40 Days of Prayer
The number 40 appears 146 times in the Bible. 40 involves Noah and the flood, years in the wilderness, the days Moses was on the mountain, and in Jesus’ case, the number of days He was tempted in the wilderness and the number of days between the Resurrection and Jesus’ Ascension.
Usually this number signifies testing, trials, probation or preparation. We believe Jesus spent the 40 days between His Resurrection and Ascension preparing the disciples for what was to come concerning their mission and purpose. They were certainly very active days. The last verse of the last Gospel describes those days,
There are so many other things Jesus did. If they were all written down, each of them, one by one, I can’t imagine a world big enough to hold such a library of books. – John 21:25 MSG
God is using this Global Crisis to prepare His people for what’s next. We want to invite the people of Mt. Horeb into 40 Days of Prayer during this season of Ascension to prepare ourselves to understand our mission and purpose.
During these 40 days we will pray for:
WEEK ONE: REVELATION
DAY 1: Seek God’s face to discern His wisdom, provision and healing during this extreme challenge facing our world.
In 2 Timothy 4:2, Paul tells Timothy to be ready in season and out of season. The Amplified Bible says it this way, “Keep your sense of urgency; stand by, be at hand and ready, whether the opportunity seems to be favorable or unfavorable, whether it is convenient or inconvenient, whether it is welcome or unwelcome.”
DAY 2: Wake up! Now is not the time to slumber or sleep. The disciples slept during the time of Jesus’ greatest trial.
At last he stood up again and returned to the disciples, only to find them asleep, exhausted from grief. “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation.” – Luke 22:45-46
DAY 3: Know that no matter what crisis we face God promises to walk with us.
Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. – Psalms 23:4
DAY 4: This crisis is not a surprise to God. We don’t believe God caused it, but we also believe God won’t waste it. Pray for God to open our eyes to see what He sees.
The Lord frustrates the plans of the nations and thwarts all their schemes.
But the Lord’s plans stand firm forever; his intentions can never be shaken.
What joy for the nation whose God is the Lord, whose people he has chosen as his inheritance.
The Lord looks down from heaven and sees the whole human race.
From his throne he observes all who live on the earth.
He made their hearts, so he understands everything they do.
The best-equipped army cannot save a king, nor is great strength enough to save a warrior.
Don’t count on your warhorse to give you victory—for all its strength, it cannot save you.
But the Lord watches over those who fear him, those who rely on his unfailing love.
He rescues them from death and keeps them alive in times of famine.
We put our hope in the Lord. He is our help and our shield.
In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name.
Let your unfailing love surround us, Lord, for our hope is in you alone.
– Psalm 33:11-22
DAY 5: Through the resurrection of Jesus we have abundant life now and eternal life for the future. Pray for the written Word of God to clearly reveal God’s purpose and power in this season of crisis.
The disciples saw Jesus do many other miraculous signs in addition to the ones recorded in this book. But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name. – John 20:30-31
DAY 6: Join us in praying for God to reveal to every member of Mt. Horeb, spiritual wisdom and insight so we will see God’s purposes. We pray that all of our hearts will be “flooded with light” so we can understand the “confident hope” in the midst of so much hopelessness.
I have not stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance. I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also in the world to come. – Ephesians 1:16-21
DAY 7: God open our minds to understand the Scriptures! Help us to seek the Holy Spirit who will teach all things about Jesus. May our despair become joy and may our worry be replaced with worship.
Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. And he said, “Yes, it was written long ago that the Messiah would suffer and die and rise from the dead on the third day. It was also written that this message would be proclaimed in the authority of his name to all the nations, beginning in Jerusalem: ‘There is forgiveness of sins for all who repent.’ You are witnesses of all these things. “And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised. But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven.” Then Jesus led them to Bethany, and lifting his hands to heaven, he blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up to heaven. So they worshiped him and then returned to Jerusalem filled with great joy. And they spent all of their time in the Temple, praising God. – Luke 24:45-53
WEEK TWO: REVIVAL
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. – 2 Chronicles 7:14
DAY 8: Revival always comes on God’s Terms, God’s Timing and God’s Truth.
The Hebrew word “hayah” for revival means “to live, to recover.”
This promise for revival begins with the little word “if.” There are 1,784 “if” in the Bible. Many of God’s promises have a condition attached.
The old hymn writer said it best: Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
DAY 9: “My people, who are called by my name.” Revival always begins with God’s people.
“A revived church is the only hope for a dying world.” – Andrew Murray
Rodney Smith, better known as Gipsy Smith, was a renowned British evangelist in late 1800s – early 1900s. Born to gypsy parents several miles northeast of London, he put his trust in Jesus at the age of sixteen after his father, Cornelius, heard the Gospel from a prison chaplain. When asked the secret to such successful, large revival gatherings, Gipsy responded, “Go home. Lock yourself in your room. Kneel down in the middle of the floor, and with a piece of chalk draw a circle around yourself. There, on your knees, pray fervently and brokenly that God would start a revival within that chalk circle.”
Today, ask God to start a revival in your chalk circle. When He sets a heart ablaze, nothing and no one can extinguish the flame.
I invite you to join me in praying 14 minutes every day for the next 33 days for revival to come.
DAY 10: “Will humble themselves”
The Hebrew word, “kana” is used in 2 Chronicles 7:14 and means “to subdue.” The picture is one of “bending the knee” or bending the neck in deference to another. Kneeling is a posture of humility and is the opposite of idolatry.
In 2 Chronicles both Rehoboam and Josiah had to come to the point of saying that if God did not extricate them from the trouble they were in, then no one or nothing else would be able to help them. That’s exactly where we find ourselves today.
The high and lofty One who inhabits eternity, the Holy One, says this: I live in that high and holy place where those with contrite, humble spirits dwell; and I refresh the humble and give new courage to those with repentant hearts. – Isaiah 57:15
DAY 11: “Pray and seek my face”
Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you. – Saint Augustine
Mark Batterson says, “Prayer is the way we write history before it happens.” Prayer is the difference between letting things happen and being a part of what can happen. The difference between us fighting for God and God fighting for us.
What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? – Romans 8:31
Remember God won’t answer 100% of the prayers we don’t pray!
So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. – Hebrews 4:16
DAY 12: Seek my Face: The “face” of God is not His literal face.
Remember Moses was warned that no one can see God’s face and still live because of His immense holiness. – Exodus 33:20
“Presence” is a common translation of the Hebrew word “face.” Literally, we are to seek his “face.” But this is the Hebraic way of having access to God. To be before his face is to be in his presence.
Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. – James 4:8
When we humble ourselves, pray and seek God’s face we find the joy of His Presence and set the table for personal and global revival.
You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever. – Psalm 16:11
DAY 13: The fourth and final condition for revival to take place, is if God’s people would turn from their sin by repenting.
If the constant and key cry of the prophets of the Old Testament was for the people to “turn,” and “return to the Lord,” can the constant cry of our hearts be any less in our day?
What does it mean to repent? It means three things: First, you take responsibility for your sin. Second, you turn away from those things. And third, you turn toward God and his grace.
The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God. – Psalm 51:17
What should our motivation be for repentance?
- Love for God: The desire to be right with God.
- Love for people: The desire for people not to be lost and be right with God.
- Love for inner peace: To take away guilt, fear and emptiness that sin brings.
- Love for our land: The desire for God’s Kingdom to come on the earth as it is in heaven.
The Bible says in 1 John 1:8-9, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.”
DAY 14: God hears the prayers of people who are humble and repentant. God forgives all who call upon the name of Jesus Christ.
“He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve… He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west” – Psalms 103:10 & 12
Instead of giving us the punishment we deserve, Jesus Christ paid the price for all our sins on the cross.
How great is God’s forgiveness? “As far as the east is from the west,” because there’s no end to east and west. There is a north pole, and there is a south pole. But there is no end from east to west. When we confess our sins, God has simply taken our sins and wiped them out! The healing our world needs will come from a personal relationship with Jesus.
“I will heal the land!” This is a promise from God to people of ALL nations, who are willing to humble themselves under God’s authority, pray, seek God face and turn from evil.
If our nation and nations around the world would take a daily dose of God’s prescribed medication in this text, we will begin to see healing in our lands. It’s time to heed God’s call to repentance!
Yes, life won’t always be easy. But the One who took your sin, the One who died and rose for your salvation, desire is to heal what’s broken and mend what’s shattered…
Let’s pray and expect extraordinary results. Pray with a sense of eager anticipation, expecting God may very well do something extraordinary even in the midst of crisis. Remember, prayer works; it can and does bring about powerful change, including a great awakening!
WEEK 3: REPENTANCE
DAY 15: 2 Chronicles 7:14 calls us to repentance. When we turn from our sins, God promises to hear, to forgive and to heal our land. Repentance is a key part of any revival.
Historians debate whether repentance brings revival or revival brings repentance. The reality is repentance should be a daily part of our lives. We should keep short accounts with God. When we sin, we should repent immediately and be restored to a right relationship with God. Jesus reminded to us always seek first His Kingdom.
Seek the Kingdom of Godabove all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. – Matthew 6:33
Jeremiah 16 reveals God’s call to repentance and the results when His people ignore.
“Go stand at the crossroads and look around. Ask for directions to the old road, the tried-and-true road. Then take it. Discover the right route for your souls. But they said, ‘Nothing doing. We aren’t going that way.’ I even provided watchmen for them to warn them, to set off the alarm. But the people said, ‘It’s a false alarm. It doesn’t concern us.’ And so, I’m calling in the nations as witnesses: ‘Watch, witnesses, what happens to them!’ And, ‘Pay attention, Earth! Don’t miss these bulletins. ’I’m visiting catastrophe on this people, the end result of the games they’ve been playing with me. They’ve ignored everything I’ve said, had nothing but contempt for my teaching. – Jeremiah 16:16-19
DAY 16: Jesus’ first sermon called for repentance.
“The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” – Mark 1:15
Jesus’ last words to His Disciples included the commission to preach repentance and forgiveness of sin.
He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. – Luke 24:46-47
Pray for repentance and forgiveness of sin to come to all the nations of the world.
DAY 17: Psalm 51 is when the prophet Nathan comes to David after he let laziness lead to lust, which led to adultery, which led to murder. The Psalm shows us David’s thoughts as he sought to be restored to a right relationship with God. The road involved acknowledgement of sin, confession and repentance. The road to restoration always includes confession and repentance.
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so, you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge. Surely, I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place.Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. – Psalm 51:1-12
DAY 18: The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. – 2 Peter 3:9-10
Peter knew firsthand about God’s patience for those who are perishing. John 3:16 reveals Gods great love in that He sent His only Son that whoever believed in Him would not perish but have eternal life. Believing always requires repentance.
“Tell them, ‘As sure as I am the living God, I take no pleasure from the death of the wicked. I want the wicked to change their ways and live. Turn your life around! Reverse your evil ways! Why die, Israel?’ – Ezekiel 33:11
Jesus has delayed His return so millions and millions of people will repent and believe. But the Day of the Lord will come suddenly. Many will be surprised. Let us have the same love for the lost as our Lord. Pray for many to repent and believe.
DAY 19: In Nehemiah 9 a repentant nation gathers in an assembly of humble repentance. Read Chapter 9 in the Book of Nehemiah. We will follow the example of the Israelites during these final three days of praying for repentance.
On the twenty-fourth day of the same month, the Israelites gathered, fasting and wearing sackcloth and putting dust on their heads. Those of Israelite descent had separated themselves from all foreigners. They stood in their places and confessed their sins and the sins of their ancestors. They stood where they were and read from the Book of the Law of the Lord their God for a quarter of the day, and spent another quarter in confession and in worshiping the Lord their God. – Nehemiah 9:1-3
The Israelites who had returned from exile, led by Nehemiah had completed the rebuilding of the wall. They assembled with fasting, sackcloth and with dust on their heads. These were symbols to demonstrate their humility. They were saying to God, “we are so troubled by our sin, food doesn’t seem important.” The sack clothes represent that they are so troubled by sin that comfortable clothing is not necessary. The dirt represents their humility before God and their desire to give up whatever is necessary to demonstrate their sincere desire to be restored to a right relationship with God.
Repentance is demonstrating to God we are serious about turning away from our sins.
DAY 20: Repentance begins when we confess our sins before God. To sin means we have missed the mark.
The English word sin comes from the idea, “to miss the mark.” If you were in an archery competition and shot an arrow and did not hit the target’s bullseye, you would have “sinned.” A sin might miss the target by an inch or by 10 feet, both would still be a sin. We sin when we do the things God told us not to do in His Word or in our conscience. Or we sin when we do not do the things God has revealed in our hearts through His Word. Here’s a key to facing our sins: Not all sin is the same, but all sin is sin. The Israelites time of confession began with listening to the Word of God. May the Holy Spirit through His Word reveal where we are missing the mark with God.
People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy. – Proverbs 28:13
The Israelites also confessed the sins of their fathers. Scripture is clear that God does not punish children for their parent’s sins. But we may be living in exile because of our father’s sins. There is no doubt that our nation has drifted away from God. Repentance means we confess the sins of the past and the present.
DAY 21: Throughout Israel’s history we see a pattern of disobedience. The cycle begins with God blessing His people and expecting them to be a light to the nations. But in times of comfort and abundance, God’s people turn from Him. God, then, out of love and mercy brings a time of correction and a wakeup call to His people. They cry out to God in confession and turn away from their sins. God never gets tired of us and always responds to the repentant heart.
Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living. – Romans 6:16
Because we are so prone to sin and because God is so rich in mercy, repentance should be an everyday part of our lives.
WEEK 4: RECOVERY
Recovery means to obtain again something that has been lost or to return something to a normal condition. During this 40 Day Prayer, we want to pray for God to help us recover from the conditions of the coronavirus.
And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.” – Revelation 21:5
DAY 22: Pray for those who are sick and suffering to recover from the coronavirus. Pray for healthcare providers who are bringing healing to those who are sick and suffering. Pray for new treatments and vaccines. Pray for God’s glory to be revealed in miracles of healing.
Jesus began His mission by quoting the prophet Isaiah: and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free. – Luke 4:17-18
DAY 23: Pray for those who have lost jobs and income. Pray for the recovery of jobs. Pray for good news to come to the poor through God’s people as we seek to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth gives way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. – Psalm 46:1-3
DAY 24: Pray for families in crisis brought about by the coronavirus. In the midst of the quarantine the evil one has been very busy. Alcohol sales and the use of pornography have exploded. Pray for emotional and relational healing for families. Pray for counselors and law enforcement who are responding to more domestic calls. Pray for there to be a season of spiritual birth and revival for families all around the globe.
The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. – John 10:10
DAY 25: Pray for economic recovery. We all know how Covid-19 has affected the health of the global population. It has also had a devastating impact on the economy. One way we love our neighbors is by praying for a stable and healthy economy.
It is always better for people to be able to work than depend upon others for needs.
Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before. Then people who are not believers will respect the way you live, and you will not need to depend on others. – I Thessalonians 4:11-12
Healthy economies also provide relief for global poverty. Pray for wisdom and discernment for economic leaders to make righteous and good decisions.
I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. – I Timothy 2:1-2
DAY 26: Pray for business owners in our church family and community. Pray for God to grant them faith, courage, wisdom and knowledge. We know our God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. While Covid-19 has brought a lot of changes, we know our God is the unchanging Provider.
So, here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. – Romans 12:1-2
The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring. – Isaiah 58:11
DAY 27: Pray for the health of our local and global ministry partners. Pray they recover from a reduction of financial support. They are all facing difficult challenges. We have 26 local ministry partners and 15 global ministry partners. Please pray for each partner by visiting our Missions page.
Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy! I look to you for protection. I will hide beneath the shadow of your wings until the danger passes by. – Psalm 57:1
I look up to the mountains—does my help come from there? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth!He will not let you stumble; the one who watches over you will not slumber. Indeed, he who watches over Israel never slumbers or sleeps. The Lord himself watches over you! The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade. The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon at night. The Lord keeps you from all harm and watches over your life. The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever. – Psalm 121
DAY 28: Pray for the recovery of the Local Church. It has now been six weeks since we last worshipped together in person as a church. Praise be to God for our wonderful Production, Communications and Worship Teams. The Holy Spirit has used them all to keep us connected as a local church. We are so thankful for the generosity of the people of Mt. Horeb! God is using us all to continue to make an impact locally and globally to change the world. Pray for the health of our staff and volunteers. Pray for wisdom and discernment to know how and when we should re-open. Pray for Bishop Holston who will be making the recommendation of when South Carolina United Methodist churches should re-open. Pray for the financial health of small membership churches. Through your generosity we will be able to come along side some smaller membership United Methodist churches here in SC and offer them financial assistance. Pray for revival to come through the local churches. Pray for all the seeds God has planted through our social media platforms to grow and produce new and faithful Christian disciples!
Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hellwill not conquer it. And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.” – Matthew 16:18-19
So, then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. – Ephesians 2:19-22
WEEK 5: RECONCILIATION
Wikipedia describes reconciliation as the end of the estrangement, caused by original sin, between God and humanity. Reconciliation in the Bible involves a change in the broken relationships between God and humanity and humanity with humanity.
DAY 29: The Gospel proclaims through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus there is power to reconcile us with God and with each other.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. – I Corinthians 5:17-19
The senseless and tragic shooting of Ahmaud Arbery last week reinforces the need to pray for racial reconciliation. The power of reconciliation comes from being reconciled to God through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. As Christ followers we are called to make the first move toward reconciliation. Let us pray to see the broken parts of our world that continue to break the heart of God. Dare to ask God to break our hearts so we too are committed to the message of reconciliation.
Pray for the power of God to demolish the walls that continue to separate humanity from God and each other.
DAY 30: There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. – Galatians 3:28
In Jesus Christ there are to be no divisions in ethnicity, status and sex. Jesus’ message declares that distinctions should not separate people. That does not mean there will not be diversity or disagreement. We are all unique and wonderfully made but as Christ followers we are to find our unity in the Person of Jesus Christ. We are to demonstrate to the world how the power of the Gospel changes us to become agents of reconciliation. Unity is found when God’s people commit to carry out the mission of the Messiah. Each follower of Jesus filled with the power of the Holy Spirit to serve and spread the love and peace of God.
Pray to become agents of reconciliation who are carrying out the mission of the Messiah so “they will know we are Christians by our love!”
DAY 31: “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. – Matthew 5:23-24
Jesus taught we are to forgive those who sin against us (Matthew 6:14-15). When grace is given – grace is expected. Forgiven people forgive. Reconciliation is different than forgiveness. Forgiveness requires one person, reconciliation requires two. As we seek reconciliation:
Pray for a humble spirit. We cannot demand reconciliation.
Pray for pure motives. Seek to please God instead of seeking revenge.
Pray to be realistic. Change and restoration require time and hard work.
DAY 32: Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. – John 14:27
Make a clean break with all cutting, backbiting, profane talk. Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you. – Ephesians 4:31-32
Sheltering in place has brought stress, uncertainty, financial pressure and many other struggles to marriages and families. We need to pray for reconciliation for marriages and families. Pray for couples to know they are not alone in the struggle.
Jesus promises us His peace. God promised to never leave us or forsake us. “Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give them a second thought because GOD, your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you.” – Deuteronomy 31:6
Pray for grace to listen to God’s promises by reading scripture and devotionals together.
Pray for patience to listen to each other about loss and pain.
Pray for understanding, compassion and gentleness with each other.
Pray for space to work, space to be family and space to play.
DAY 33: Pray in this way for kings and all others who are in authority over us, or are in places of high responsibility, so that we can live in peace and quietness, spending our time in godly living and thinking much about the Lord. This is good and pleases God our Savior, for he longs for all to be saved and to understand this truth: That God is on one side and all the people on the other side, and Christ Jesus, himself man, is between them to bring them together, by giving his life for all mankind. – 1 Timothy 2:1-6
It is painful and troubling to witness the escalating division in our nation. The Apostle Paul gives us clear guidance: “Let us pray for all who are in authority over us or are in places of high responsibility.”
Pray for God’s plan, the good news of the Gospel, revealed in Christ Jesus to bring us together so we can “live in peace and quietness.” For this country to be reconciled and come together will require a great miracle. When this happens, the newfound peace will truly glorify God and reveal to the world His ultimate power!
Obey the government, for God is the one who has put it there. There is no government anywhere that God has not placed in power. – Romans 13:1
DAY 34: Pray for reconciliation within the church. There will be times we all disagree, but we should not allow our disagreements to disrupt unity and lead to division.
I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose. – 1 Corinthians 1:10
We will always have different opinions in the church. There are essential truths and doctrines we must agree on but there are often non-essentials that we can agree to disagree. There are a couple quotes I have often attributed to John Wesley that according to Dr. David Watson, Professor of Methodist Studies at Candler Seminary, he did not actually say. But both are full of truth and we should remember them when there are disagreements in the church.
“In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; and, in all things, charity.”
“Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.”
Pray for the unity Jesus intends for the church. He wants the church to be contagious and not contentious!
“I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.“I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me. – John 17:20-23
DAY 35: The resurrected Jesus spent 40 Days preparing the disciples for the birth of the New Testament church prior to His ascension. Today we hold fast to the belief Jesus is the cornerstone, the foundation of the Church.
That’s plain enough, isn’t it? You’re no longer wandering exiles. This kingdom of faith is now your home country. You’re no longer strangers or outsiders. You belong here, with as much right to the name Christian as anyone. God is building a home. He’s using us all—irrespective of how we got here—in what he is building. He used the apostles and prophets for the foundation. Now he’s using you, fitting you in brick by brick, stone by stone, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone that holds all the parts together. – Ephesians 2:19-22
We pray for unity that transcends denominational lines. There is a very interesting statement by Jesus in John 10:16, “I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd.”
Pray for the United Methodist Church as we proceed toward an amicable separation agreement because of distinct theological differences concerning marriage and ordination.
Pray for each part of the church to remain true to its theological understanding which recognizes the dignity, equality, integrity and respect of every person.
Pray we will be able to set each other free to be able to do ministry as we believe God will lead us to do.
Pray we all find unity in truth that is essential to the Gospel.
Pray it’s not about the name above the church door, but about the Name Above All Names!
Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. – John 14:6
WEEK 6: REFRESHMENT
DAY 36: Every minute of every day we take 12-14 breaths of air. To live and stay refreshed we need to be able to breath. We inhale mostly nitrogen and oxygen and exhale carbon monoxide. That is 23,040 breaths a day and over 8 million in a year.
To remain spiritually refreshed we need to practice “spiritual breathing.”
“Spiritual breathing, like physical breathing,” said Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, “is a process of exhaling the impure and inhaling the pure, an exercise in faith that enables you to experience God’s love and forgiveness and walk in the Spirit as a way of life.”
In spiritual breathing we exhale by confessing our sins to God. We agree with God instead of arguing with God about our sins.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. – 1 John 1:9
Inhaling is receiving God’s grace. Receiving the fullness of God’s Spirit and surrendering to His will.
Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit. – Ephesians 5:18
Regular breathing is involuntary but spiritual breathing must be conscious and committed. The discipline of spiritual breathing is the key to staying connected and refreshed by God.
This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Look! I am going to put breath into you and make you live again! I will put flesh and muscles on you and cover you with skin. I will put breath into you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’” – Ezekiel 37:5-6
DAY 37: In the crazy chaos it can be hard to find rest. Through prayer and trusting in God’s promises we can both rest for today and have refreshment for tomorrow. To rest in the Lord is to be aware of His presence and to understand how much He wants to help us with our problems.
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. – Matthew 11:28
When God refreshes our spirits with His Holy Spirit we can work and live with a new sense of peace, power and purpose. His presence will show us how to work smarter and to conserve our energy for His glory and not our own. We do not rest from work; we rest in work with God’s help.
Refreshment in the Lord is a daily discipline. We cannot store up the Lord’s rest or refreshment, it is new every day! Pray everyday for God to refresh your spirit, to ask for a fresh wind of His Holy Spirit every day!
The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. – Lamentations 3:22-23
I will be your God throughout your lifetime— until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you.- Isaiah 46:4
So there is a full complete rest still waiting for the people of God. Christ has already entered there. He is resting from his work, just as God did after the creation. Let us do our best to go into that place of rest, too, being careful not to disobey God as the children of Israel did, thus failing to get in. – Hebrews 4:9-10
DAY 38: But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. – Isaiah 40:31
During these days quarantine we are all growing tired of waiting. There are days when we feel faint, weary and about to collapse. God says hang on because His timetable is rarely the same as ours. We are often in a hurry when God is not. Do not stop waiting on God, He never stops waiting on us! When we wait with Him, He will renew and refresh our souls.
DAY 39: May you overflow with hope. No matter how hopeless your situation may feel, remember that all things are possible with God!
Jesus looked at them intently, then said, “Without God, it is utterly impossible. But with God everything is possible.” – Mark 10:27
This is not our first or last virus. We find hope when we believe that on the Cross, Jesus shed His blood to defeat the virus of sin. Worry, guilt, hopelessness or Covid-19 do not have the final word. From the Cross Jesus spoke three powerful words, “It Is Finished!”
May His hope refresh your soul and spirit.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. – Romans 15:13
DAY 40: We pray that you’ll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul—not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory-strength God gives. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for us. – Colossians 1:11
Glory-Strength to endure the unendurable! Refreshment comes when we trust God’s strength will help us meet all of life’s challenges, to endure what seems to be unendurable. The refreshment of the Holy Spirit helps us endure with patience which brings joy to us and glory to God. When we are refreshed in our souls we begin to see things as God sees them, “bright and beautiful.” This is impossible without the Holy Spirit, who is the source of Glory-Strength!
I want to thank you for being a part of our 40 Days of Prayer. Mt. Horeb is committed to being a Prayer Driven Church. For that reason, God has laid on my heart we need to continue sending these prayer prompts every morning at 6:00 AM, through email only. Over the next four weeks we will be sending prompts from Philippians. Please continue to pray with me for revelation, revival, repentance, reconciliation and refreshment!
God bless you!