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

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:

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


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Dec. 03: Light Shining In the Darkness

“Arise,   shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you.  See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the LORD rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light,   and kings to the brightness of your dawn” (Isaiah 60:1-3).

Isaiah gives us a wonderful picture of revival among the people of God, with the result being an amazing influx of people into the Kingdom. Three powerful words: light, glory, and darkness, burn lasting images onto our minds. The scenario presented by Isaiah is of a world in darkness…cut off from the light of the Presence of God.

Then suddenly, a light begins to shine upon a group of God’s people. Then another light. Many lights begin to shine in the night. The contrast to the darkness around them is astonishing!

The prophet makes it clear that the light is God’s glory! The simplest way to understand the word glory is God’s Presence. God is showing up in the midst of His people. The light and glory of His Presence is beginning to be manifest as His people wake up to His Presence right where they are. This is revival!

Look at the response of those who are in darkness. Light in the midst of darkness becomes a summons to those who are perishing. Nations begin to flock to the light. There is coming a great Harvest! It comes not because of our excellent evangelistic programs, but because the Church has humbled itself before the Lord in repentance and prayer, crying out for His Presence to be made manifest in our lives.

Father, how I long for Your Presence in my life! For too long, I’ve been content with little commitment, little faith, and little joy. No longer! Lord, I want You! I can never be content with anything other than Your Presence. I want to be like Moses who said he wasn’t going anywhere unless You went with him. Forgive me, Lord, for going places in my own strength and for my own purposes. Lord, I ask for Your light and Your glory to come upon Your people. May we shine like stars in the universe because of Your Presence! I long to see Your Light shining through believers in a way that will attract those living in darkness. Awaken Your people, O Lord, that the nations may see You, living in us.

Prayer Points

Praise God for his overruling love (2 Cor. 5:14). Give thanks that God’s love compels you to do things which please him. Confess those times when you have chosen not to listen to God’s words and direction. Commit yourself to worshiping God, for his power over those things that destroy love. Ask God to reveal his overruling love in your daily life.

Pray that Satan’s opposition will be bound so that men and women of all nations will see God’s powerful love.

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

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

Dec. 04: The Greatest Need of the Church Today

In his work, A Cry for the Kingdom, Stanley Grenz makes the following statement relating to prayer and the Church. He says, “The church of Jesus Christ faces many challenges today. Yet the greatest challenge is not what might initially come to mind. The greatest challenge is not that of urging Christians to speak out on the great social issues of the day . . . Nor is our greatest challenge that of encouraging each other to be more fervent in evangelizing the world, . . . Rather, the greatest challenge facing the church of Jesus Christ today, and therefore every local congregation, is motivating the people of God to engage in sincere, honest, fervent prayer.”

Grenz is on target with this statement, but only partially. He is correct in that he believes churches need to be about the task of prayer. I have never heard a church say that it spent too much time in prayer—but many have said the opposite. Grenz is also correct in that honest, fervent prayers are needed. Yet, I would add to his assessment that the greatest need is for churches today to return to the Christ of the Bible through heartfelt Bible-based prayer. Biblical prayer that focuses on relationship with Christ and His kingdom/mission-centered desires is the greatest need facing the Church today!

Mighty King, draw me into the depths of Your word, that I might engage You more fully and completely, and so that my prayers will reflect the desires of Your heart. Touch me with a deep desire to pray for lost people, and to be more purposeful about kingdom issues. I cry out for the Church in my nation and ask You to have mercy for our lack of attentiveness to Your word, and our disobedience to the commands of Christ. May we turn from our wicked ways and fix our gaze upon the face of Your Son so that Your Church will become a reflection of the life of Jesus to a sinful, dying world.

Prayer Points

Praise God for his everlasting power and goodness. Thank him for sharing his power with you in Christ. Confess those times when you tend to trust in your own power and strength. Commit yourself to focusing on God’s power at work within you. Ask God to fill you with a renewed awareness of his presence within you.

Ask God to enable you to show unconditional love to people who do not yet know Christ and his everlasting power.

Prayer Pointer

“No day is well spent without communication with God.” —Anonymous

–Adapted from Giving Ourselves to Prayer: An Acts 6:4 Primer for Ministry (Chapter 41, The Bible and Church Prayer by J. Chris Schofield). This book is available at Use the code CONPSP3at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

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

Dec. 05: The Leadership of God

Moses understood the importance of prayer. He met with God in a tent outside the camp, where the multitudes dwelt. Before he returned to his daily responsibilities and tasks, he cried unto the Lord, “If Your presence does not go {with us,} do not lead us up from here” (Exodus 33:15). Moses knew there would be difficulties, problems, and trials along the way. He knew that he needed the leadership of God.

Jesus was not teaching the disciples that there would be no struggles for the man of prayer; He was teaching the opposite. He taught the disciples that they needed the leadership of God in the midst of the trials. Otherwise, they would fall into the snare of the devil. Satan is cunning, and he continuously sets traps for the Christian. He does everything within his power to tempt and defeat the Christian. The man of prayer, however, can rest assured of God’s protection.

Faithful Father, how often I try to deal with the problems and difficulties in my life on my own instead of inviting You into the midst of my circumstances. Redeem my struggles as I seek to allow You to lead me through all of my trials and uncertainties, as well as any pitfalls and traps set up against me by Satan. Through You I have the victory as I seek Your face and yield to Your leadership in every aspect of my life. Thank You that I am able to rest in full assurance that You are watching over me as I place my reputation, abilities and even my safety in Your capable hands.

Prayer Points

Praise God for the creativity and imagination with which he has gifted you. Thank him for giving you the desire to live for Christ. Confess those times when you have allowed your thoughts and imagination to stray into sin. Commit yourself to setting your mind on all the fullness of God. Ask God to expand your thoughts of him as you consider the width and depth and breadth of his glory.

Thank God for the beauty of his creation throughout the world. Ask that natural beauty will be protected from the harm which sin inflicts on the creation. Pray that people around the world will see and say, “What an awesome God!”

–Adapted from The Prayer Factor by Sammy Tippit. This book is available at Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

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

Dec. 06: Remaining in Relationship

One amazing fact we learn from the spiritual lives of men and women through the ages is that none experience our Father in exactly the same way. Same Mentor, but different experiences of Him. Like the blind men discovering the elephant, our limited experiences are not the whole story. There can be no “one size fits all” formula for spiritual fitness. No straitjacket spirituality. Just a simple commitment to a relationship with Him. A relationship that is not only different with each of His children, but one that must also shift as we journey through the stages of life.

The devotional life of a child will not sustain a teenager. Nor that of a teenager, a young adult. Nor that of a young adult, a mature adult. We are committed to a relationship that must grow as we mature. Like children learning to walk. As soon as we take our first small steps, our parent moves away from us. Instead of hugs, we experience distance. This is our reward for learning? A bigger challenge? We then learn several new steps. And the parent moves again. And again. Throughout the dance we call life.

The Christian believers who self-destruct along the way are often not committed to such a growing, dynamic relationship with Him. They either want to cling to past experiences, imitate the relationship of others, or slide down the undemanding path of non-growth. But, authentic relationship moves us. Even when just “muddling through” the dark nights, depressed days, changing times and unexplainable events. Remaining in Him, whether tempted by success or tested by adversity. He tabernacles among us. And, when He is ready, the cloud rises above the camp. We must move to remain with Him.

Lord God, You created me to have relationship with You, and my desire is to continually grow and mature. Help me to be willing to be stretched and molded, even when the process is uncomfortable or difficult.  Thank You for making Your home with me, and for loving me even when I am unlovely and filled with my own self.  Day by day, draw me closer, and teach my spirit the divine secrets of Your grace-filled kingdom.

Prayer Points

Praise God as the one who speaks “in your language.” Give thanks for God’s ongoing communication with you through his Word. Confess the fact that sometimes God speaks, but you disobediently choose not to listen. Commit yourself to the active obedience of young Samuel, who said, “Speak, for your servant is listening” (1 Sam. 3:10). Ask God to give you ears to hear his message.

Pray that those close to you will also have the desire to listen to God and to obey his Word.

Prayer Pointer

“An hour of prayer at the beginning of the [council] meeting actually shortens the overall meeting time by bringing a greater spirit of unity, by emphasizing spiritual priorities, and by opening people’s hearts to the Spirit’s guidance.” —Anonymous

–Adapted from Giving Ourselves to Prayer: An Acts 6:4 Primer for Ministry (Chapter 40, Abiding Prayer by Tony Twist). This book is available at Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

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

Dec. 07: Asking the Right Questions

Ole Hallesby affirms that the one grand-scale purpose of prayer is to glorify God. He says, “The fundamental law in prayer is this: Prayer is given and ordained for the purpose of glorifying God. Prayer is the appointed way of giving Jesus an opportunity to exercise His supernatural power of salvation. And in so doing he desires to make use of us. . . . We should through prayer give Jesus the opportunity of gaining access to our souls, our bodies, our homes, our neighborhoods, our countries, to the whole world, to the fellowship of believers and to the unsaved.” Intercession that flows from this way of thinking will no doubt be glorifying to God.

When we think of intercession as more for God than for us, all kinds of things will change. We will ask different questions. Instead of asking, “Where is the problem?” we will ask, “Where does God want to work?” Instead of asking, “What do we want from God?” we will ask, “What does God want for us and for those we pray for?” Instead of asking, “What will we gain?” we will ask, “How will God be glorified if He grants what I ask; how will He gain?” We will pray different kinds of prayers. We will pray less for relief and more for sufficient grace. We will pray less for comfort and more for spiritual growth. We will be less concerned with what He can do for us and more concerned for what we can do for Him. Intercession will become a way in which we co-labor with God to accomplish His will and bring in His kingdom. Intercessors yearn for God’s work to be done.

Lord God Almighty, I give You honor and praise because You are worthy, gracious, wise and loving towards all You have made! Mold my heart and bring it into alignment with Your purposes. Teach me how to ask the right questions so that my intercession will be powerful and effective in accomplishing Your will on this earth. I desire to be Your co-laborer as Your kingdom comes! Help me to give Jesus free access to move in and through me as I press in for the sake of Your glory!

Prayer Points

Praise God even in your weakness, believing that in Christ, when you are weak, then you are strong (2 Cor. 12:10). Thank God for opportunities to serve him with perseverance and purpose. Confess those times when you chose to believe that spiritual power comes from within you. Commit yourself to appropriate “boasting” in your weaknesses so that Christ’s power might be made even more evident in your life (12:9). Ask God to help you “delight” even in the tough times of life.

Pray that Christians in every part of the globe will be strengthened to do battle with the evil spiritual forces that are at work in our world. Pray for an outpouring of God’s power throughout his church worldwide.

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

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

Dec. 08: What’s Your Name?

“And as he taught them, he said, ‘Is it not written: “My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations?”  But you have made it a den of robbers’” (Mark 11:17).

In three of the four gospels, Jesus quotes His Father from Isaiah 56:7. Such repetition makes this something of great importance to us, as it deals with the nature of the people of God. God’s original house, the great temple in Jerusalem, is gone. But He still has a house. The Bible tells us that we have become the dwelling place of God, the temple of the Holy Spirit. That’s true of us as individual believers, but also true of God’s people as a whole, according to Paul.

Ownership clearly implies the right to name a house. God could have named us a house of Bible study…or a house of evangelism…or a house of fellowship. All are worthy names, but not what God has chosen to name us. God says we are to be called a House of Prayer for all nations.

Are you living up to your name? For an individual, being a house of prayer means more than having devotions in the morning. Prayer becomes an integral part of who you are. For a church, it doesn’t mean tacking on a prayer meeting to an already busy schedule. It means prayer permeates every aspect of congregational life as prayer becomes the heart of who we are as the people of God.

Lord God, I am humbled that You have called me, my family and my church to be a house of prayer. In Your plans, that means we are a place and a people of Your power being poured out to bring lasting change. Please show me how to move consistently forward in my understanding and practice of prayer. Forgive me for my past prayerlessness. I turn to You, longing to experience a richer intimacy in prayer, and from that, have a greater understanding of how You would have me pray Your will. I look forward to the day when all of Your people humbly seek Your face. Help me Lord, to learn how to become a house of prayer for all nations!

Prayer Points

Praise God for confiding in those who love him (Ps. 25:14). Give thanks for this developing relationship God has established with you. Confess those times when you have refused to share intimately with God. Commit yourself to seeking his companionship daily. Ask God to create within you a desire for intimacy, total honesty, acceptance, and joy in his presence.

Ask God to give you the opportunity and courage to befriend a person seeking a meaningful friendship. Ask that Jesus will be the center of your relationship.

Prayer Pointer

“It is not possible to explain the power and effectiveness of the New Testament church without reference to prayer.” —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 Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

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

Dec. 09: The God of Prayer

In Genesis 1:1 the Bible begins “In the beginning God . . . .” The Bible is a book about God. In Genesis 3:9 the Lord called to man and said to him, “Where are you?” God’s interest in man is relationship and the Bible records God’s redemptive work to provide relationship with sinful man through Jesus the Christ (see Jn. 3:16).

When churches allow the Bible to shape their prayer beliefs and practices in relationship and intimacy with Christ, they allow God’s agenda and presence to permeate their life of prayer. Why is that? Edmund P. Clowney explains, The Bible is God’s Word; it is His story of His work in bringing rebellious men and women back to Himself. It tells, not of man seeking a lost God, but of God seeking lost men. The Bible does not present an art of prayer; it presents the God of prayer, the God who calls before we answer and answers before we call (Isa. 65: 24). . . . prayer is personal address to a personal God. Thus, church prayer begins in faith-based intimacy and relationship with the revealed God of the Bible.

Father, Your word reveals all that You are to Your Church. Jesus, Your Living Word, gives us free access to come before Your throne of grace. What an amazing miracle it is that Your people are welcomed into Your Presence continually as our lives become instruments of Your healing, Your saving power, Your mercy, and so much more! Awaken those who treat prayer only as a devotional act rather than as a lifestyle that impacts Your kingdom moment by moment. Wake up Your sleepy Church, Lord, so that we might draw near in intimacy and participate in the holy activity of Your heart as revealed in Your word.

Prayer Points

Praise the God who lays claim to the entire world and all that live in it (Ps. 24:1). Thank him for the food, shelter, and clothing that sustains you and gives comfort to your life. Confess the times when you have failed to acknowledge God’s riches in your life. Commit yourself to examining your acts of stewardship. Ask God to give you a heart of liberality, knowing that all you have comes from him (1 Chron. 29:14).

Ask God to show your family new and creative ways to share the abundance of your lives with families who have much less.

–Adapted from Giving Ourselves to Prayer: An Acts 6:4 Primer for Ministry (Chapter 41, The Bible and Church Prayer by J. Chris Schofield). This book is available at Use the code CONPSP3at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

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

Dec. 10: Beware of the Angel of Light

“And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14).

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

Satan is like an angel of light. His method is compromise and complacency. I find it more difficult to deal with an angel of light than to deal with a roaring lion. At least you know who the enemy is when it’s a roaring lion. However, one must really have the leadership of the Holy Spirit when he deals with an angel of light.

If the follower of Jesus is to live under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, he must remove every hindrance to God’s leading. For example, he cannot pray, “Lead me not into the temptation of lust,” and watch sexually provocative movies. He cannot pray, “Lead me away from impure thought,” and read literature that is profane and impure. One cannot submit to the leadership of God and retain habits that grieve the Holy Spirit. God is ready to lead when the Christian is ready to follow.

Prayer is not a plea for the absence of trials, but it is supplication for God’s leadership in the midst of trials.

Holy Spirit, I submit to Your leadership! Help me to quickly recognize the work of Satan in my life, and to see the double-mindedness in my actions when they contradict what I say I believe. Lead me far away from anything that grieves You. Cleanse me and purify me.  Prepare me for battle as I cry out to You for deliverance from the temptations that the enemy sets up against me. Lead me into the way of holiness, for I am ready to follow  You with my whole heart.

Prayer Points

Praise God for the diversity of his creation. Give thanks for your heritage and unique attributes which add to the abundance of God’s diverse creation. Confess those times when you failed to accept and love people unlike yourself. Commit yourself to learning about and thanking God for other cultures. Ask God to stretch your understanding of who he is and what he desires of you.

Ask God to open doors of opportunity for you to share the gospel with someone from a differing background or culture. Pray that God will prepare you for that divine encounter this week.

Prayer Pointer

“God’s power enters our human programs through the door of prayer. Unless the church’s ministry is bathed in prayer, it remains merely a human endeavor.” —Anonymous

–Adapted from The Prayer Factor by Sammy Tippit. This book is available at Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

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

Dec. 11: Abiding in Relationship

“For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will – to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves” (Ephesians 1:4-6).

I have learned that abiding in relationship is all about relationship. Because, He is One. We’re learning that everything that is really good began between Them, where love has always lived. The Father, like the sun, radiating beams of love. The Son, glorious reflection, mirroring the Father. The Begetter and the Begotten. Eternally. In the strong bond of the Spirit. All three forever in true love.

It is this loving relationship which birthed you and me (along with all else). I love my parents and will be eternally grateful for family, teachers, friends and adversaries who helped form me along the way. They were mentors for a season. They all participated (and still participate at times) in His conception of me. But, He is our rightful Father (Mt. 23:9).

We’re chosen, adopted into His eternal family (Eph. 1:5). This family of those who do His will (Mt. 12:46-50). God’s strong right-hand Word formed us from frail dust, while His powerful left-hand Spirit energized us into being. We are now sons and daughters of Abraham, called out of Egypt, given the Law and Prophets, the Incarnate Word, the Written Word, martyrs, trailblazers, guides, friends and witnesses all though the ages.

And that’s not all. Formed by His many beams of love, we are now being transformed into Him (2 Cor. 3:18). We’re being re-created to live in our heart’s true home: This eternal relationship of love that painted the first supernova, smiled at the first sunrise and welcomes children home. This relationship we call the Trinity is our eternal destiny.

Knowing where we came from and where we’re headed makes all the difference when we are in life’s wilderness. The desert becomes a place of instruction rather than destruction. A place where, as we draw life from Him, we grow up. Listening deeper. Feeling healthier. Thinking clearer. Doing better. Loving more.

Father, Son and Holy Spirit, my mind is too finite to comprehend Your mystery, but the heart You created within me longs for that “eternal relationship of love” that is my eternal destiny.  I long to know You fully as I am known. Thank You for all of the people you have brought into my life to speak Your truth, who have formed and shaped my life in every season. When I walk through desert places, or times of uncertainty, help me to remember the loving relationship that formed me and to trust Your desire to transform me day by day to be holy and blameless in Your sight.

Prayer Points

Praise God for his marvelous plan of redemption worked out through history. Thank God for the significant leaders he called to make a difference in the growth of the Christian movement. Confess times when God called you to lead in some way, but you chose rather to follow. Commit yourself to discovering how the use of your gifts can influence others to follow Jesus. Ask God to give you courage and insight as he calls you to go and bear fruit that will last (Jn. 15:16).

Pray that political leaders throughout the world will recognize Jesus Christ as Lord. Ask that repentance and revival will come to nations which have not yet honored him.

–Adapted from Giving Ourselves to Prayer: An Acts 6:4 Primer for Ministry (Chapter 40, Abiding Prayer by Tony Twist). This book is available at Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

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

Dec. 12: The Ripple Effect of Prayer

Of course, intercession is not only for God. God has so linked us with Himself that what is for Him is also for us. The apostle Paul links both God’s glory and the believer’s glory to prayer. After reporting to the Thessalonians how he prays for them he says, “We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you and you in him” (2 Thessalonians 1:11–12). The last phrase, “and you in him,” is the surprise. With that phrase Paul is saying, “My prayers will bring glory not only to Christ, but also to you who belong to Christ.” God’s glory and the believer’s highest good are secured by intercessory prayer at one and the same time.

Our intercessory prayers release God’s rich blessings in the world—blessings that ripple on for many years, through many lives, and in many different forms. God is the first one to be blessed when we intercede, but not the last. When the lives of parents are touched through prayer, the blessing accrues to their children and grandchildren. When a pastor is blessed through intercessory prayer, his congregation is also enriched spiritually. When intercessors pray a friend to Christ, all that person’s relationships are affected for the rest of his or her life. The hand that is moved when we pray is the hand of our loving, almighty, all-wise, everlasting Father. No wonder, then, that our intercessory prayers to the Father have such a huge ripple effect.

When we seek to orient all our prayers to what God is doing and plans to do, the Holy Spirit will always be there to help us. He will guide us to pray in line with the purposes of God. He knows what will bring glory to the Father and blessing to humankind, and He will guide us to pray along those lines. Satan will, of course, be there tempting us to make intercession a tool for special favors and personal advantage. If, however, we pray “in the Spirit” and “in Jesus’ name,” our prayers will always be, first of all, for God. They will be used to achieve God’s purposes and will inevitably frustrate the devil and his purposes. That’s what you want to see happen, isn’t it?

Lord, my prayers have not always been focused on the purposes of Your heart, but on my own selfish needs and desires. Teach me to recognize that my prayers are always significant when they are lined up with Your plans and purposes so that the ways of the devil are frustrated and defeated! Help me to see how my prayers are able to bring glory to Christ and also to those who belong to Him! May my intercessory prayers release Your blessings into the lives of people I love and people whom I have never met. Pour out Your power in response to the prayers of Your people lifting up governments, nations and peoples all over the world.

Prayer Points

Praise God for caring for you (1 Pet. 5:7). Thank him for being so interested in your welfare that he even knows the number of hairs on your head (Lk.12:7). Confess those times when you failed to take his care seriously. Commit yourself to imitating God’s care by caring selflessly for others. Ask him to fill your heart and mind with a sense of his deep love for you.

Pray that your church’s evangelistic efforts will be caring efforts. Ask God to show your church how to minister to more than just the spiritual needs of those who don’t have a saving relationship with Christ.

Prayer Pointer

“Life’s best outlook is a prayerful uplook.” —Anonymous

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

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

Dec. 13: And then the End will Come!

This is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: ‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved’” (Acts 2:16-21).

The audience on Pentecost was trying to make sense of the confusing scene unfolding before their eyes. Men were speaking of spiritual matters and everyone else was hearing them in their own heart language.  Some illogically thought these speakers must be drunk. But Peter quoted from Joel 2 to show what was really taking place. This was the prophesied outpouring of the Holy Spirit that must come at the beginning of the last great epoch of mankind before the Lord Himself came to rule over the planet.

It is understandable that almost 2000 years later we find ourselves focusing on the phrases Joel uses to describe what was to happen: prophecy, visions, dreams, signs and wonders, blood and fire, and billows of smoke. But to spend much time on these things is to miss the purpose of this great outpouring. Joel makes clear the purpose in Acts 2:21: “and everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

The Spirit was poured out on Pentecost to open wide the gates of salvation. Believers in Jesus, not just that day, but throughout history, would be empowered through the Spirit to be witnesses. 3,000 were added to their number that day through the work of the Spirit in the lives of the believers. Nothing has changed in the plans of God. As Spirit-filled believers begin to speak of Jesus, the Lord will add to their number those who are being saved.

Lion of Judah, how I desperately need the power of Your Holy Spirit in my life today. I have tried to do Your work in my own strength and power and have failed. I need You! Help me to embrace the work of the Holy Spirit in my life. Lord, I long to see the kind of response that occurred on the Day of Pentecost in our churches today. May I turn from human methods and techniques and commit to seek You in Your power and glory. Come Holy Spirit!  

Prayer Points

Pray Daniel’s words of praise: “Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his” (Dan. 2:20). Thank God for guiding you to make wise choices in life. Confess times when you chose to follow the foolishness of this world’s wisdom rather than the wisdom of God. Commit yourself to seeking the “Spirit of wisdom and of understanding” (Isa. 11:2). Ask God to give to you the “wisdom that comes from heaven” (Jas. 3:17).

Pray for the ability to keep your testimony simple and genuine as you cross paths with people who are trying to understand the things of God.

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

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

Dec. 14: Prayer and the Triune God

Biblical prayer beliefs help churches understand to whom they are praying and why they need to be holy people of prayer with biblical prayer priorities, focus, motives and expectations.

The Bible reveals a proper prayer relationship with the triune God. Biblical prayer beliefs anchor a church to the triune God in relationship and intimacy. Thus, a church prays to the holy-other, omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent God of the Bible who is Father and the great initiator of prayer (see Mt. 6:9; Isa. 45:5; Ps. 27:8; Jn. 15:16).

The Bible also reveals the need to pray through Jesus and in His name (see Jn. 16:23-24). Praying in Jesus’ name keeps a church praying in God’s character, will, intimacy and desires. This allows for the experience and promotion of the glory of God’s name as churches pray. Through Jesus, believers and churches experience communion and fellowship with the God of the universe and they fulfill their role as priests in His kingdom (see 1 Pet. 2:1-9; Rev. 1:6). This means they have confident access into His presence and eternal advocacy through Jesus’ blood to ask with boldness and confidence (Heb. 7:25; 10:19-24).

Bible-based church prayer also involves Spirit-controlled and Spirit-aided prayer (see Eph. 6:18; Jude 20; Eph. 5:18). Prayer in God the Spirit allows for a life of prayer that is focused, filtered and fashioned by the Holy Spirit (see Rom. 8:26-27). This ensures Spirit-led and empowered church prayer that is God-centered and accomplishes God’s agenda.

Father, please teach me to pray! Show the Body of Christ how to seek Your face as we learn how to develop a praying lifestyle based upon Your powerful, inerrant Word! May the power of Your Holy Spirit invade our hearts and draw us close to the purposes of Your heart. In the Name of Jesus, we ask that You would deepen our longing to know You more fully as we center our intercession upon the agenda of Your kingdom!

Prayer Points

Praise God for choosing you “before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight” (Eph. 1:4). Thank him for choosing the poor in the world’s eyes to be rich in faith (Jas. 2:5). Confess the times when you have felt apathetic toward God’s lordship. Commit yourself to living in his promises as revealed in the Word. Ask God to help you live a holy and blameless life.

Ask God to prosper the work of world missionaries which your church supports. Pray for them and their families by name.

Prayer Pointer

“It is in private prayer that we most easily get in touch with our spiritual selves.” —Anonymous

–Adapted from Giving Ourselves to Prayer: An Acts 6:4 Primer for Ministry (Chapter 41, The Bible and Church Prayer by J. Chris Schofield). This book is available at 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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