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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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November 15: Pray for Revival!

The Church is the key to the future of America. The nation doesn’t believe that. We have been marginalized by culture. But not by God. As goes the Church, so goes the nation. Of course, that is true in a negative way as well as a positive, and much of the illness in the nation is the result of a weak and powerless Church.

We fool ourselves to think that America can continue as the beacon of liberty and justice apart from the pursuit of the source of liberty and justice: God. But while it’s all too easy to lay the blame elsewhere for the problems our nation is facing, the truth is that it’s the church that must step up. We have become too satisfied with the status quo—doing little beyond simply stating our concerns. But complacency does not become a people in pursuit of God. The church in America is in need of another spiritual great awakening if our nation is to survive the onslaught against her very foundations. This is not hyperbole but reality. Our nation’s survival depends on the church’s awakening.” —Alex McFarland, quoted in Charisma blog, January 6, 2015 “Impact of Great Awakenings in the Past”

What is this thing called revival? One way to describe it is a period of time in the life of the Church when the manifest presence of God is experienced and lives are transformed in extraordinary ways. Wikipedia describes it as: “A Christian revival, or revivalism, is increased spiritual interest or renewal in the life of a church congregation or society, with a local, national or global effect. This should be distinguished from the use of the term ‘revival’ to refer to an evangelistic meeting or series of meetings.”

Revival impacts the Church or the individual Christian to begin to live the Christian life as God always intended. There is often a huge evangelistic result as Christians share their faith and as word of the revival spreads to unbelievers. A spiritual awakening is often used to describe revival that has spread beyond the Church and is transforming the culture.

Wake up Your sleeping Church, Lord! We have become complacent and comfortable…even in the midst of turmoil. Help us to open up our eyes to see Your purposes with fresh vision and to long for spiritual renewal in our hearts and in Your Body. Transform us into the image of Your Son, Jesus, so that a dying world can see Him clearly through us.

Prayer Points

Praise God for choosing the foolish things of the world to shame the wise and the weak things to shame the strong (1 Cor. 1:27). Thank God that your salvation does not depend on your wisdom but on his grace alone (Eph. 2:8-9). Confess your self-sufficiency (Lk. 16:11-13). Commit yourself to doing what the Lord requires of youto act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God (Mic. 6:8). Ask God to show you clearly the depth of the riches of wisdom and knowledge of God (Rom. 11:33).

Pray that your church leaders will show God’s wisdom by their godly lives and deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom (Jas. 3:13).


–Adapted from With One Cry: A Renewed Challenge to Pray for America by David 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.  This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

PRAY FOR THE NATION RESOURCE: Click here to get this FREE article – Praying God’s Purposes for America: Using the Scriptures to Pray for a Nation.

Connection (Devotions for Everyday Life) © 2016 is published daily by Harvest Prayer Ministries. Subscribe here.

November 16: Marching orders

“And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil” (Matthew 6:13).

C.H. Spurgeon said, “On his knees the believer is invincible.”

Several years ago I sat in the home of a dynamic young Christian leader in a country where Christians were severely persecuted. His telephone was hidden under one of the cushions of his couch because he believed it was bugged. Although he had been interrogated by the secret police several times, he remained faithful to the Lord.

This man said to me, “When I lose the sense of being in a battle, I become apathetic. I must live with a keen realization that I am in a battle for the souls of men.” As I listened to him, I realized that most Christians in the West do not even realize that there is a battle. The church must be aroused from her slumber. We must be awakened and put on our battle gear. We must move out like a mighty army for the glory of God. There are nations to be conquered, hearts to be won, and souls to be claimed. We must put on our fighting gear in the secret chamber of prayer. It is there that we receive our marching orders.

Powerful King, I am so often unaware that I am in a battle with the enemy! How forgetful I am when over and over again in Your Word, You tell me to “Watch!” Forgive me for being so unprepared to wage war with Satan, who would steal the souls of lost people who desperately need Jesus! Don’t allow me to miss opportunities to pray for those who can so easily be swayed by the seduction of the world rather than the salvation of The Christ! Wake me up, and awaken Your Church, so that we will be a mighty army for the sake of Your Name! Help me to listen to Your voice in the secret place of prayer, so that I will be prepared to put on my armor, and to use the sword of Your Word to overcome the evil one!


Prayer Points

Praise Jesus, who is the gate of salvation (Jn. 10:7-10). Thank him for bringing you through that gate and for the security you find inside. Confess those times when you seek security in something other than Jesus. Commit yourself to being a doorkeeper in the house of God rather than dwelling in the tents of wickedness (Ps. 84:10). Ask God to use you to attract those outside of Christ to enter into a saving relationship with him.

Pray that your church will march triumphantly against the hosts of Satan, with the assurance that the gates of hell cannot prevail against God’s church (Mt. 16:18).

Prayer Pointer

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” —Philippians 4:6-7


–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.  This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

CHRISTMAS IDEA: December is coming! Sometimes, in the rush of the Christmas season, we do not always focus our thoughts, our hearts and our minds on Christ, the very reason we celebrate. As your family begins to look toward the celebration of the birth of Christ (the first advent–coming), take time each day to focus on the One we long to see face to face. Set apart a time of devotion together to anticipate and await with delight the coming of the Christ Child–God’s own Son! Don’t allow Him to get lost in the shuffle of activity– even as you physically prepare to celebrate. Click on this link: Preparing Our Hearts for the Coming of the Christ Child 

Connection (Devotions for Everyday Life) © 2016 is published daily by Harvest Prayer Ministries. Subscribe here.

November 17: Groans that Words Cannot Express

“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express” (Romans 8:26).

The Spirit motivates us to pray what God wants prayed. Paul asserts that “the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.” While it is not entirely clear whether it is the Spirit or the pray-er who groans, the fact that we have a personal interactive relationship with the Spirit means that both the Spirit and the person praying experience strong deep feelings. The “groans” of which Paul speaks may be understood as intense yearnings of the Father for the accomplishment of His purposes, yearnings that get birthed in our hearts by the Spirit. These yearnings become the grist of our intercessory prayers. For example, when believing parents pray that prodigal sons or daughters will return to the faith, they do so with the yearnings of the Father. When we pray for persecuted Christians or the surviving family members of martyred believers, we do so with deep groans of God. The Holy Spirit is the Father’s agent in getting us to pray what is on His heart.

The Spirit enables us to pray. When it comes to prayer we may be “strength-less” but we are not helpless. Paul reminds us that “the Spirit helps us in our weakness.” The word “helps” is a Greek word that literally means “take hold of together with against.” The Spirit is not so much praying for us as He is praying with us. He is “taking hold of prayer together” over “against” our weakness so that with His help we can pray as we should. We still do the praying, but we are not alone in doing it. Imagine a person trying to move a heavy log alone. The log is very heavy and he is too weak to lift it. But someone steps up to “take hold of it together” with him. Together they are able to move the log. It’s like that with us and the Holy Spirit. What we are unable to do in our own strength, we can do with the help of the Holy Spirit.

Gracious God, I am so thankful that I am not left on my own to determine how I should pray. Thank You for the power of the Holy Spirit, who helps me to pray in the midst of my weakness, and during times when I just don’t have a clue what I should ask. How amazing to know that when I don’t have the words to speak, the Spirit intervenes on my behalf. There are times when I feel so deeply about the situation of another, or about the circumstances of my own life that I am unable to verbalize what is on my heart. Thank You for knowing what is in the depths of my being, and for allowing the groans of my spirit to be heard!

Prayer Points

Praise God for his glorious grace freely given in his Son, Jesus Christ (Eph. 1:6). Thank him for an outpouring of the Spirit of the Lord (2 Cor. 3:17). Confess those times when the exercise of your freedom has become a stumbling block to the weak (1 Cor. 8:9). Commit yourself to walking in the freedom of God’s Word (Ps. 119:45). Ask God to make you a slave of righteousness (Rom. 6:18).

Pray for people you know who are still slaves to sin. Ask God to show them through you that he has not deserted them but is waiting patiently for salvation to come to their house (Acts 16:29-32).


–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.  This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

CHRISTMAS GIFT IDEA: Give a gift subscription of Prayer Connect magazine! 4 packed issues per year to encourage and equip your prayer life! Click on this link for more information: Prayer Connect Magazine.

You may download a free issue of Prayer Connect Magazine  here.

Connection (Devotions for Everyday Life) © 2016 is published daily by Harvest Prayer Ministries. Subscribe here.

 

November 18: Pray with Thanksgiving

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18).

It’s hard for us to thank God while making our requests, for two reasons. First, because we are so focused on the need, we often wrestle with anxiety. Secondly, we typically thank someone after they’ve done something, not before. When it comes to effective prayer, thanksgiving is to both precede and follow God’s response.

Thanking God in advance for doing what you’re asking Him to do is an expression of your expectancy. It’s evidence that you’re anticipating measurable results from your prayer. When my wife Alice was pregnant with our children, we said, “She is expecting.” When you are praying in faith with pre-thanksgiving, you are praying expectantly. You expect to see God answer your prayer in an observable, verifiable way.

Our faith and thanksgiving are not based on what we see. They are based upon God’s character (who He is, what He’s done in the past, and what He’s promised to do in the future). We’re to walk by faith, not by sight.

Lord Jesus, there are days when my ungrateful heart needs to be lifted to a higher level of faith and expectancy. Teach me to be filled with grateful anticipation as I await Your response to prayers that are filled with faith! Thank You for showing me how to line up my prayers with the Father, as You did when You walked on this earth! May I have a heart that is filled with gratitude that the God of the Universe cares for me, and desires to use me to accomplish His plans in this lost and hurting world.

Prayer Points

Praise God for the good gifts he gives to those who ask him (Mt. 7:11). Give thanks, even in the midst of pain all around, that God’s gifts are good. Confess your lack of quality time spent with God in prayer (Rom. 8:26). Commit yourself to modeling Jesus’ example of praying in solitary places (Mk. 1:35). Ask God to give you a real devotion to prayer—being watchful and thankful, making the most of every opportunity (Col. 4:2-5).

Ask God to use emergency or crisis situations in the lives of unsaved people to bring them to the foot of the cross. Pray for eyes to see how you can help in such situations.

Prayer Pointer

“One of the most common weaknesses of our prayer lives is the vagueness of our focus. . . . Petition saves us from that. It forces us to be specific, to be precise, to clarify our wants and desires.” —Maxie Dunnam


–Adapted from Giving Ourselves to Prayer: An Acts 6:4 Primer for Ministry (Chapter 39, The Secret of Single-Minded Prayer by Eddie Smith). 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.  This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

Connection (Devotions for Everyday Life) © 2016 is published daily by Harvest Prayer Ministries. Subscribe here.

November 19: Prayers of Celebration

King David often began his prayers with tears, but finished them with celebration. He believed God was a faithful, promise-keeping God. He often thanked God in advance for what He was about to do! Celebration is sometimes a shout of victory; and sometimes a declaration of war. As long as we whine to God about our problems, we’ll see nothing. We celebrate the answer; then we see the answer!

  • Praise preceded the fall of Jericho’s walls. (The shout preceded the falling of the walls.)
  • Praise preceded Jehoshaphat’s victory. (The praise team preceded the army.)
  • Praise preceded the feeding of the five thousand. (Jesus thanked the Father for feeding the people with a lad’s lunch.)
  • Praise preceded the resurrection of Lazarus. (Jesus thanked the Father for hearing Him.)
  • Praise preceded the earthquake and jailbreak in Philippi. (Paul and Silas celebrated.)

Lord, forgive me for failing to celebrate answered prayer, and for not expecting You to do great and mighty things in response to my intercession! Help me to purposefully give You praise as I seek Your face so that You will take pleasure in answering! Fill me with a large measure of faith to believe that You are always about to do something amazing in response to the prayers of Your people. Show me how to expect Your highest and best for the glory of Your Name!

Prayer Points

Praise God, the one who is your “refuge” and your “fortress” (Ps. 91:2). Thank him for taking care of you in every storm of life. Confess times when you’ve sought refuge in some thing or someone other than God. Commit yourself to placing all your trust in this powerful and loving God. Ask God to protect and defend you against Satan’s schemes.

Ask God to make your home a spiritual refuge from the temptations of this world. Pray that your children will find strength, peace, and security there. Pray for harmony among the members of your family.


–Adapted from Giving Ourselves to Prayer: An Acts 6:4 Primer for Ministry (Chapter 39, The Secret of Single-Minded Prayer by Eddie Smith). 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.  This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

Connection (Devotions for Everyday Life) © 2016 is published daily by Harvest Prayer Ministries. Subscribe here.

November 20: One-Sided Chatter

So how do you learn to listen? For me it started with a need to hear from God. Good listening starts with the desire to learn. If you can handle life without Him, you will not hear from Him. It is not a matter of setting aside more time, albeit, that would be good. “Be silent . . . before the Lord” (Zech. 2:13) does not mean actual decibel silence, but silence in your mind. The world can be very loud around me, but I can still quiet my heart and mind whether in an airport or in the woods.

Remaining silent before God does not mean that you will have no thoughts or reflections. It does mean you will stop telling God your needs, and say with Samuel, “Speak. Lord, for Your servant hears” (1 Sam. 3:9). To pray without ceasing, it will be necessary to stop one-sided chatter.

Thank You, Lord, for teaching me how to be still before You. I praise You for speaking in the quietness as I wait upon You. As I still my heart before You, there is always a sense of Your pleasure that I can’t sense when I barge into Your presence with my requests. I long to learn what it means to truly “pray without ceasing” in every circumstance of life. I know that I cannot handle life without You. Speak, Lord, for I am listening!

Prayer Points

Praise God, the one who is your dwelling place (Ps. 90:1). Thank him for giving you a wonderful inheritance in Jesus Christ, “an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade” (1 Pet. 1:4). Confess moments during the past day or week when you’ve looked for other “dwelling places.” Commit yourself to living under the authority and love of your heavenly Father. Ask God to show you today why his “dwelling place” is the best.

Pray that you will be enabled to show to an unbeliever by your word and deed why it is that you trust God as your dwelling place.


–Adapted from Giving Ourselves to Prayer: An Acts 6:4 Primer for Ministry (Chapter 38, How to Pray without Ceasing by Cornell Haan). 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.  This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

Connection (Devotions for Everyday Life) © 2016 is published daily by Harvest Prayer Ministries. Subscribe here.

November 21: A Life of Victory

Perhaps the state of the church can be best described by two men. One is called Disciple, and the other is called Enemy. Disciple is a foot soldier in the army of the Lord. He has everything he needs to defend himself and defeat Enemy. He has defensive equipment that cannot be penetrated.

His equipment includes the belt of truth. The belt of truth has three places where the remainder of the gear can be fastened to it. First, he can fasten to it the truth about Jesus, who is the exact representation of the nature of God. Second, he can fasten to it the truth about life. Psalm 119:160 says, “Thy word is truth.” Third, he can fasten to it the truth about himself. “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8). He is well-equipped with the belt of truth.

Disciple also has the breastplate of righteousness. He knows that his righteousness is nothing more than a bunch of dirty rags. Therefore, he has clothed himself with the strong and mighty righteousness of the Lord that is found in Jesus Christ. The vital areas of his life are protected by the righteousness of Jesus.

He has placed on his feet sandals called “peace.” The sandals of peace are the result of his faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1). They enable Disciple to be decisive and move quickly when Enemy attacks.

In addition to this, he has the shield of faith. His shield was invented, designed, created, and completed by the Lord Jesus, who is “the author and perfecter of faith” (Hebrews 12:2).

Finally, he has the helmet of salvation. The helmet offers total protection. It protects him in the past from the penalty of sin. It protects him in the present from the power of sin. And it will protect him in the future from the presence of sin.

The summation of all this armor is Jesus. Prayer is a time where Disciple clothes himself with Jesus. He must allow Jesus to fill and engulf every area of his life. He does not have to be defeated by Enemy; Jesus has given him everything that he needs for a life of victory.

Victorious Savior, thank You for the victory that is mine through Jesus! The armor You have provided for me enables me to have protection, faith, and Your righteousness! I am able to stand firm, to fend off the attacks of the enemy and to be equipped with truth for my life! How gracious You are, Lord, to give me everything I need to live and walk in victory.

Prayer Points

Praise God, the one who is your “light” and your “salvation” (Ps. 27:1). Thank him for shining his saving light in your darkness. Confess times when you’ve preferred to live in the darkness of sinful actions and habits rather than in the light of Jesus. Commit yourself anew to living in his light. Ask God to surround you every day this week with his light and salvation.

Pray for Christian ministries which bring healing light into some of our society’s darkest corners. Pray for those who work with the homeless, with substance abusers, with the poor, with persons in mental institutions, and others. Ask that the love of Jesus will soothe every hurting heart.


–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.  This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

Connection (Devotions for Everyday Life) © 2016 is published daily by Harvest Prayer Ministries. Subscribe here.

November 22: The Leading of the Spirit

When Paul tells us in Ephesians 6:18 to “pray in the Spirit,” he is urging us to pray as the Spirit enables us to pray or to pray by the power and direction of the Spirit. In other words “pray in the Spirit” is not a command; it’s an offer of help—help that is available for any praying believer, anytime, anywhere.

The Holy Spirit is the great prayer helper and is eager to guide us in who and what to pray for. He is on the lookout for believers who will pray for what God wants to do. How practically does the Spirit do this? He may do it by giving you a burden—such a deep love and concern for a person or a cause that it weighs on you. He may do it by giving you an unexpected thought—a thought that breaks in so abruptly that you ask, “Where did that come from?” He may do it by giving you a strong impression—a sense that He wants you to pray about something so that He can act in response to your prayer. He may do it by making a scripture verse come alive in your heart so that you are reminded of a person or situation that needs prayer. The Spirit has control of our hearts and minds and emotions. He can cause a burden, thought, impression, or insight at anytime to guide us in prayer. If you are not certain that a prompting to pray is from the Spirit, then ask God for the wisdom that He promises to give “generously to all” who ask in faith (James 1:5). He will give the wisdom that He promised so you can be certain.

It is no wonder that Jesus strongly urged believers to pray for the Holy Spirit and promised that the Father in heaven would most certainly “give the Holy Spirit to those who ask” (Luke 11:13). If you have ever asked yourself, “What is the first step I should take in order to improve my prayer life,” then here is the answer. Ask the Father for the Holy Spirit, trust that He gives you the Spirit, and then lean on the Spirit for the help He gives in every aspect of your prayer life. He is willing; He is able; and He will do it.

Thank You, Father, for the gift of Your Holy Spirit! Help me to be continually aware as He works around, in and through me to encourage my heart towards prayer. May I be looking for the Spirit’s promptings and burdens so that I never miss an opportunity to pray as He directs! Lord, I ask in faith for the wisdom You promise to give generously so that my prayer life is filled with purpose and is always in agreement with You! May I never choose to lean on my own understanding, but continually follow the leading of the Holy Spirit all the days of my life.

Prayer Points

Praise God for all his mighty works (Ps. 46:8-10), for his power, his majesty, his magnificent splendor over all the earth. Thank God for this psalm’s very clear and uplifting picture of God’s grandeur. Confess that you sometimes live as if God were small, powerless, and expendable. Commit yourself to serving this grand and glorious God with humility and reverence. Ask God to reveal something of his splendor in your life this week.

Pray that “the works of the Lord” might be so evident as to draw unbelievers to saving faith in Jesus Christ. Ask for spiritual blinders to be removed.


–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.  This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

CHRISTMAS GIFT IDEA: Give a gift subscription of Prayer Connect magazine! 4 packed issues per year to encourage and equip your prayer life! Click on this link for more information: Prayer Connect Magazine.

You may download a free issue of Prayer Connect Magazine  here.

Connection (Devotions for Everyday Life) © 2016 is published daily by Harvest Prayer Ministries. Subscribe here.

November 23: Build the Track and the Train Will Follow

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6).

There is a world-famous scenic railway over the beautiful snowcapped Alps. It stretches from Venice to Vienna; and it has an amazing history. For several years crews laid the track through the icy mountain passes, across the Alpine Mountains, which in itself was thought to be impossible. But stranger still, the track was laid before a train was built that could actually make the trip!

When we pray with praise and thanksgiving, as Paul instructs us to do in Philippians 4:6, we are “building a track.” At that point, it’s God’s job to “build the train!”

We are to be ever mindful of His benefits, not only for the things we want but also for the things we have. “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits” says Psalm 103:2. God never responds to ingratitude.

Father, I come to You filled with gratitude for Your promises! You have been  gracious to me beyond measure, and I am so thankful for Your goodness to me! May I live a life filled with faith that never gives up, and an expectancy that You will build the train that runs upon the track of prayers that are offered to You with praise and thanksgiving!

Prayer Points

Praise God, the one who is never far away from his children. Thank him for being close to you when you feel brokenhearted or crushed in spirit (Ps. 34:18). Confess your own unwillingness to have a God so near. Commit yourself to drawing near to God in daily prayer and fellowship (Jas. 4:8). Ask him to bless you by his presence throughout your life.

Intercede for the great worldwide mission effort of the church. Ask God to raise up more workers to enter the harvest around the world. Pray specifically for missionaries whom you know or support financially.

Prayer Pointer

“God does nothing on earth save in answer to believing prayer.” —John Wesley


–Adapted from Giving Ourselves to Prayer: An Acts 6:4 Primer for Ministry (Chapter 39, The Secret of Single-Minded Prayer by Eddie Smith). 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.  This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

Connection (Devotions for Everyday Life) © 2016 is published daily by Harvest Prayer Ministries. Subscribe here.

November 24: God Speaks when We Are Ready to Listen

The more we understand the Scriptures the more likely it is that God will speak to us. The Bible is the message of God to mankind. Why should its author speak to you if you have not read His main message?

God speaks to those whose life is a clear channel ready for reception. The message would be poorly received and garbled if the receptacle were un-prepared. God speaks when we are ready to listen. Prayer without ceasing is not meditation, special revelation, or receiving a prophetic word of knowledge. It is one’s normal communication with the Father.

If you are hungry to pray without ceasing, God will speak to you. If you desire a personal relationship with the Father, then communication is foundational to that relationship and all relationships. Each of us need to see for ourselves that God, our heavenly Father, wants to talk with us. So LISTEN! Spend as much or more time listening than speaking.

Lord God, my heart is often not prepared to hear Your voice! Forgive my lack of attentiveness to Your word, and my inability to cease my busyness in order to listen. Help me to recognize that You are the primary relationship of my life, and that when I do all the talking I am not respecting or valuing the absolute fact that You live in me and desire to commune with me. May I learn through patient practice how to sit in Your lovely Presence and soak in the vastness of all that You are without having to say anything. Please show my spirit how to be in a continual state of worship, desire and readiness to hear Your voice.

THANKSGIVING BLESSINGS FROM HARVEST PRAYER MINISTRIES!

Prayer Points

Praise God, the one who strengthens and helps you (Isa. 41:10). Give thanks for God’s promise to be with you when you “pass through the rivers” or “walk through the fire” (Isa. 43:2). Confess those times when you’ve doubted God’s loving presence and care. Commit yourself to trusting in God to protect and defend you. Ask him to increase your faith.

Pray for the political leaders of your country. Ask that they will be men and women of integrity and honor. Pray that their primary allegiance will be to God alone.


–Adapted from Giving Ourselves to Prayer: An Acts 6:4 Primer for Ministry (Chapter 38, How to Pray without Ceasing by Cornell Haan). 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.  This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

Connection (Devotions for Everyday Life) © 2016 is published daily by Harvest Prayer Ministries. Subscribe here.

November 25: Wielding the Sword of the Lord

“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12)

Jesus has given His disciples one piece of equipment that is powerful for tearing down the strongholds of Enemy: the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. This sword can pierce the most hardened heart and bring liberty and freedom from the bondage of sin.

There is one important fact, however, that believers must never forget. The Word of God is the sword of the Spirit. It is not the sword of human flesh and effort. It can only be properly used in battle by the Holy Spirit. Many have been turned further away from the gospel by someone who tried to browbeat them into the kingdom with his Bible. Others have been gently led to receive eternal life by properly using the sword, the Word of God.

Only the Holy Spirit can properly utilize Scripture. He knows the deep needs of every captive. The only question to be resolved is this: How do believers place their lives under the control of the Holy Spirit so that God can use them effectively in the offensive battle?

We are told what to do in Ephesians 6:18 once we are clothed with our armor and hold the sword in our hands: “With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints.”

Prayer places us at God’s disposal. The greatest power that we have in this battle is made available to us through prayer.

Holy Spirit, I desire to place myself completely in Your hands as You use my prayers for the purposes of God. You alone can teach me how to understand and effectively utilize the Word. Show me how to use it in such a way that the Body of Christ is edified, and those who are not yet believers are convicted and convinced of the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Help me to become more like Jesus as I begin to more fully obey His Word applied to my life. I want to live continually at the disposal of God, properly wielding the Sword of the Spirit in a life of prayer.

Prayer Points

Praise God, the one who keeps you in perfect peace (Isa. 26:3). Give thanks for peace which is far beyond your understanding (Phil. 4:7). Confess that you sometimes look to the world to bring you peace rather than to God. Commit yourself to living in peace with others (1 Thess. 5:13). Ask God to give you a peaceable spirit.

Jesus promises to give his peace to those who believe in faith (Jn. 14:27). Pray for one unsaved person you know to receive Jesus’ precious peace.


–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.  This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

CHRISTMAS IDEA! Sometimes, in the rush of the Christmas season, we do not always focus our thoughts, our hearts and our minds on Christ, the very reason we celebrate. As your family begins to look toward the celebration of the birth of Christ (the first advent–coming), take time each day to focus on the One we long to see face to face. Set apart a time of devotion together to anticipate and await with delight the coming of the Christ Child–God’s own Son! Don’t allow Him to get lost in the shuffle of activity– even as you physically prepare to celebrate.  Preparing Our Hearts for the Coming of the Christ Child 

Connection (Devotions for Everyday Life) © 2016 is published daily by Harvest Prayer Ministries. Subscribe here.

November 26: The True Purpose of Intercession

There is a pattern of prayer that is typical of what we find in many churches today. Our bulletins are full of prayer requests that mention the things that we want God to do for us. We want Him to heal our diseases, relieve our distresses, bail us out of our problems, and provide us with plenty. William Barclay, commenting on this view of prayer, said, “One of the strangest things about prayer is that it can be the most selfish activity in the world. Prayer can be merely seeking to use God for one’s own purposes.” But, intercession is not first of all about us; it is about God and His kingdom.

The problem is not that it is wrong to pray for healing, help, and blessings. We should pray for these things. In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus teaches us to pray, “Give us our daily bread.” That is a prayer for God to supply our physical, material, and bodily needs. But the problem comes when the focus in prayer is primarily on us and what we want. What we are really doing when we pray that way is trying to get God to be our servant. But He is not our servant. He is our Lord and Master and we are His servants. Of course, He does bless us, help us, and even serve us. But, in doing so He does not relinquish headship. He blesses us out of love so that we may serve His purposes.

Righteous Father, I want to live as Your servant, fully engaged with the things of Your kingdom! May I continually serve You with gladness out of a heart of gratitude for how You have already blessed me! Thank You for supplying all of my needs, and for loving me so much that You even bless me far beyond what I deserve. I want my prayer life to reflect how much I love You because I am passionate about seeing Your kingdom come! Show me how to serve You as a fully devoted intercessor!

Prayer Points

Give praise to God who is the ruler of all things (1 Chron. 29:12). Thank him for his mighty and powerful acts. Confess times when you’ve questioned God’s power by trusting in your own strength. Commit yourself to exalting God in everything you do this week. Ask him to give you strength to live for him.

Pray by name for an unsaved friend, relative, or coworker. Ask God to open this person’s spiritual eyes to the wonder of new life in Christ.

Prayer Pointer

“Prayer is obedience! God’s command and promise is our motive for prayer.” —John Calvin


–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.  This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

Connection (Devotions for Everyday Life) © 2016 is published daily by Harvest Prayer Ministries. Subscribe here.

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