will His will, and embrace His kingdom vision, then we will be able to pray with the mind of Christ. We will pray what Christ would pray were He in our place, and we will be praying in Jesus’ name.

The trouble with so much of our intercession is that we don’t take the time to think about what God’s will might be before we ask. We don’t listen very well. We just rush into His presence with wants and wishes and requests. We are so busy talking to God that we don’t have time to hear from God. If we don’t bother to hear God first, we shouldn’t be surprised if our prayers misfire. Stop and listen before you pray. Give the Holy Spirit the time and space to teach you how to pray in behalf of others.

Lord Jesus, thank You for giving me Your mind and for nurturing my spirit to intercede as You would. Give me the patience and desire to listen so that my prayers are aligned with Your purposes. Holy Spirit, teach my heart to hear Your voice in order to pray for others as You would.

Prayer Points

As you come to the end of the year, lift your voice in praise to the one who is a prayer-hearing and prayer-answering God. Thank him for the tender talks you have had with him over the past year. Confess those times when you foolishly doubted the power of prayer. Commit yourself to maintaining a daily prayer time in the coming year. Ask God to keep you accountable to him.

Pray for God’s kingdom to come in the coming year. Ask that believers throughout the earth will be bold witnesses for Christ so that all people everywhere might have the opportunity to hear the gospel.

–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. 01: God Seeks Intercessors

I have posted watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the Lord, give yourselves no rest . . . till he establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth.  —Isaiah 62:6–7

I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found none. So I will pour out my wrath on them and consume them with my fiery anger, bringing down on their own heads all they have done, declares the Sovereign Lord. —Ezekiel 22:30–31

So he said he would destroy them—had not Moses, his chosen one, stood in the breach before him to keep his wrath from destroying them. —Psalm 106:23

Intercessors are important to God. He seeks intercessors. In fact, He counts on them. S. D. Gordon, in his classic Quiet Talks on Prayer, said: “The great people of the earth today are the people who pray. I do not mean those who talk about prayer; nor those who say they believe in prayer; nor yet those who can explain about prayer; but I mean those people who take time and pray. . .  They are the people that put prayer first, and group other items in life’s schedule around and after prayer. . . . These are the people who are doing the most for God; in winning souls; in solving problems; in awakening churches; . . . in keeping the old earth sweet awhile longer.”

Father, you desire for me to take my watch on the wall and I have often had “better” things to do. Forgive me, Lord, and renew my passion to seek Your face. May this new year give me a fresh resolve to stand in the gap on behalf of lost people all over the world and to be the person of prayer You have created me to be!

Prayer Points

Praise God for his creativity. Give glory for the unending variety exhibited in his creation. Thank God for the wonderful way you have been made and for your unique personality, gifts, and talents. Confess any dissatisfaction you have had with the way you have been created. Commit yourself to serving God with your gifts and talents. Ask that God may reveal your spiritual gifts to you and give you opportunity to use them for him.

Pray that the gospel may reach, touch, and renew the hearts and minds of people without hope in our world today so that there may be a great harvest of souls brought into the church.

–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. 02: Souls Set Aflame

Oh, that Thou wouldst rend the heavens and come down (Isaiah 64:1).

The history of revivals brings that out very clearly for God often acts in a most unusual manner, and produces revival and promotes it and keeps it going, not necessarily through ministers but perhaps through people who maybe have regarded themselves as very humble and unimportant members of the Christian church. (Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Revival [Crossway, 1987])

He brought us out from there in order to bring us in, to give us the land which He had sworn to our fathers. So the Lord commanded us to observe all these statues, to fear the Lord God for our good always and for our survival, as {it is} today. (Deuteronomy 6:23–24)

The Christian church has a tremendous history of revivals and evangelism. There have been times, however, when it seemed as though a cloud of darkness hovered over the church. The church appeared to lose her effectiveness and even her message. She seemed to lose her saltiness, and her light burned dimly.

During those times of spiritual apathy and darkness the Holy Spirit would quietly stir in the heart of an individual or in the hearts of a small group of people. He would call them to prayer. The brightness of the glory of God would begin to dispel the darkness in the days that followed. Mighty preachers would be raised out of nowhere. The Word of God would thunder forth in mighty power. Souls would be set aflame for the glory of God. Prayer initiated revival, and revival initiated prayer.

Holy Spirit, stir in my heart and call me to my knees again and again until my life’s breath is prayer. May revival start within me and spread to every person in my sphere of influence. Shatter the darkness around me with Your holiness as You awaken Your people to the reality of Your power and Your Presence in our midst!

Prayer Points

Praise the prayer-hearing God that his ear is attentive to your prayers. Give thanks for the privilege of coming into God’s presence and conversing with him through prayer. Confess any personal failure in your prayer life that you are aware of. Commit yourself to being a faithful intercessor. Ask that God will strengthen your prayer life and help you to pray in the Spirit with all kinds of prayer, on all occasions, for all God’s people (Eph. 6:18).

Pray that your church’s leaders—pastors, elders, deacons, and others— may be filled with the Spirit and be effective in the ministries to which they are called.

–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. 03: God’s Intention for A House of Prayer

What is a “house of prayer?” What did Jesus and Isaiah mean when they referred to it? “He taught, saying to them, ‘Is it not written, “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations”? But you have made it a den of thieves’” (Mk. 11:17). Jesus cared deeply about His Father’s house. When He was as young as twelve years old, it was already a topic He had evidently spoken of with His parents (see Luke 2:49). Early in His earthly ministry a zeal for it caused Him to make a whip of chords and drive out people who were misusing it (see Jn. 2:14-17). Then toward the end of His earthly ministry He cleansed it a second time, overturning tables and benches, causing major upheaval.

His explanation for His actions was that what God had intended as a house of prayer had become a den of robbers (see Mk. 11:15-17). Jesus cared about what happened in God’s house and He cared about how people viewed it.

In the Mark 11 passage above, please notice the five words immediately following Jesus’ quote from Isaiah 56. They are very telling. Read them slowly. “But you have made it . .” “But” draws a contrast between what God intended and what had occurred. “You” refers to the people who were supposed to make God’s house a house of prayer. “Have made it” speaks of the ability people have to shape God’s work into something other than what He had in mind. In that context God’s house had become a “den of thieves.” Whenever we alter God’s plan with our plans both God and people are robbed. We have made His house a house of teaching, a house of activities, a house of fellowship, a house of music, etc. These are good things, but God still desires His house to be a house of prayer. To make this point, Jesus quotes the last line of Isaiah 56:7: “Also the sons of the foreigner who join themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be His servants—everyone who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, and holds fast My covenant—even them I will bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on My altar; for My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.”

Lord Jesus, I have turned my face toward lesser things rather than staying focused upon being a House of Prayer for all nations. I have taken what You have created for Yourself and perverted it into something I have desired it to be for my own purposes. You care that I approach Your altar with humility, integrity, and a clear kingdom focus. For the sake of Your Name, I yield myself to experiencing joy in Your House of Prayer.      

Prayer Points

Praise God for his matchless grace. Give thanks that his grace is sufficient for you in every situation. Confess any do-it-yourself efforts in which you have rejected God’s grace and tried to go it alone. Commit yourself to being a channel of that grace to others. Ask that God will meet your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:19) and that his grace will be poured out abundantly.

Lift up the names of the leaders of your nation, state/province, and community, asking that the Lord’s strength and wisdom come to full maturity in each one as they learn to rely on him.

Prayer Pointer

“Our business in prayer is not to prescribe, but to subscribe to the wisdom and will of God; to refer our case to him, and then leave it with him.” —Anonymous

–Adapted from Giving Ourselves to Prayer: An Acts 6:4 Primer for Ministry (Chapter 43, The Meaning of “A House of Prayer” by Dennis Fuqua). 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. 04: It’s Harvest Time

“Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field’”(Matthew 9:37-38).

Harvest is a season of intense labor. Farmers know they often have just a short period of time when the crops are ready and the weather cooperates to allow them to bring in the harvest before harsh winter weather begins. From early in the morning until late at night, farmers work hard to assure a successful harvest.

There is another kind of harvest that is happening today. It is a harvest of souls. This spiritual harvest is a critical time, much as the fall harvest of crops. It too is a time of intense work in which the laborers cooperate with the Lord of the harvest to reap a harvest of souls.

Most church and mission groups can readily identify with Jesus’ words that the laborers are few. What needs to be emphasized here, however, is the Lord’s command to pray. The first job of the church in the midst of harvest is to pray to the Lord of the harvest for an increase in workers. Are we obeying the Lord’s command? Do we really believe that prayer will make a difference?

Lord of the Harvest, I recognize that I live in a time of unprecedented openness and receptivity to the Gospel message. You have opened more doors for Your people than we can go through. Would You awaken Your Church to the urgency of the hour? Teach me to pray this harvest prayer that Jesus commands me to pray. I ask Father, that You would give me Your heart for the harvest, so that I will always find this prayer for laborers to be on my lips.

Prayer Points

Praise God for his limitless power. Give thanks that God is willing to strengthen you with power through the Spirit within you. Confess any time that you have been weak because you did not avail yourself of his strength. Commit yourself to serving in the strength of the Lord. Ask that out of his glorious riches God will strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being (Eph. 3:16).

Pray for your church’s teachers and counselors that they may communicate Bible truths clearly, live holy lives before God, and be Christ-like examples to those they lead.

–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. 05: Corporate Prayer Meetings – Key to Revival?

Prayer meetings in America have fallen on hard times. Less than ten percent of members now meet for prayer in churches that once had vibrant, Spirit-led meetings. In many churches, prayer meetings have become cold and boring. Other churches have never developed the tradition of meeting regularly for corporate prayer. Lewis Thompson rightly wrote, “If it is true that the active piety of a church rises no higher than it manifests itself in the prayer-meeting, so that here, as on a barometer, all changes in spiritual life are faithfully recorded, then certainly too much attention cannot be given by both pastor and people to the conducting of the prayer-meeting.”

It is time to reassess the importance of prayer meetings, for the church that does not earnestly pray together cannot hope to experience revival and renewal. Have we forgotten that the Reformation era churches often held daily morning and evening services for preaching and prayer? Is it surprising that the Reformed faith has experienced more revival in Korea than anywhere else in the world in the last half-century when Christians there gather 365 mornings a year for prayer (at 5 a.m. in the summer and 6 a.m. in the winter)? We desperately need churches [in this nation] to unite in the kind of prayer that the Spirit may use to produce world-wide revival.

Holy Spirit, wake up Your people! We are sleepy and sluggish, bent on our own comfort, and selfishly desiring what brings us honor instead of what honors You. Stir our hearts in unity of purpose so that we will long to meet together to seek Your lovely face…not just once in awhile, but continually. Pour out revival in our midst as we repent and turn from our wicked ways. Only then will we shine like stars among an evil and depraved generation, holding firmly to the word of life!

Prayer Points

Praise God for his unswerving faithfulness in keeping all his promises and never forsaking his own. Give thanks that God gave his only begotten Son that whoever believes in him should have everlasting life. Confess any unfaithfulness on your part to God. Commit yourself to being faithful to all your loved ones and to keeping all the promises you have made to them. Ask God to fill you with the Holy Spirit and to give you the confidence that you are a member of his family and know God as “Abba Father.”

Pray for your church’s missionaries (by name, if possible), asking the Lord to encourage and strengthen them and to keep them from loneliness, discouragement, spiritual attack, and burnout.

–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. 06: The Manifest Presence of God

An apparent correlation exists between a movement of prayer and spiritual awakening. In some instances, it is difficult to tell which came first. That is because spiritual awakening and prayer have the same focus: God. Revival is simply the manifest presence of God among His people. It is a special visitation of the Holy Spirit to His church.

True prayer is the method by which the Christian comes before the presence of God. Consequently, a praying Christian will be a revived Christian, and a church that seeks the face of God will be one that knows the glory of God. Martyn Lloyd-Jones witnessed God’s presence in his congregation in South Wales. He was a student of the great awakenings and revivalists of past days. He stated that the great need of the church is that of knowledge of the glory of God. He said, “There is no doubt but that 99.9 percent of our troubles as Christians is that we are ignorant of God. We spend so much time in feeling our own pulse, taking our own spiritual temperature, considering our moods, and states and fears. Oh, if we but had some conception of Him, the inconceivable glory of God.”

Loving Father, You love me even when I am focused upon my own interests rather than upon Your glory! Awaken my dull heart and draw me close! Fill me with a deep desire to pursue You relentlessly and passionately!  As I seek You, revive me and set my feet upon the Rock. Transform me day by day into the image of Your perfect Son, Jesus!

Prayer Points

Praise God for his unfathomable love. Give thanks that he will let nothing separate you from that love. Confess to God any lack of love for him. Commit yourself to loving the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. Ask that your love may grow and overflow to others just as Christ’s love does to you (1 Thess. 3:12).

Pray for family members and friends to have a strong and growing love for God and for others.

Prayer Pointer

“I have lived to thank God that all my prayers have not been answered.” —Jean Ingelow

–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. 07: The Dwelling Place of God

“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

The temple was the physical place Isaiah referred to when he said that God’s house would be called a house of prayer for all nations. And, though it had been destroyed and rebuilt, this was the place Jesus referred to as well. The house Isaiah and Jesus referred to was this special, physical place where God’s manifest presence was very evident. This was the place where people from all nations who had a heart to be with this living and loving God would be able to come and enjoy deeper relationship with Him through prayer.

But God not only dwelt in the tabernacle and the temple, He also dwelt in people. Even in the Old Testament, God said, “I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble and to revive the heart of the contrite ones” (Isa. 57:15). People have always been God’s most desired dwelling place.

In fact, in the New Testament believers are referred to as being the temple of God, the place where His Spirit lives today. Paul, understanding the significant role of the tabernacle and the temple, said that we, individually (1 Cor. 6:19-20) and collectively (1 Cor. 3:16-17), are the dwelling place of God today. A shift has taken place. God’s primary dwelling place (His primary house) was once a building, now it is people.

So now, when we think of the comments of both Isaiah and Jesus about God’s house being a house of prayer for all nations, we no longer need to look for a special place, nor are we to point people to a special place. As His people, whether we are gathered or scattered, we are to be that place. We are to be His house. We are to be a place where relationship with God flows very naturally through prayer.

Father, You have created me to be Your dwelling place. May I be worthy of such an awesome calling! Create a spirit of humility and holiness within my heart so that every action, every thought and every word from my mouth reflects Your Son. Thank You for choosing to dwell within me and help me to be continually mindful of Your Presence. My deepest desire is to keep company with You forever!

Prayer Points

Praise Jesus Christ for his incomprehensible humility. Thank him for humbling himself to die on the cross that you might be set free. Confess any pride, egotism, or boastfulness you find in yourself. Commit yourself to doing nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility considering others better than yourself (Phil. 2:3). Pray that you may have the mind of Christ in all matters such as priorities, goals, time management, vocational choices, relationships, and recreation.

Pray for the church throughout the world that its divisions may be healed, its leaders endowed with the Spirit’s power, its people filled with zeal for the cause of Christ, so that the church may increase daily and the kingdom be advanced.

–Adapted from Giving Ourselves to Prayer: An Acts 6:4 Primer for Ministry (Chapter 43, The Meaning of “A House of Prayer” by Dennis Fuqua). 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.

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