PRAYER JOURNAL. The Big Picture

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1 PRAYER JOURNAL The Big Picture The overall ministry of Purdue Christian Campus House is supported by alumni, churches, and other random people who are excited about what God is doing in this place. Every year, around mid-november, we let our supporters know the financial needs of Campus House. There are many who give sacrificially to this ministry and it is incredible to read notes from supporters around the country who are praying every day for Campus House for you. It s pretty amazing, isn t it, that people you don t know love you that much?! Each year we set aside a few days to reflect on God s provision and faithfulness and respond in some hands-on ways through prayer, communication, and service. We call it A Week of Thanks. As a way to prepare our hearts and minds to be truly grateful for what God has done / is doing, we thought it would be cool to have a week s worth of devotional thoughts, scripture, and prayer to lead us into the wide open space of gratitude. Our hope is that you can carve out a few minutes each day to let God s love for you compel a heart of thanks. I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. - Philippians 1:3-6 (NIV)

2 Monday Mike Yaconelli wrote: I have always been terrible at praying. I forget. My mind wanders. I fall asleep. I don t pray enough. I don t understand what prayer is or what prayer does. If prayer were school I would flunk praying. But prayer isn t school. It is mystery. Maybe the mystery is Jesus loves terrible prayers. Maybe When I can t think of anything to say, He says what I can t say. When I talk too much, He cherishes my too-many words. When I fall asleep, He holds me in His lap & caresses my weary soul. When I am overwhelmed with guilt at my inconsistent, inadequate praying, He whispers, Your name is always on my lips. I am filled with gratitude, my soul overflows with thankfulness & I find myself saying over & over again, Thank you. Maybe prayer is simpler than what we make it. What and who are you thankful for today? People Circumstances Things

3 Tuesday I love the LORD because he hears my voice and my prayer for mercy. Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath! - Psalm 116:1-2 Real prayer comes not from gritting our teeth but from falling in love. - Richard Foster Most people (especially in the States) think of prayer as us talking to God praying with our minds. Praying with our hearts (soul, emotions) is more being than doing. Its aim is not to get an answer from God, make a request known to God, receive an insight from God, or even express our commitment to God. Rather, the prayer of the heart focuses on emotional attachment to, or adoration of God. Its aim is to love God, to have our hearts enlarged so that God owns more and more of us. - Gary Thomas Question: What do you love about God? Give examples of each... I love your creativity... I love your ability... I love your mercy... I love your affinity for beauty... I love your sense of humor... I love your constant presence... I love your vulnerability... I love your comfort... I love your commitment to your people... I love your passion... I love what you do and who you are...

4 Wednesday Psalm 103:1-2 Let all that I am praise the Lord; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me Say these words... I am blessed. I am grateful. Think through the past few months. Think through the past few days. How has God blessed your life? For what are you grateful? Say these words... Thank you. We have a record of what He s done. We have visual proof. We have the stories of our own lives. Thanksgiving is one means by which the Holy Spirit reawakens our passion for God. Thomas Merton: Gratitude takes nothing for granted, is never unresponsive, is constantly awakening to new wonder and to praise the goodness of God. What about the hard things in your life over the past few years / months / days... Can you honestly be grateful for what God is doing / has promised to do through those those things - not in a way that minimizes the hard stuff, but in a way that trusts God through it? Thanksgiving is a means of pushing past our entitlement, when things don t go our way Psalm 86 speaks of praising God in the midst of trouble. Psalm 107:1 says Give thanks for God is good. He s good regardless. Thanksgiving is gratitude for God s good gifts and praise is gratitude for who God is... His character, grace, power, etc. Question: What would it look like to live a life of gratitude? How it would it change the way you view your circumstances?

5 Thursday Reflect on Psalm 116 What can I give back to God for the blessings He s poured out on me? I ll lift high the cup of salvation a toast to God! I ll pray in the name of God. I ll complete what I promised God I d do and I ll do it together with His people, in the place of worship, in God s house I ll lift high the cup of salvation a toast to God! Sincerity is correlated to the perceived value of the gift. How valuable to you personally is the gift of salvation? What had God saved you from? What has God saved you for? I ll pray in the name of God. Charles Finney: You cannot come to God in your own name. You cannot plead your own merits. But you can come in the name that is always acceptable. Praying in the name of God means to align with His truth, His goodness, His will. What in your life needs aligning to Him? I ll complete what I promised God I d do Richard Foster wrote that prayer draws us inward (transformation), upward (intimacy), and outward (ministry). What is God doing in your life right now in these three areas? What vow do you need to make good on? And I ll do it together with His people in the place of worship, in God s house. What does community mean to you? Who in your life are you thankful for? Why? What about Campus House are you grateful? What do you bring to the CH community? To worship God means to serve Him. Basically there are two ways to do it. One way is to do things for him that he wants done run errands for Him, carry messages for Him, fight on His side, feed His lambs, and so on. The other way is to do things for Him that you need to do sing songs for Him, create beautiful things for Him, give things up for Him, tell Him what s on your mind and in your heart, in general rejoice in Him and make a fool of yourself for Him the way lovers have always made fools of themselves for the one they love. - Friedrich Buechner

6 Friday Since this is the kind of life we have chosen, the life of the Spirit, let us make sure that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives. - Galatians 5:25 Pray that we, this next week and beyond, would have HANDS Pray for motivation, strength, wisdom, & consistency to do the work that God has called us to do. What might that be? MOUTH Pray that we would willingly speak the truth in love, to tell our friends about Jesus. Who might that be? EYES Pray for eyes to see those who are lost, broken, & hurting around the world and across the street. Who do you see? FEET Pray that people from this campus to go to every corner of the world willing to share the Gospel. Where might He be sending you? What international student can you reach out to? EARS Pray for the ability, willingness, and opportunities to actually listen to those around us. Who could use a friend right now? MIND Pray for our thoughts to be conformed to Jesus thoughts in the classroom and work place. What needs reframed with the God s Truth?

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