Impacting Cities & Communities thru Prayer
A Community of Prayer Champions, Praying Churches, Prayed-for Communities
Each day’s prayers spring to life from select promises. Weekly themes help you pray with sustained simplicity. Download a PDF to take a close look at some sample pages, or click each image below for a larger view.
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Today marks the first day of Lent, and as you observe the season, we want to recommend a few Trinity Forum Readings to help guide your time of reflection as we prepare for the joyful celebration that is Easter Sunday!
http://www.ttf.org/sites/default/files/images/Margaret/lent2.png"/>Wrestling with God: Simone Weil's account of finding the mercy and love of God in the midst of suffering;
Pilgrim's Progress: John Bunyan uses masterful storytelling to describe the difficult journey every pilgrim must take;
A Practical View of Real Christianity: An executive summary of Wilberforce's compelling 1797 manifesto on the Christian life and its role in society;
The Strangest Story in the World: Selections from Chesterton's Everlasting Man highlighting his own search for truth with focus on two things that are altogether strange and unique: the creature called man, and the man called Christ.
Grab one (or more!) of these Lenten reads and receive 15% off with the code: lent.
Walk as He Walked
Daily Lenten Readings in the Footsteps of Jesus
“Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did” (1 Jn. 2:6)
“To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps” (1 Pet. 2:21).
“For to me to live is Christ” (Phil. 1:21).
Contemporary applications of these biblical texts range from WWJD (What would Jesus do?) bracelets and car sticker bumpers to full-page newspaper ads asking what kind of car would Jesus drive.
Earlier generations took a far more serious tack. Consider for example, The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis, first translated from French into English in 1503. Others followed, including Imago Christi: the Example of Jesus Christ by James Stalker (1889), The Imitation of God in Christ by E.J. Tinsley (1960), and The Example of Jesus by Michael Griffiths (1985).
Apart from these scholarly works, however, the 1896 novel, In His Steps by Charles Sheldon, has been credited with changing more lives than any book other than the Bible. According to Guideposts magazine (1996) it is the tenth most read book in the world. It remains in print.
The story is about an unknown tramp who wandered into a Midwestern church. He stood up and challenged the people to live up to their professions of faith, then he fell over dead. The people were so shook up that they pledged to do what Jesus would do for one year. Other churches followed and the idea spread widely.
Meanwhile, for centuries pilgrims have tried to emulate Jesus during Holy Week in Jerusalem by following his footsteps during his trials. Others have tried asceticism and various kinds of self-denial, including beatings and crucifixions. Wearing a bracelet seems much less painful.
However, all of these efforts fall short of the main principles Jesus taught and lived by. What did he actually do and why? Are there ways we can follow his example and walk in his steps without resorting to bizarre behaviors?
This book is an effort to do just that. We will follow Jesus for forty days. There is nothing magical about the number, even though it frequently appears in both Old and New Testament stories. I chose the number because it fits Lent, but obviously the book can be used at any time of the year. I’ve chosen forty (and there could be more) events and teachings in the life of Jesus that call Christians to serious thought and action.
A word about method. To gain maximum benefit from your journey, start by reading the biblical texts first. My thoughts in many cases are simple summaries of the stories. They are not intended to take the place of Scripture itself.
A brief prayer closes each day’s journey. Open your heart in prayer in thoughts that fit your needs and desires.
Portions of these devotions previously appeared in Jim Reapsome, Knowing Jesus, Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group, 2008. Used by permission.
Before You Start Your Journey
An important word of caution is in order before we start our forty-day journey. It’s very simple: Do not try to copy the example of Jesus in order to claim acceptance by God for forgiveness and eternal life in heaven. No one can ever be as good as Jesus was. No one can fully track his performance. No one gains salvation by trying to be like Jesus.
We are starting this journey because we believe Jesus has forgiven us on the basis of faith alone, not by our efforts to be so good that God will accept us. Our walk will be extremely worthwhile only if we have made a commitment to trust Jesus and receive him into our lives as lord and savior. “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12).
Paul, Peter, James and John, who gave wise counsel to the early Christians, always based their ethical standards on the fact that their readers were “in Christ." It is useless and quite disappointing to attempt to follow the teachings of Christ without being certain that we are in union with him by faith.
For example, Paul explained that since we are being conformed to Christ’s image we should put on Christ. We are to have the same attitude that Jesus had. “Christ lives in me,” Paul said. We are his workmanship, so we are to grow up in Christ and live as he did. We are rooted and built up in Christ and enjoy his fullness.
That must be the starting point of our journey. Christ in us is not only our hope of glory; he is also the means of our walking as he walked. Start each day with thankfulness for all you are and have in Jesus. He promises to walk with us because he lives in us.
Jesus learned the ways of the Lord as a child
Jesus established strong spiritual roots in his childhood. Although the gospel writers give us just one story about Jesus as a boy, that is enough. His parents, Joseph and Mary, both walked in vital faith in the Lord. They obeyed God implicitly under the most demanding circumstances.
Joseph’s task was supremely painful, because he wanted to rid himself of pregnant Mary. However, when the angel told him not to do this, he listened and obeyed. When Mary could not understand how she could be pregnant while still a single woman, God told her how, not in medical but in spiritual terms. God’s Holy Spirit had impregnated her with his Son. Mary willingly submitted to the Lord.
Given these facts, it is safe to assume that Jesus imbibed strong faith as a child and youth. Luke’s brief conclusion tells us all we need to know: Jesus grew up with such unusual wisdom that he confounded the temple teachers. Beyond that, even at age 12, Jesus was known to walk favorably with God and the people—the neighbors and friends of Joseph and Mary and his brothers and sisters...
It's all here >>>
Jesus Hands. -Fran Dorsey
As a baby His mother lovingly counted to see that each finger was present on His hands
When He was a boy His hands growing He played wih His playmates
When He was twelve His hands held the sacred scrolls as He read from them
As a young man His had held a hammer and saw as He learned the trade of His father a carpenter
When began His ministry His hands pointed to the water jugs to be filled with water that was turned to wine
As a servant His hands healed the sick raised the dead and cast out demons from those in need
His hands blessed bread and fish as He reached out to the crowds to feed the multitudes
He comforted many with His hands
He even instructed the storm to calmness when the disciples feared their own death
His hands were used daily in the toils of life
His hands held the reigns of a colt as He rode into Jerusalem as their King
But when their King didn't satisfy their selfish needs and their pride they pierced those hands with nails and hung Him on a cross
His hands bled and His body bled and His fee bled and the blood from His hands, body and feet was the blood that was the ransom for our sins
And it is this blood that heals our bodies because He loves us
The word says that if we but ask He will answer our prayers so now we must raise our hands in prayer and thank Him for His love for us and receive His healing
Only in Jesus precious name only by His touch.
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Some friends in Asia asked to translate Seek God for the City 2014 for those who pray and read in Chinese. From what I’ve been told, they did a good job translating the entire prayer guide and making it available in both Traditional and Simplified text. The translation was completed only a few weeks ago. Most of our efforts have been focused on getting the prayer guide printed and distributed in Taiwan.
We are able to release the prayer guide in PDF form to be distributed widely but wisely. How to get a PDF copy: Please send your request telling us which version you would like to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name, church and where you live. We will be able to provide you access to the PDF files.
Please accept our apologies for providing this to you at this late date. Our hope is that it will still prove to be helpful. Please let us know how Seek God for the City proves valuable to mobilize and strengthen united prayer among Chinese reading/praying people. We anticipate that future editions may also be translated. Your feedback will be helpful. It’s a joy to be praying with you and many others.
Yours gladly in hope for His glory,
Steve Hawthorne, Director
One of the most important seasons is almost here, and American Bible Society is excited to share this journey with you and your loved ones. Please join us for 7 weeks of Easter devotional emails.
Each week in Lent we would like to send you a free email with Scriptures to read each day along with a Lenten thought that will help prepare your heart for repentance and renewal.
Our team at American Bible Society has prepared a remarkable 40-day Lenten devotional journey through God's Word plus celebratory thoughts for Easter Sunday.
Each of the seven emails you will receive, only if you sign up to receive them, will contain a daily devotional that will inspire you and help you reflect during the entire week. You can simply read the Scriptures each day for a week along with the summary thought for the day that is in the email. Or ...
To take full advantage of the Easter series, simply click on the daily link and you will go directly to the complete devotional verse and biblical thoughts for a more profound and enriching Lenten experience.
No matter how you choose to use this Lenten series, I’m confident that you will be blessed and encouraged. Your journey from Genesis to Revelation will be a rich personal encounter with the God of the Bible as you contemplate what his son, Jesus Christ, did to offer you and me life, hope and a future.
Join me each week as this email series walks us along God’s marvelous path of grace and forgiveness. Let’s make the coming Lenten season a time of spiritual enrichment to be long remembered!