40 Days of Prayer

Day 12: Crucified With Christ

Galatians 2:19-20

“I have been crucified with Christ.”  What does this mean?  Are our personalities and personhood wiped away?  No.  These are gifts from God.  Instead being crucified with Christ is more about laying down our wills.  By accepting the way of the cross, Jesus accepted and lived the Father’s will rather than his own.  This is what being crucified with Christ means for us too.  We are called to live out God’s values, ways, and mission in this world.

Years ago, the most Christ-like person I know, shared his secret with me.  “Before I get out of bed in the morning,” he said, “I lay down my life again, and ask God to fill me with the Holy Spirit.  I commit each day, one day at a time, to God.  Essentially, I am crucified with Christ again each day.  If I don’t do that (and even do it repeatedly during each day), then I take charge of everything again.”

Prayer Thought:  How about an experiment?  Consider praying like my friend does…before your feet hit the floor in the morning.  You could try this for one day, or one week, or one month and then reflect on how God moves through this experience.

Day 11: Letting Go and Taking Hold

Hebrews 11:1-3

The trapeze artist makes a decision to let go before she experiences the reassurance of the “catch.”  At just the right time, she commits to the flight.  There is no turning back then.  Free-flying follows…until the catch is made.

Before we can take hold of God’s hopes and dreams for us, we must let go of our comforts, securities and aspirations.  We have to let go, flying through the air, trusting that God is there to make the catch.  This is what faith is about.

Prayer Thought:  Ask God to identify what you are clutching that prevents you letting go.  Then ask God for the courage to let go and fly.

Day 10: The Prayer of Surrender

Luke 22:39-46

“Father, is there any other way?”  Jesus knew that his mission involved laying down his life.  His humanity did not want to give up control over his destiny.  Who in his/her right mind would want to endure suffering?  Jesus knew what was coming, and he did not want to go through it.  Father, is there any other way?

Regardless of the anticipated suffering, Jesus was willing to lay down his will for the Father’s will.  God’s way is better.  How much do we believe (and practice) that?  God’s way is better for you as an individual, and for your church community.

Prayer Thought:  Ask God what in your life needs the Prayer of Surrender, and then consider praying it in faith.  Consider sharing this prayer with another disciple who you trust and would be supportive of your prayer.

Day 9: Praying With Confidence

Hebrews 4:14-16

“Been there, done that,” is a saying Jesus can use to describe the human experience.  There is no challenge, difficulty or temptation with which Jesus our Brother cannot sympathize.  However hard you experience life, or temptation, or challenge to be…Jesus has been there.  We follow a Savior who is experienced in the human dilemma.

Jesus has cleared the way through his triumph over sin.  So, we can approach God with confidence, boldness and anticipation.  God invites us to do so!  Pray for yourself, for your loved ones, for the world with gusto.  Jesus says, “Bring it on.”

Prayer Thought:  Don’t hold back.  Ask God for what you and your church need in order to fulfill your callings.

Day 8: Shalom Practicing

John 14:25-27

“…my peace I give to you.”  Whenever we pray with sincerity and openness, change happens.  We follow a God who is on the move; on mission in the world.  This awareness can raise anxiety.  What will happen when we pray?  What will be asked of us as individuals and as a congregation?  Will my life become miserable?  I hope you are asking these questions.  If not, perhaps you don’t grasp the ramifications of praying. Praying will bring change.

Is there guidance for us around these questions?  Certainly.  As Jesus prepared his disciples for his departure, he informed them they would be filled with his peace.  They had observed him, sharing life together, as they travelled across the Middle-East landscape.  Obviously, Jesus had a source of peace that exceeded human calmness.  This is the peace Jesus promised them.

Prayer Thought:  Bring your anxiety about praying for God’s will to God.  Remember Jesus’ promise to those first disciples.  Ask God for whatever level of peace you need in order to engage prayer with confidence and joy.

Day 7: Praying As Influence

James 5:13-18

Yes, the prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective.  But who among us is righteous?  (Those who think they are certainly aren’t.)  Righteousness comes from God.  Righteous is how God sees us when we are washed clean by the sacrificial love of the Lord Jesus Christ.  So, when we are in Christ, we are righteous.  So, how does that influence your praying?  Are you aware that your praying influences God’s movement in your life and in the life of your church?

Prayer Thought:  Consider believing your praying will make more difference than you have ever believed before.  Pray today with that awareness.

Day 6: Faith: Small Quantities Will Do

Luke 17:1-6

While Jesus is informing the disciples that forgiving those who wrong us is a requirement of Christian discipleship, the disciples are growing overwhelmed.  “How is this humanly possible?” is the question behind their request for more faith.  Jesus essentially tells them that only a very small quantity of faith is needed for accomplishing great things in God’s kingdom.

If all we need are small quantities, then where do we get our supply?  Even this God will supply.  God will give you what you need to do what God wants done.  So, if you want more faith, ask – seek – knock – and trust that God will give you the amount of faith needed.

Prayer Thought:  Consider asking God to increase your faith.  The disciples before you felt the need to ask Jesus for more faith…and they were looking the Messiah in the eye.  Surely it is a good request for those who have come along 2000 years later.

Day 5: Starting Where You Are

John 3:1-10, John 7:45-52, John 19:38-39

Nicodemus.  At first he was curious…he saw something in Jesus worth pursuing.  Then he cautiously defended Jesus against some of his Pharisee colleagues.  The last picture we see of Nicodemus in the Bible is of an openly supportive disciple, preparing Jesus’ body for burial.  Nicodemus’ conversion to Christ appears to have evolved over time, becoming a disciple step by step.  He began with curiosity, became a seeker, and then a full-blown disciple.

Like Nicodemus, we are a work in progress.  As we are conformed to the image of Christ, our attitudes and motives shift.  You may wonder how pure your motives are as you pray for yourself and your church.  You may question if you just want what you want…and not what God wants.  Don’t let this fear (or awareness) hold you back.  Don’t wait until your motives are completely pure.  Start praying, in humility and faith, and ask God to help your motives and agendas to grow more Christ-like.  Start where you are and trust God to move you forward.  It is easier to guide a moving ship, than one roped to the dock.

Prayer Thought:  Consider asking God to purify your motives for you and for your church, even while you are praying the best you can at this moment.

Day 4: Limited By Unbelief

Mark 6:1-6

Jesus was limited by their unbelief.  Surely God can do great deeds without the belief of humankind as an ingredient in the mix!  Surely so.  But it appears as if God has chosen to include the faith of disciples as an ingredient in the mix.  Why?  We don’t exactly know.

For some reason, God wanted to include disciples in God’s mission of redemption and transformation.  Prayer is a primary tool of this work.

Perhaps we can hold God back when we think small or skeptically about what can happen.  Our unbelief, along with our belief, is part of the mix.  Since that is so, our trust and faith actually influence the success of God’s mission.  How do you feel about that?

Prayer Thought:  Consider what you believe God cannot do in you and in your church.  Consider surrendering this belief to God.

Day 3: Praying In Faith

Matthew 7:7-11

Ask – Search – Knock.  Jesus paints a picture of a loving parent who wants to give good gifts to his/her children.  We parents can relate to that.  We naturally want to provide well for our children, giving them every advantage in life we can.  We hope this will equip them with a good beginning to a long and happy life.

God wants the same for us.  How willing are you to pray with faith, with anticipation, with trust that God will answer?  Do you believe in prayer as a spiritual discipline, which influences you and others?  Are you willing to pray in a way that makes you vulnerable to the prayer’s answer?

Prayer Thought:  Describe to God your perspective on prayer.  Consider inviting God to grow your faith as you pray.

Sunday

8:30 a.m.
Traditional Service

9:45 a.m.
Sunday School

11 a.m.
Contemporary Service

12:30 p.m.
Hispanic Service

Wednesday

5 p.m.
Family Night Supper

6 p.m.
Music Ministry Groups
Youth Ministry Groups
Children’s Ministry Groups

6:30 p.m.
Hispanic Ministry Study

Follow Us

Sunday

8:30 a.m.
Traditional Service

9:45 a.m.
Sunday School

11 a.m.
Contemporary Service

12:30 p.m.
Hispanic Service

Wednesday

5 p.m.
Family Night Supper

6 p.m.
Music Ministry Groups
Youth Ministry Groups
Children’s Ministry Groups

6:30 p.m.
Hispanic Ministry Study

Follow Us

First Baptist Church, Newport News  | 12716 Warwick Blvd, Newport News, VA 23606 • (757) 930-0911 |  Email: staff@fbcnn.org

First Baptist Church, Newport News
12716 Warwick Blvd, Newport News, VA 23606
(757) 930-0911 • Email: staff@fbcnn.org