Every congregation, member and pastor is being invited to set aside some time each day of January 7, 8, and 9, 2020 for prayer.
Our attitude toward prayer has often been characterized by saying, “well, all we can do now is pray!”. Prayer is not the hopeless act of desperation. Prayer is a gift that God has given to us as a means to approach the throne of grace with confidence—like that of a child coming to her parents sharing concerns, victories, defeats and every part of life. It is an opportunity to express the deepest heartache and the greatest joy. Prayer is a conversation between the Creator and the created…and the conversation began with God, for us, in Christ Jesus.
Each congregation or person can structure this however seems best.
In past years, some congregations have put together a prayer vigil—a person signing up to pray in 30 minute intervals for example—for all three days or a few hours each day. Others offer a prayer service at a set hour on each of the three days. Others have encouraged their people simply to pray at work, home, school or while traveling—wherever they are and whatever they are doing. Whatever works best in your congregation is the right way to go!
No matter how you structure this time of prayer, let’s come together as an association of congregations across the U.S. and around the world to pray! I believe that the church will never rise up until we first get down on our knees!
Day One: January 7
This is a day focused on confession. We have made our lives, our relationships—and even the church—in our own image. We confess that the church belongs to Jesus and not to us. We gather to lay down our pride, our sin and our agenda and ask the Lord of the church for forgiveness, which He gives freely and with mercy.
Day Two: January 8
This is a day of petition. Pray for your congregation, for the pastor, for the leaders, for those who carry out ministries, for the Sunday School teachers, for the Confirmation leaders, for those leading adult Bible studies and for those leading small groups. Pray for those in hospital and nursing home ministries. Pray for all those connected to your church that they might know God’s redeeming love for all in Christ.
Day Three: January 9
This is a day for vision. Pray that the Holy Spirit will again move through the hearts and minds of leaders and pastors that God’s vision for His church might be revealed and fulfilled. This is a time of prayer for renewal, revival and encouragement. Pray for God’s vision.