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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Feb. 01: Secret of the Upper Room

The Upper Room pattern holds the secret of it all. There the Lord shut about 120 people in a prayer meeting and gave them the keys to the kingdom of heaven. With it He gave us His masterpiece, and His master plan for revival. He at once made it the centerpiece of the New Testament, and of history – turning history into His Story for revival, and for everything else, including the fulfillment of His Great Commission.

One little prayer meeting of about 120 in an Upper Room in the city of Jerusalem is to do it all? Who would believe it? Who would have thought of it? No man! Men have tried to improve on that plan, but they always fail. “But, dear Lord, don’t You have an alternate plan? A back-up plan, in case this one fails?”

Jesus could answer something like this: “No, I have no alternate plan. And My plan will not fail! That prayer meeting will do it all! It will be so powerful that even the gates of hell will not prevail against it. It will speedily become My Church, and I’m going to change the world with it. You just read the book of Acts and you will see how I do it!

“In fact, I did tell you. Were you listening? I told you in My last word on earth. I never spoke more plainly. Did you hear Me? ‘You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth’ (Acts 1:8 NIV). Didn’t you hear Me? I’m going to change the world through abiding prayer.”

Oh Father, thank You that Your plan will not fail! You have chosen the way to change the world and it is through the prayers of Your people, placing their hearts alongside of Your purposes. Forgive me for continually giving up too soon rather than abiding with You…pressing into each situation and need with fervent intercession! I trust in Your plan to complete Your Great Commission and am humbled and honored that You have chosen me to have a hand in it! May I faithfully fight for what is rightfully Yours and not grow weary of the privilege of prayer!

Prayer Points

Praise God that “from him and through him and to him are all things” (Rom. 11:36). Thank God for being both your dwelling place and your destination. Confess times that you have tried to live independently of his authority. Commit yourself to offering your body “as [a] living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God” (Rom. 12:1). Ask God to help you in “whatever you do, whether in word or deed, [to] do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Col. 3:17).

Pray for all the unsaved persons in your city, that “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow… and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord” (Phil. 2:10-11).

 

Prayer Pointer

“Prayer is hardest when it is hardest to pray.” —Anonymous

–Adapted from The Upper Room: God’s Revival Model by Armin Gesswein. His book With One Accord 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.

Feb. 02: Only God

The first three petitions of the Lord’s Prayer speak more clearly to God’s purposes in the world than any other passage of scripture. When Jesus taught His disciples to pray: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:9–10), He was teaching them to pray what was on the Father’s heart. The three things that the Father most wants to see happen on earth are for His name to be glorified, for His kingly rule to be established, and for His will to be done fully and completely. These are the Father’s grand-scale purposes. When we pray for them we are praying in accord with God’s will. These are things that must happen and will happen. Jesus asked us to pray for them so the Father could make them happen in accord with our prayers.

When we pray the Lord’s Prayer, we are not telling God what we are going to do. We are asking Him to do what only He can do. We are making bold prayers of intercession to an almighty God. Darrell W. Johnson, in Fifty-Seven Words that Change the World, notes: “The verbs of the Lord’s Prayer, addressed to the Superior of superiors, are in the imperative. They are commands, not requests. Be hallowed! Be come! Be done! All in the command form. To pray the Lord’s Prayer is to command—not to ask—but to command. . . . This may strike you as somewhat audacious. Who are we to speak to God in such a manner? What helps is to further know that the verbs in the first three petitions are in the passive voice. . . . The passive voice softens the tone. Instead of ‘do it,’ it is ‘be done.’ But the verbs are passive for a more fundamental reason. Only God can do what we are asking to have done.”

Awesome Lord, only You are able to do what I ask in prayer! Forgive me for trying to do so much for You in my own strength. I bow down before Your throne of power and simply ask that Your name might be glorified in all the earth, that Your kingly rule will be established forever and ever, and that Your perfect will may be done fully and completely!

Prayer Points

Praise God, “the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light” (1 Tim. 6:15-16). Thank him for being the light of the world. Confess any areas of your life that you may have been ashamed to bring into the light of God’s truth. Commit yourself to living as a child of the light. Ask God to fill you with the fruit of light: all goodness, righteousness, and truth (Eph. 5:9).

Pray that the missionaries your church supports may be like shining stars in dark places as they hold out the word of life (Phil. 2:15-16).

–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. 29: Somalis in North America

What do these North American cities have in common? Toronto, Edmonton, Minneapolis, San Diego, Seattle, Phoenix, and Columbus? The answer is that all of these include unreached Muslim people from Somalia.

Minneapolis-St. Paul is noted for having a large population of Somalis. According to Global Gates, an agency that focuses on the unreached in North America, the biggest need is for workers in Toronto. However, someone can build an excellent case for reaching out to the Somali Bantu (a different ethnic group) in Columbus or Seattle. The Somali Bantu were also allowed into the United States starting in 2004, and they speak a different language than the people of Somalia. The two groups are unlikely to mix, especially since the Somalis have persecuted the Bantu Somalis (see day 21.)

Pray for the Lord to thrust out many workers who will focus on the Somali peoples in North America. Pray for Somalis to have the kind of spiritual openness that will allow them to seek and find answers in Jesus Christ. Pray for a Christ-ward movement. Please pray for the Bible to be translated and made available into the Somali Bantu language in oral form. Ask God to lead the workers to find the people of peace who can open the door to the gospel reaching both Somali peoples in North America.

 

Jeremiah 29:13, NLT

If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.

Pray for the Somali peoples in North America to become spiritually dissatisfied so that they question the religion of Islam and seek God with all their hearts.

Feb. 03: Heaven is Our Home

“‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name…’” (Matthew 6:9).

Heaven is not only the Father’s home, but also ours. We are to live there in our hearts.

Jesus started to pray by looking up, an act of praise. He immediately thought of God as His Father. Here was something utterly new. The God in glory was now the God resident within the believer. Yet the world in which Christ was living and working was not as heaven should be. There was dissonance between what He knew of God and what He knew the world to be. So He prayed for heaven’s presence and power to become real, rich, and tangible on earth.

In this first line of the prayer, Jesus began by focusing His thinking and His praying on God in heaven. Nothing would distract Him from this. Prayer begins with God and prayer ends with God. Jesus didn’t merely think of God. He thought of God in sinless, radiant, perfect, uncreated glory. Unlike any of us, Jesus thought of heaven as the dwelling place of God because He knew exactly what heaven was like. He came from there and was going to return there. He was reflecting on the glories of heaven from personal experience. Therefore, the center of His existence was there. This reality—of heaven’s power and glory—was the reality that would need to “come to earth.”

Father in heaven, Your name is holy and worthy to be praised.  Continue to make me aware of the glory and power of Your name so that I never barge into Your Presence with my list of requests.  May my desire always be to honor and respect You above all other things, people and situations.

Prayer Points

Give glory to God as the Lord of peace. Thank Jesus that he himself is our peace, breaking down the barriers and the dividing walls of hostility (Eph. 2:14). Confess any areas where you are not at peace with another believer or group of Christians. Commit yourself to making every effort to live in peace with all people (Heb. 12:14). Ask God to help you bear with others and forgive whatever grievance you have against them, forgiving them as the Lord forgave you (Col. 3:13).

Pray that the church may “make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3), realizing that as members of one body we are called to peace.

–Taken from Power Praying: Hearing Jesus’ Spirit by Praying Jesus’ Prayer by David Chotka. 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.

Feb. 04: Bend Us, Lord!

A young man named Evan Roberts was used as a mighty weapon of God during the Welsh Revival. But the instruments had to be broken, melted, and molded in order to be used of God. Seth Joshua told twenty-six-year-old Roberts not to miss the prayer meeting. During the spring of 1904, Roberts was awakened by the Holy Spirit at 1:00 a.m., and he communed with God for four hours. This continued steadily for approximately three months. God was desiring to bless the tiny nation of Wales, and He sought for a man who would yield himself to Him.

Not long after young Roberts heard Seth Joshua pray in a meeting,  “Bend us, Lord.” He stated that as he left, “I went out and I prayed, ‘Oh, Lord, bend me.’” God broke Evan Roberts. And He gave him a vision and a broken heart for his nation. Roberts began to ask God for one hundred thousand souls.

The Spirit of God descended upon the coal-mining country of Wales. J. Edwin Orr wrote of the impact that was made of the nation, saying, “Stocks of Welsh and English Bibles were sold out. Prayer meetings were held in coal mines, in trains and trams and places of business. . . . The magistrates in several places were presented with white gloves, signifying that there were utterly no cases to try. . . . Cursing and profanity were so diminished that several slowdowns were reported in coal mines, for so many men gave up usual foul language that the pit ponies dragging the coal trucks in the mine tunnels did not understand what was being said to them and stood still, confused.”

Not only did God answer Robert’s prayer for one hundred thousand souls, but He multiplied the influence of the revival around the world. Men such as G. Campbell Morgan, Gipsy Smith, and F. B. Meyer were influenced by the revival. R. A. Torrey wrote an encouraging letter to Roberts stating his joy from hearing the reports of the movement of God. Reports of the revival spread throughout Europe, India, Asia, Australia, Africa, and North America. Evangelical Christianity entered the twentieth century with the fires of revival spreading from Wales around the world. God found a young man who refused to miss the prayer meeting and cried unto the Lord, “Bend me!”

Father God, sometimes I feel as if I have no earthly influence at all, much less influence before Your throne. But You have always chosen the most unlikely to accomplish Your purposes. Bend me, Lord, as You bent Evan Roberts, and use me as You desire for the sake of Your glory. Help me to be a person of prayer, willing to quickly obey as You lead me on a journey to reach the lost, to feed the poor, to care for widows and orphans, and to be the hands and feet of Jesus to those who are facing injustice. In my own strength I don’t see how this is even possible, but for You…nothing is impossible! Here I am, Lord…send me!

Prayer Points

Praise God as the giver of every good and perfect gift (Jas. 1:5, 17). Give thanks for the indescribable gift of his only Son. Confess any times when you have taken God’s gifts to you for granted. Commit yourself to searching Scripture for more knowledge of the “riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us” (Eph. 1:7-8). Ask that your heart’s thirst be quenched and your soul’s hunger be satisfied in God as with the richest of foods (Psalm 63).

Pray that your congregation may have faith that “you will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion” (2 Cor. 9:11).

–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.

Feb. 05: How Are Our Prayer Meetings?

That’s the big question in all our praying for revivals. The acid test of New Testament revival is the Church. And the acid test of the Church and of the churches is prayer and prayer meetings.

The devil is no fool! He knows what’s going on in our lives, and in our churches. He also knows God’s plan. So he is very busy working overtime, to kill churches. All he has to do is kill abiding prayer and prayer meetings and that church is dead!

The Spirit of Prayer is the Spirit of Revival. The first revival in any genuine revival is a revival of prayer. The revival spirit leaves churches when true prayer meetings depart; and revival returns with the return of abiding prayer and prayer meetings. It’s that simple! And there is no other way.

Pentecost, let us not forget, came to a prayer meeting in that Upper Room and to those 120 Christians praying in one accord. There the Lord gave the standard, the pattern of revival, indeed, the pattern for every church since Pentecost.

Spirit of Prayer, revive my heart and use me to be an encourager within my church…one who calls others to prayer and intercedes continually for my pastor and leadership to be people of prayer. Draw my faith family to their knees in the desperation of this hour and meet us in our corporate prayer gatherings. May our hearts long for the wisdom that comes, not from our own understanding, but from You alone. Restore our passion for coming together in prayer so that You might be pleased to show up in our midst!

Prayer Points

Praise the King for his powerful rule in this world, and that no plan of his can be thwarted (Job 42:2). Give thanks that this rule is evidenced around us and in us. Confess any doubts which you may have about God’s kingly power. Commit yourself to being a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing, as your spiritual worship to God (Rom. 12:1). Ask that you would “never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord” (12:11).

Pray that unconditional love will be demonstrated clearly and consistently in your family relationships and friendships. Ask the Lord to give you a fuller appreciation for those whom he has placed in your life.

Prayer Pointer

“Prayer is an end to isolation. It is living our daily life with someone; with him who alone can deliver us from solitude.” —Georges LeFevre

–Adapted from The Upper Room: God’s Revival Model by Armin Gesswein. His book With One Accord 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.

Feb. 06: Make it Happen, Lord!

Imagine for a moment that you are in the stands cheering on your favorite sports team. In the last minutes of the game, your team has gained a slight advantage and it looks like they are going to win. You are on your feet, cheering and shouting for them to “go.” We are challenging them to hold on, to be strong, and to do what they have to do to win. Your encouraging shouts are not pious wishes or hopeful pleas. They are urgent challenges to try and make it happen. They are, to put it grammatically, passive imperatives. When we pray the Lord’s Prayer, our prayers are something like those urgent challenges. We are saying with a sense of great insistence, “Father, hallow Your name; advance Your kingdom; do Your will on earth. Make it happen, Lord!” And He will.

The Father loves to hear our prayers for His glory, His kingdom, and His will. He delights to answer such prayers. He has the ability to do what we ask. There is no way that the almighty sovereign God of the universe will ever let history come to an end without glorifying His name, establishing His glorious kingdom, and accomplishing His will fully and completely. In fact, He is already doing these things, and the day will come when they will all be done on earth as perfectly as they are done in heaven. So pray them in faith; pray them with absolute confidence. You are contributing to the realization of His purposes! That’s an exciting way to pray.

Almighty Sovereign God, the hour is urgent, and the need is great! I plead with You to hallow Your name, advance Your kingdom and do Your will on this earth! Establish Your glorious kingdom as You move in power! Do it, Lord! With a voice of confidence, I ask You to rule and to reign! The enemy’s defeat is sure because You have already spoken His future!

Prayer Points

Praise the saving God whose paths are beyond tracing out! (Rom. 11:33). Give thanks for his continual, personal care for you. Confess any failure to maintain a healthy relationship with the Lord. Commit yourself to disciplined, joyful Christian living, recognizing the tremendous blessing of belonging to Jesus Christ. Ask that you will be “joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” (Rom. 12:12).

Pray that any personal difficulties experienced by unsaved persons around you may be opportunities for them to come to know the grace that is found in Jesus Christ.

–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.

Feb. 07: Will You Go to the Upper Room?

Revival is not subtle – it is simple. Revival truth is the plainest truth in Scripture. All backsliding is from plain Scripture, not from all the prophetic mysteries we do not understand. Let us not complicate the message of revival!

The devil has decimated and all but devastated the prayer life of Christians and of their homes and of their churches. Many churches still don’t have prayer meetings. And where they do, they usually are the weakest, most anemic of all the many meetings.

But the Lord is changing this. Thank the Lord for the many new movements of prayer. We are on our way back to the Upper Room, back to the real, normal pattern of the Spirit-filled life for every Christian and for every church.

The Upper Room is God’s own master plan to bring revival. That plan has not changed; it is still God’s plan today. Will you go to the Upper Room?

Father, the prophet Zechariah spoke of a spirit of grace and supplication that will be poured out on Israel. Make Your Church jealous to see this powerful spirit of prayer in our midst, in our day! Revive Your people for the glory of Your Name, and so that all nations will bow before the Lord Jesus Christ! Forgive us for our half-hearted attempts at corporate prayer and fill us with a deep desire to seek Your face and to dwell in Your Presence. Wake up Your Church and set us on fire as we gather together in the upper room once again!

Prayer Points

Praise the heavenly Father, who has become your Father through Jesus Christ. Give thanks that in Jesus Christ you have been given a heavenly citizenship. Confess those habits which draw you from his love. Commit yourself to finding all that you desire in the Lord. Ask to be delivered from the power of the evil one.

Pray that family members and friends will reflect the lordship of Christ in their daily schedules, and that relationships will not be neglected.

Prayer Pointer

“The right way to pray, then, is any way that allows us to communicate with God. For prayer is not a ritual; it is the soul’s inherent response to a relationship with a loving Father.” —Colleen Townsend Evans

–Adapted from The Upper Room: God’s Revival Model by Armin Gesswein. His book With One Accordis 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.

Feb. 08: The Life of God within Us

For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His. (2 Chronicles 16:9)

God is not only the God of yesterday, but He is also the God of today. He is willing to manifest Himself to this generation or any future generation that will seek Him. Reading about His great deeds of past years is thrilling, but we must not forget that history is being made today. There is no difference between Luther, Wesley, Whitefield, Moody, or you and me. We were all formed from dust, and we shall return to dust. It is the life of God within us that gives us hope. His life not only gives us hope personally but also gives us hope for today. Christ can make a difference in this generation.

A few factors, however, are unique to this generation. For instance, we have the threat of terrorism mixed with nuclear weapons. Economic and environmental problems are mounting around the world. Entire nations are experiencing the results of their greed, financial gambles, and indebtedness. The ozone layer grows thinner. Famine threatens parts of the world. The fear of a deadly global pandemic stalks politicians and medical experts alike.

Yet the church seems to be asleep. A hopeless world cries for some sign of light in the midst of darkness and desperation. This should be a time when the church is shining her brightest. The world needs to see the glory of God in the hearts of the people of God.

A few signs of hope exist in this generation. The Christian church is having phenomenal growth in certain areas of the world. Revival of historic proportion exists among certain groups of people today. These great movements of the Holy Spirit stand as a witness that God has not forgotten us. He is still on His throne and ready to manifest His glory upon those who will seek Him.

Awesome Father, during these uncertain times, it is so vital that Your people wake up from their slumber and cry out to You! May we shine as beacons of light to our culture, and may we be diligent to raise up the generations after us to seek Your face! Flood the nations with Your holiness and pour out Your Spirit in the midst of Your people! Revive our hearts and set us on fire with Your glory for the sake of Your Name.

Prayer Points

Praise the God who cares even for the birds (Mt. 6:25-34). Give thanks that you can depend upon him completely to meet every need. Confess anything in your life which is rooted in pride and self-reliance. Commit yourself to not worrying about your life or about tomorrow. Ask the Father to help you to “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness . . .” (6:33).

Ask that unsaved persons around you will realize the folly of building their lives on foundations of sand. Pray that they will build on the rock, Jesus Christ.

–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.

Feb. 09: Praying with Certainty

There are several purposes we can pray for with certainty. We can pray for the spread of the gospel. Jesus declared, “This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations” (Matthew 24:14). It’s going to happen. When we intercede for the spread of the gospel, we confidently expect that our prayers are being answered. It cannot be otherwise. Often, when praying in this vein, the Spirit will lead us to pray for family members, friends, or neighbors who appear not to have a relationship with Christ.

Jesus also declared, “I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” (Matthew 16:18, emphasis added). The church is being built and some day it will be complete. When we pray, “Lord, build Your church as You said You would,” we are praying in accord with God’s will. God always hears such prayers. They will never be lost in a netherworld of divine forgetfulness. Among these will be prayers for our own local churches— prayers for growth in grace, for revival, and for effective outreach efforts.

Lord God Almighty, there are many things on Your heart that You give me the privilege and the awesome responsibility of asking You to do!  As Your word clearly gives me direction, help my obedience to grow! Please raise up workers who will preach the gospel as a testimony to all nations! May I be willing to be used in this endeavor! Build Your Church into completeness as Your people grow in grace, experience personal and corporate revival, and passionately reach out to the poor, marginalized, needy and imprisoned. Use me for the sake of Your holy purposes on this earth to bring You great glory and to make Your name famous!

Prayer Points

Praise the Maker of heaven and earth for the marvels of creation in this world. Thank the Lord that he never slumbers or sleeps and that he constantly watches over you. Confess those times in which you refuse God’s help and resent his watching over you. Commit yourself to trusting fully in the Maker of heaven and earth. Ask that God himself will make you strong, firm, and steadfast (1 Pet. 4:13).

Pray that marriages in danger of breaking up will be healed and the pain of divorce avoided.

Prayer Pointer

“The first purpose of prayer is to know God.” —Charles L. Allen

–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.

Feb. 10: The Church Goes “Glocal”

 “He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near” (Ephesians 2:17).

Some Christians get so excited about global missions that they forget all about their neighbors at home. Other Christians are so focused on their neighbors that they don’t think they have anything to give for the cause of world missions. The issue, in God’s eyes is not one or the other, but Global and local evangelism. Some use the term “glocal” to describe this unified (and Biblical) approach.

Jesus certainly viewed His ministry in this way. Though His first focus was on the Jewish people, he called them to fulfill their Abrahamic role of being a blessing to all nations by going to all peoples with the Gospel. In this way, the Gospel would tear down the barriers between Jew and Gentile and make one new man in Christ.

Paul described it to the Church at Ephesus by saying that Jesus preached peace to those who were far away…the Gentiles, and He also preached peace to those who were near…the Jews. The peace of Christ brings peace between ethnic groups and nations, and brings those groups in peace to God.

Our calling from God is to be ministers of reconciliation (2 Cor.5:18), bringing the peace of Christ to those who are near us as well as to those who are far from us. Our prayer life should reflect this dual emphasis. We should be praying for neighbors as well as nations.

Gracious Father, Your love for all mankind is astonishing. Though You certainly deal with nations and people groups in different ways, Your love always shines through. I’m grateful for Your love in my own life. Help me to demonstrate this love in what I do and say, and especially in how I pray. May my prayers reflect Your love for those who are in my neighborhood, as well as for those who are on the other side of the planet.

Prayer Points

Praise God that Jesus Christ is coming again to bring all things to perfection. Thank the Lord that you can anticipate dwelling with him in a new heaven and earth. Confess any attitudes or actions which are hindering the coming kingdom. Commit yourself to watching and praying, being ready for the coming of Christ. Ask that you may live in a way pleasing to God, so that he might say to you, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Mt 25:21).

Ask God to make his people generous in giving their time and gifts for the benefit of others. Ask that the love of Christ will be evident in the care Christians give to each other.

–Adapted from Revolution on Our Knees: 30 Days of Prayer for Neighbors and Nations by Dave 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.

Feb. 11: A Life of Prayer – Together

“Is anyone among you suffering? He should pray. Is anyone in good spirits? He should sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? He should summon the presbyters of the church, and they should pray over him and anoint with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed any sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another that you may be healed.” (James 5:13-16, NAB)

Sharing of one’s concerns could be seen as complaining, attention-getting, or pleas for sympathy. To come to church was a time to show oneself off at one’s best. In public worship some of the expectation was to look good, as if everything was all right even when it was not.

In this context, the notion of the church as a community was not fostered in my own spiritual life. “We share our mutual woes, our mutual burdens bear, and often for each other flows the sympathizing tear” was not as normative as “Before our Father’s throne, we pour our ardent prayer; our fears, our hopes, our aims are one, our comforts and our cares.” Dominant was the sharing of personal concerns with God possible through the work of Christ, private prayer; much less fostered was the notion of sharing concerns with the community and having the community also pray on behalf of the person (praying together). Of course, when someone was in the hospital, the prayer of the community was formally offered. But in my day-to-day life, most everything of a deep personal nature was between me and God.

At times, prayer and praise is an individual response. At other times, it is a response within the community. Mutual confession of sins and prayer for one another is considered to be a vehicle God in Christ uses for healing. God’s Word, the voice of the Church, and our prayers belong together. So we must now speak of common prayer. Bonhoeffer states: “If two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they may ask, it will be done for them of Me in heaven” (Mt. 18:19). There is no part of common devotions that raises such serious difficulties and trouble as does common prayer, for here we must ourselves begin to speak. We have heard God’s Word, and we have been permitted to join in the hymn of the Church; but now we are to pray to God as a fellowship, and this prayer must really be our word, our prayer for this day, for our work, for our fellowship, for the particular needs and sins that oppress us in common, and for the persons who are committed to our care.”

Father, You desire to hear my voice lifted up before Your throne, and You also desire to hear Your people praying together in community. May we, Your Church, discover the loveliness of the fellowship of corporate prayer as we set aside our discomfort and uncertainty.  Help us to emulate the Church in the book of Acts, who gathered together constantly and continually to seek Your face. Forgive our pride and strengthen our resolve to lift our sins, needs and intercessions before You as the Body of Christ.

Prayer Points

Praise God that he is completely trustworthy and that he has never failed anyone (Jn. 14:1-23). Thank God that Jesus Christ is preparing a place for you at this very moment. Confess any reluctance to trust God in everything. Commit yourself to living with your heart as Christ’s home. Ask the Lord to do great things through you in the power of the ascended Lord.

Ask that our society will respect the value of human life at every stage of life. Pray especially for people who today are making decisions about the life of another.

Prayer Pointer

“Trouble and perplexity drive me to prayer and prayer drives away perplexity and trouble.” —Philippe Melanchthon

–Adapted from Giving Ourselves to Prayer: An Acts 6:4 Primer for Ministry (Chapter 46, Praying Together Vs. Private Prayer by Bruce M. Hartung). 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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