1 Forty Days of Prayer Week 1: January 12- January 18 th: RELATIONSHIP THROUGH PRAYER Day One: Monday, January 12, 2015: Why Pray? Although God is almighty, omniscient and fully able to work without us, God chooses to work through our prayers. We co-labor with Him to accomplish His purposes. Things happen when we pray that won t happen if we don t pray. When Israel faced severe military threats, not unlike our own current bouts with terrorism, Joshua and the army went out to fight, but Moses went up on a hillside to pray. When his praying hands were up, Israel was winning. But when they were down, the enemy was winning (Exodus 17:10-12). Jesus calls us and intercedes for us when we pray. We do not need to think up fancy prayers or worry about saying the right words before and as we pray. All He asks is that we come before him with a teachable spirit, eager to be changed. Do not cling to the old ways as you step into the New Year! As you focus your thoughts upon Jesus, be aware that He is FULLY attentive to you. His attention span is infinite, and He knows and understands you completely. His thoughts embrace you in everlasting Love. Give yourself fully to this adventure of increasing attentiveness to Jesus presence and His everlasting love for you through prayer. Receive His love. You need it. Your neighbor going through a divorce needs it. The person who bugs you needs it. Regardless of whatever God wants to do in your life during these 40 days, you can be confident that He wants to refresh you in His love. Light your candle as a visible reminder of His radiant presence and love; how His truth is the light in the world, and how He is accomplishing His purposes through you! He is calling you. Will you answer? Lord, teach us to be attentive to your presence, to help us understand your purposes, to feel your burdens, to see what you see, to hear the groans you hear, so that our prayers may accomplish your purposes. From Jesus Calling, and Love to Pray. Praying through Col 1:9-12: We ask you to fill us with the knowledge of your will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives us, so that we may live a life worthy and pleasing to you in every way, bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of you, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that we may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.
2 Isaiah 40:31: Please pray that we will place our hope in the LORD who renews our strength, that we will soar on wings like eagles; that we will run and not grow weary, that we will walk in the light, and not be faint. Please pray that the Lord would fill all 140 retreat spots with women whose hearts will be stirred. Please pray that that we would be filled with courage and conviction to invite others to join us at the retreat. Please pray that a worship leader will be called to fill our hearts with praise and thanksgiving and draw us more deeply into God s love and purposes for each of us. Please pray that each woman who attends would feel deeply loved by the LORD and our community. In Jesus name, we pray!
3 Day Two: Tuesday, January 13 th : Praying in Jesus Name By offering to let us pray in his name, Jesus is offering an amazingly great privilege of relationship. He is trusting that his honor and his interests are safe in our hands. Consider what it would mean to place your estate in the hands of another person: your credit cards, your home, your investments, your automobiles, your responsibilities, everything. You d really be giving that person control over your life and your future. That s essentially what Jesus did when he authorized us to use his name in prayer. He asked us to exercise control over his estate- the Kingdom of God! We exercise this control by prayer. By prayer we ask the Father for all we need in order to do the job. By prayer we ask God to deal with demonic forces contrary to his will. By prayer we direct God s grace and power to strategic locations where it is needed. From Love to Pray. Light your candle to shine light on your responsibility for building some part of Christ s kingdom. Reflect on what help we need as a community from the Lord to do this well. Praying through Colossians 1: 9-12: Lord, We ask you to fill us with the knowledge of your will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives us, so that we may live a life worthy and pleasing to you in every way, bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of you, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified Praying through Colossians 1:9: Lord, We ask you to fill us with the knowledge of your will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives us, so that we may live a life worthy and pleasing to you in every way, bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of you, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that we may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. Please pray that volunteers would step up and execute on various responsibilities, both before and during the retreat. Please pray for health, safety, wisdom, peace, encouragement for Lauren & Denise as they plan, prepare, and execute details for the retreat. Please pray that a worship leader will be called to fill our hearts with praise and thanksgiving and draw us more deeply into God s love and purposes for each of us.
4 Day Three: Wednesday, January 14 th : Praying with Persistence Prayer is not always easy. Sometimes it requires serious persistence in the face of great difficulty and delayed answers. The parable of the persistent widow in Luke 18:2-8 illustrates this principle. To pray persistently means praying boldly and with determination until the answer comes. Through prayer we are involved with God in a grand enterprise. And the going is not always easy. But it is always building relationship and trust. God has much to accomplish through you- in your world, in your church, in your family, and in your neighborhood. Partner with God through passionate, persistent prayer. From Love to Pray. Light your candle and ask the Holy Spirit for boldness, power, devotion, persistence and a sense of urgency in your prayer life. Praying through Col 1: 9: Lord, We ask you to fill us with the knowledge of your will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives us, so that we may live a life worthy and pleasing to you in every way, bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of you, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you [b] to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. Please pray for submission to what the Lord may have for us. Please pray that we remain open handed, waiting on the Spirit in all that we plan. Please pray that a worship leader will be called to fill our hearts with praise and thanksgiving and draw us more deeply into God s love and purposes for each of us.
5 Day Four: Thursday, January 15, 2015: Asking For Good Things Jesus makes clear that our heavenly Father, who is perfect in his love and unlimited in power, wants good things for us, his children. And he assures us that the Father is willing to give good gifts to his children, much more willing than any earthly father or mother. Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him? Matthew 7:9-11 There s just one hitch. In order to receive the good things the Father wants for us, his children, we have to ask. Not to ask is not to receive. James reminds us that you do not have, because you do not ask God. James 4:2. The good gifts that Jesus has in mind are the spiritual blessings of grace, wisdom, joy, peace, power, holiness gifts of the Spirit that are in accord with God s will. We can ask the Father for them with absolute assurance that he will give them to us! From Love to Pray! Light your candle and ask good things of God. Go for the max and ask for all the spiritually good things you can think of! Praying through Col. 1:9: Lord, We ask you to fill us with the knowledge of your will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives us, so that we may live a life worthy and pleasing to you in every way, bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of you, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that we may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. Ask God to give us peace in the process of planning and executing the retreat. Ask God to give us unity over the process of planning and executing the retreat. Ask God for His strength and joy in executing all of the details of the retreat. Ask God to bless each of our speakers and provide them good health, safety, wisdom, joy, peace and encouragement. Ask God to stir up generosity in the hearts of the River community so that if there are financially-burdened women He desires to go, every single one will be sponsored to go! Day Five: Friday, January 16, 2015: The Cure for Anxiety
6 Life is full of things that need immediate attention. Problems, frustrations, distresses and evil produce anxiety, and rob us of peace. God doesn t want this to happen, and has provided a way that we can get in touch with him immediately when anxiety attacks. God invites us to come to him in prayer when anxiety threatens: 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. The result of prayer is peace- a peace that is beyond the ability of humans to contrive or produce. From Love to Pray. Light your candle and think about how you have handled worries and anxiety in the past. Come to God in thanksgiving for His love that cannot separate you from Him, and ask Him to give you peace and to guard your heart and mind. Praying through Colossians 1:9: Lord, We ask you to fill us with the knowledge of your will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives us, so that we may live a life worthy and pleasing to you in every way, bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of you, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that we may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. Please pray for unity and peace among the group of women who attend the retreat. Please pray for the desire and willingness for each woman to go beyond her "group" to make new friends and be inclusive at the retreat. Please pray that women would be freed from the burdens and anxieties they have been carrying, releasing them to the Lord. Day Six: Saturday, January 17, 2015: Laughing and Skipping with God
7 The first picture of prayer is God meeting regularly with Adam and Eve in the cool of the evening in order to spend time with them in conversation (Genesis 3:8). What regularly took place in the Garden of Eden conversation between God and humans- was prayer. This prayer was not a stilted, formal, cliché-filled monologue. It was relaxed, uninhited, informal, two=way conversation! The Garden also shows us what sin does to prayer. After they sinned, Adam and Eve were reluctant to meet with God. Instead of skipping out to meet their beloved friend, they hid in the bushes, guilty and ashamed. Fear replaced freedom. At times, we are like Adam and Eve- afraid of God, hiding behind excuses, and hesitant to meet him. Unconfessed sin cancels out prayer. But God s grace restores prayer! In Christ your sins are forgiven. Go out and meet God laughing and skipping. And have a relaxed, informal dialog that will be a joy for both of you! From Love to Pray Light your candle and confess anything that has distanced you from God. Christ s light prevails! Praise God, who is present with us through his Spirit and eager to converse with you. Praying through Colossians 1:9: Lord, We ask you to fill us with the knowledge of your will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives us, so that we may live a life worthy and pleasing to you in every way, bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of you, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you [b] to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. Please pray that hearts will be open, teachable, and authentic: that our messiness and brokenness will be met with compassion and mercy to one another as we confess our needs, desires, sins, and dreams to one another. Day Seven: Sunday, January 18, 2015: God Seeks Intercessors
8 As we close out our first week of prayer, we have a deeper understanding that God seeks us to pray for others and the world not because He lacks the wisdom or power to govern the world without them but because he, in His sovereign good pleasure, has chosen to govern the world through the prayers of his people. Prayer is an important part of God s way of working. Things will happen when we pray that wouldn t have happened if we hadn t prayed. And things will not happen if we do not pray that would have happened if we had prayed. Christ does not pray alone. Our intercessory prayers are coupled with his. And he, by means of his Spirit, prays through us. His kingdom advances and the gospel is spreading to every nation of the world because of prayer. Light your candle and think of the word BLESS to help you remember five important ways to intercede for family, friends, neighbors and coworkers. B- Body- health, protection, energy, fitness L- Labor- work, income, security, skills E- Emotional- joy, peace, grief, anxiety, anger S- Social- love, marriage, family, friends S- Spiritual- salvation, grace, faith, hope From Love to Pray Praying through Colossians 1:9: Lord, We ask you to fill us with the knowledge of your will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives us, so that we may live a life worthy and pleasing to you in every way, bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of you, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you [b] to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. Lord, BLESS this retreat. Please pray through the above components as the Spirit brings to your mind all those that need salvation, grace, faith, hope, love, marriage, family, friends, joy, peace, work, income, security, skills, health, energy restoration, and acceptance.
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