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Ash Wednesday is only a couple of days away, and the annual Seek God for the City campaign is about to begin.  Please join me in asking God to bring honor to himself in our neighborhoods, in our cities, and around the world.  I invite anyone to post prayers for their neighbors, cities, etc.

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Here's a link to the Waymakers web page for the Seek God for the City 2018 campaign:

https://waymakers.org/pray/seek-god/

Day 1 - Wednesday, Feb. 14

Father, we long to see your presence sweep through our land, turning our hearts toward you, purifying us and fixing our eyes on the eternal, righting what is wrong in our society, and establishing justice and mercy.  Please visit us with that kind of revival, Lord.  Expose sin in our land - beginning with your Church - in ways that bring us to repentance and to trust in your mercy and forgiveness.  Lead us to change our ways so that we might be as a bride prepared for her Bridegroom.  Raise up much prayer in our land so that we will be prepared to hear your voice and to respond in worship and in obedience.

We praise you, Lord God, because of your concern for the poor and neglected.  Please visit those in poverty with hope and with provision both for their daily lives and for their eternity.  Grant our leaders wisdom to enact policies that will bring an end to cycles of generational poverty, ending systems of injustice and inequity.  Grant your church vision for helping the poor in ways that last and that change the trajectory of families for generations.  Grant to your people a concern for the poor that's more than theoretical, and that leads us into action.

May your word spread through the countries of Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, and the Bahamas.  Hasten the day when people from every people group in each of these countries has access to the Gospel.  Raise up your church in each of these countries and grant her a vision for transformation of communities.

In Jesus' name.  Amen.

Psalm 85:6-9; Luke 1:76-78; Psalm 140:12

Day 2 - Thursday, Feb. 15

Father, please break into our lives in this season of Lent and train us in your ways.  Pull us aside from our busyness and our preoccupation with our own priorities.  Replace our deeply rooted but often subtle pride with the humility that is the fruit of the Spirit.  Humble us before you and cause us to recognize your holiness and greatness.

Thank you for marriages in our community that reflect your faithfulness and love.  Please strengthen any marriages that are faltering.  Protect the sanctity of marriage; reconcile couples first to you and then to each other; heal broken hearts and again replace pride with humility that empowers spouses to repent and seek forgiveness.  Especially for couples within the Church, please refocus marriages and relationships on yourself.

Father, strengthen your church in Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Bolivia and Brazil.  Purify your church in both doctrine and practice and give her a strong witness in every community.  Make your church a channel of your blessings to those outside the body, so that your name may be known and you may be worshiped by those who are currently far from you.

In Jesus' name. Amen.

Day 3 - Friday, Feb. 16

Lord God, thank you for freeing your people from the penalty of sin.  Now please continue to break the power of sin in our lives.  Give us hearts that so yearn to follow hard after you that sin becomes hateful to us.  Lead us not into temptation, Father, but deliver us from the evil one.  We rejoice that it is you who works in us to will and to act according to your good pleasure; strengthen us to fully put off the old and put on the new in Christ Jesus.

As you work your will in us, create within us a yearning to see those who are still under the power of sin turn over their lives to you and experience the freedom from sin that only you can provide.  Grant us boldness and courage to share the gospel - but even more than that, such a love for you that we long to see others know you.

Father, please watch over teachers in our city.  Give them the freedom to teach their children in truth and light.  Roll back restrictions that are forcing them to teach falsehood as though it were truth and to ignore truth.  Protect the rights and the witness of those teachers who know you; give them a place of leadership among their peers and in the lives of their students.  Show believing teachers how to pray for their students.

Father, please plant your church among every people group in the British Virgin Islands, Canada, the Cayman Islands, Chile, and Colombia.  Make of your church an agent of transformation in each of these societies.  Cleanse your church of any false doctrine and any compromise with the world.  Raise up prayer for the spread of your kingdom in these countries, and hasten the day when every tribe and village has an opportunity to hear and respond to the gospel.

In Jesus' name. Amen.

Day 4 - Saturday, Feb. 04

Lord God, please create in us your people clean hearts and steadfast spirits.  Restore to us the joy of your salvation, so that our hearts and minds may be focused on you.  Protect us from the doubts spawned by the accuser - doubts about your grace and mercy, doubts about your love.  You have already demonstrated your love, grace and mercy in so many ways to us - remind us often that your mercies are new every morning.

Lift up those who feel hopeless in their shame so that their hearts will be united to yours.  Don't let the shame of sin separate us from your love; instead, please drive us to you for forgiveness and cleansing.  Please also place in the hearts of those far from you a yearning to be free from sin, so that they will be drawn to Jesus.

Father, please change the trajectory of the lives of gang members in our community.  Don't let them continue to be caught up in what they believe is love and acceptance but what is really leading to their destruction.  Free them from the cycle of violence and hatred.  Rescue them from those who have convinced them that the gang life is a family.  Give them a taste of your love and break through the chains that hold them in darkness.  

Lord, please spread your love widely through the countries of Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, and Ecuador.  Resource your church in these countries to be a transformative agent in each society, caring for the poor, sharing the good news, and standing for your love and holiness.  Strengthen the church in Cuba in the midst of a repressive regime.  Bless believers in each of these countries both spiritually and materially, and make of them a channel of your blessing to their communities, so that your  name may be revered by those who are currently far from you.  Hear the cries of those in desperate poverty and give your church both compassion and resources to respond.  Raise up church-planting movements in each of these countries so that the day will soon come when every person has had a chance to here and respond to the Gospel.

In Jesus' name. Amen.

Day 5: Sunday, Feb. 18

Lord Jesus, you are indeed the source of living water.  Please place a thirst for that water in the lives of people in our city who are far from you.  Give them a thirst for spiritual truth and for a relationship with you that cannot be filled outside of you.

Make of your people channels of that living water, so that others may come to know you through our lives.  Pour out your Spirit afresh on your people, that we may overflow with living water for others.

Father, please raise your hand on behalf of refugees in our country and city.  Raise up your church to reach out and take care of them, being channels of your blessing.  Bring many of these refugees into contact with the Gospel, especially those who might not hear your word in their homeland.  Give to our leaders wisdom and compassion to develop effective immigration policies and laws - help them to put politics aside and to make wise decisions.

Please bless and protect the refugees and immigrants in our city.  Open their hearts to the gospel and provide for their needs, both spiritual and material.

May your word quickly spread to every corner of El Salvador, the Falkland Islands, French Guiana, and Greenland.  Strengthen your church in each of these countries and give her both vision and passion for reaching those who are currently beyond the reach of the gospel. Raise up prayer for the unreached in each of these countries and give your church effective strategies for reaching every people group.  Go before your church to prepare the hearts of the lost to hear and receive the gospel.

In Jesus' name. Amen.

Day 6: Monday, Feb. 19

Father, please stir our hearts to persistent, united prayer for the advancement of your kingdom and the glory of your name in all the earth.  Perform mighty works in response to prayer so that the world may know that you alone are God, and may be drawn to worship you.  Forgive us for losing heart in prayer, for lack of passion for your glory among the nations, for paying more attention to lesser things than to your Great Commission.  Encourage us to pray with renewed hope, passion, and persistence and invigorate our families and churches to pray.

We praise you, Father, as the only perfectly good Father.  And we pray for your wisdom, love, and grace for the fathers in our community.  Draw the hearts of fathers to their wives and to their children. Encourage them to find their identity in you rather than in work.  Enable them to encourage the best in their children and to lead their families spiritually.

Lord God, may your glory be seen in Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, and Haiti. Relieve the desperate poverty in some of these lands.  Resource your church to be a channel of your blessings both spiritual and material to their communities, so that you will be known as a God of love, grace, and compassion.

In Jesus' name. Amen.

Isaiah 62:6-7; Luke 18:1; Ephesians 6:4

Day 7 - Tuesday, Feb. 20

Father, please visit your church with your justice, mercy, and holiness, and cause us to reflect your qualities to the communities and neighborhoods around us.  May the reflection of your goodness in us draw to you those who are currently far from you.  Convict us of sin in any area where we are not reflecting your character - in our work, in our homes, in our neighborhoods, on the road - wherever we may be.  Fill us with your integrity so that your character may be known to those around us.

Please bring unity in your church.  Use this season of Lent to raise up efforts of cooperation between churches that will make your name known in our communities.  

Lord Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on the homeless in our community.  Please provide for their needs of food, shelter, and health care. Empower the providers of these services to truly care for those who need them.  Grant the homeless trustworthy people to befriend them and counsel them.  Grant opportunities for employment, housing, and restored family life.  Raise up your church to intercede with you for the homeless and to be your hands and feet in caring for them.

For the sake of your glory, Amen.

Isaiah 60:1-3; John 17:22; Psalm 107:41

Day 8 - Wednesday, Feb. 21

Father, please renew our hearts in worship.  Forgive us for the selfishness with which we sometimes approach worship - worrying more about style than substance, more about appearance than the condition of our hearts.  Restore to us a vision of your majesty and holiness, and lead us to worship you because of who you are.  Be the focus of our praise - not just one day a week in church, but all through our lives.

Please restore joy in believers who struggle with depression or who are going through difficult seasons.  Lift their hearts and minds to you so that their focus will be on your love, grace, and compassion.  Remind them of your daily provision and free them from worry. 

Please grant a sense of dignity and purpose to laborers in our community. Increase their joy in their work, and keep them safe.  Please continue to provide ongoing employment for them in light of the changing economy - but at the same time show them that their hope is in you, not in a specific job.  May your name be praised on construction sites, at factories, and in other places of industry in our city.

Lord God, send forth your word with power to save throughout the Netherlands Antilles, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, and Peru.  In each of these countries, revive your church with passion for worship and for evangelism and missions.  May the Gospel penetrate every people group, every tribe, every village and city in these countries.  Raise up disciple-making movements in each of these countries that will multiply into many generations. 

In Jesus' name. Amen.

Psalm 70:4; Luke 10:21; Psalm 128:1-2

Day 9 - Thursday, Feb. 22

Father, please renew the hearts of your people to love and obey you. For those whose hearts have turned hard, soften them toward your word.  For those whose hearts have become the rocky soil, replace the rocks with good soil so that the roots of your word may grow deep. For those whose lives have become dominated by the cares of this world, free them from the thorns so that their hearts may be completely yours.  Forgive us all the ways in which we have allowed the world to come between us and you.  Restore to us the joy of our salvation, and renew us to our first love.  Empower us to love you and to love people as you would have us to do.

Lord God, please take hold of the hearts of university students in Knoxville.  So many are there who do not know you.  Bring the students who have come from other nations where you are not named into contact with believers who will befriend them and share your love with them. Strengthen campus ministries to both disciple believers and spread your word to non-believers. By your Spirit, guide the minds of those who sit in classes where falsehood is taught and give them discernment to know the Truth.  Raise up many from here and from colleges across the country to attend Urbana later this year and from them create a mighty force for the spread of the Gospel around the world.

Strengthen your church in Puerto Rico, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Pierre and Miquelon - in each of these countries, purify your church in both doctrine and practice, so that she will be as a bride ready and waiting for the Groom.  Resource your church to be a channel of your blessings both spiritual and material, so that your name may be known and worshiped among every people group in these countries.

In Jesus' name. Amen.

Day 10: Friday, Feb. 23

Father, please restore families in our community and across our nation.  Reconcile children to parents, parents to children, husbands and wives to each other.  Place in the hearts of believing parents a God-given sense of priority on raising their children in the way they should go.  Bring conviction where parents have left the raising of their children to others.  Bring balance into the lives of families who are constantly on the go with activities.  More than anything, be at the center of families, Lord, calling and drawing them to yourself.

Please strengthen the hands of our law enforcement officers and judges.  Empower them to carry out their duties in righteousness, not abusing their power, but using their position to protect and to serve.  Protect them physically and emotionally, and protect their families from harm.  Use these men and women to bring and restore order to our increasingly lawless society.  Grant them favor in the eyes of the public, while at the same time holding them accountable for any wrongdoing.  Free them from prejudice and enable them to carry out their duties with integrity.

Send forth your word in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, and Turks and Caicos Islands.  Renew your church in these countries: where there is merely form without substance, bring conviction; where there is license and carelessness with regard to sin, bring repentance; where there is prayerlessness, bring a desperation for your presence.  Fill your people with love for each other that will attract those far from you.

In Jesus' name. Amen.

Malachi 4:6; John 4:16, 30, 42; Psalm 106:3

Day 11 - Saturday, Feb. 24

Lord Jesus, manifest your presence and glory in your church and throughout our city.  Take hold of the hearts of all who call on your name - re-order our hearts and minds and focus us on things above rather than on the things of this life.  Remind us that we are aliens and strangers here on earth, and call us to reflect your glory among us and in our communities.

Thank you, Lord, for the health care workers with which you have blessed us.  Please strengthen their hands for the work you have given them.  Grant them wisdom in the decisions they make on behalf of their patients.  Empower them to serve with loving hearts and bless them with perseverance and joy.  Protect them from discouragement and despair, and instead fill them with a sense of purpose and a sense of your pleasure in their work.  Draw them to yourself through their work, through believing co-workers and patients, and through your work in their lives.

Reveal yourself throughout the United States, Uruguay, Venezuela, and the Virgin Islands.  Show forth your character and holiness, your power and majesty, your compassion and grace in ways that both renew your church and extend the reach of the gospel to every corner of these countries.  Raise your hand against systems and individuals through whom the evil one is working against you.  Make of your church an agent of transformation in these countries, so that your name may be known and worshiped by every people group.

In Jesus' name. Amen.

Ezekiel 37:27-28; John 1:14; Psalm 41:1-2

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