On September 27th we will begin a church-wide campaign called 40 Days of Prayer. Prayer will be the emphasis of both our worship service as well as our Life Groups. If you are not part of a group, now is a great time to join one. More details about joining a group will be coming soon. There are some high expectations for this series. The introduction states this, “Throughout this campaign your church will develop a powerful prayer life, learn how to pray for a breakthrough, unlock the secret to answered prayer, grow closer in unity, and experience God’s blessings.”
Several of those objectives really get my attention:
1) A powerful prayer life. This might sound silly, but sometimes I think we pray without really expecting God to answer. There is a skit based on the Lord’s Prayer where a person is kneeling by their bed and praying the Lord’s Prayer and as they do, the Lord answers them and interacts with them. They’re shocked that God responded. We need to pray with high expectations. God can and will answer our prayers and in ways that might seem impossible. Yes, God still works miracles.
2) Praying for a breakthrough. If you are familiar with the traditions of Roxbury Holiness Camp and the emphasis on the filling of the Holy Spirit, you might be familiar with the term, “Praying through”. Whenever someone was seeking to get to a place in their lives where the Holy Spirit was in total control, they would remain in prayer until they knew they were totally surrendered and the Holy Spirit had filled them. It was sometime accompanied by a shout or some ot
her burst of emotion. The key to a breakthrough is similar to praying through. It takes persistent prayer and a complete surrender to God.
3) Grow closer in unity. In our sermon series, The WOW Factors of the Church, unity was one of our expectations. Prayer is a key component of unity. When we pray with others and for others, God breaks down barriers that divide us. But, he also helps us see that at times those differences that we allowed to divide are really strengths that help complete us. Also, when we realize that we are praying for the same things as others are, we can begin to focus more on what we have in common.
When we reflect on the current atmosphere of our nation, prayer becomes very relevant. In fact, we will probably find ourselves saying, why haven’t I been praying more for our church, our community, and our nation all along? It’s not too late to start new habits, to make prayer a priority. One of the things I would love to see come out of this series is a prayer ministry at New Guilford, whatever that may look like. Keep that in mind, this isn’t a time to concentrate on prayer for a season and then move on. This is a time to make prayer a priority in our lives and in the church from here on out. Join me for 40 Days of Prayer!