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I received permission from Jon Graf to post the daily Connection! prayer devotions on Pray.Network.  These devotions are available as a free e-mail subscription from the Harvest Prayer Ministries website at http://connection.harvestprayer.com/.

I have found these devotionals to be not only inspirational but also great equipping for my own prayer life.  There aren't many devotionals that are actually about prayer - most have a quick prayer at the end and that's about it.  But this one has prayer as its focus.  I thought others on the Network might be interested in it.  I will attempt to post each one daily - although I'll inevitably miss here and there. 

I have previously written a Spotlight blog post on the Connection! devotional; if you're interested, check it out here: http://www.pray.network/profiles/blogs/praynetwork-spotlight-connec....

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

--Andrew

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Feb. 01: Secret of the Upper Room

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

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

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

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

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

Prayer Points

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

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

 

Prayer Pointer

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

–Adapted from The Upper Room: God’s Revival Model by Armin Gesswein. His book With One Accord is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

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

Feb. 02: Only God

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

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

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

Prayer Points

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

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

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

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

Jan. 29: Somalis in North America

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

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

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

 

Jeremiah 29:13, NLT

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

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

Feb. 03: Heaven is Our Home

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

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

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

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

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

Prayer Points

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

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

–Taken from Power Praying: Hearing Jesus’ Spirit by Praying Jesus’ Prayer by David Chotka. This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

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

Feb. 04: Bend Us, Lord!

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

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

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

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

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

Prayer Points

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

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

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

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

Feb. 05: How Are Our Prayer Meetings?

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

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

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

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

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

Prayer Points

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

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

Prayer Pointer

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

–Adapted from The Upper Room: God’s Revival Model by Armin Gesswein. His book With One Accord is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

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

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