Challenge – Four Action Steps:
Here are four simple steps that you can take to begin an exciting life of prayer with Jesus.
- Pray 5 minutes a day every day for the next 21 days.
I’m not asking you to commit to pray for a month or a year, just twenty one days – that’s three weeks. To make a commitment to pray just five minutes a day. And you might say, “That’s not very much! Just five minutes a day? What’s the point of that?” If you pray five minutes a day every day for 21 days, that’s 105 minutes of prayer – that’s an hour and ¾ of an hour! And, if you’re not praying at all, then that’s more than you’re doing right now. Have you ever prayed for 105 minutes before? You can do it!
Sometimes people think when it comes to prayer that we need to pray big prayers. “I heard about this great revival preacher who got up at four o’clock in the morning, and he prayed for four hours before he started the day!” I remember hearing stories like that and getting inspired. “Yeah, I’ve got to pray four hours a day every day!” And I’d set the old alarm clock for four o’clock in the morning. “Yes!” And the first day was glorious. But the next morning, I discovered that button – you know the button? The snooze button. “But, no, I’ve got to get up and pray four hours today!” And then by day three, it’s out the window and it’s not going to happen. “I can’t pray four hours a day – I need my sleep!”
However, I’m not asking you to pray four hours a day. Just five minutes. Can you do five minutes? That’s an attainable goal. What would happen if every member of the church started praying for five minutes a day every day? In a church of 100 people, that’s 500 minutes of prayer in one day. Do you think God could use prayers like that to make a difference in our community? I believe He could!
- Start a prayer journal.
It’s good to write down all of the things you’re praying for. What are you believing God for in your life? Journaling is important because so often, we pray for things, but we don’t write them down. Then, when God answers those prayers, we don’t remember that it was something we had prayed for, and we forget to go back to God and say thank you and give Him honour and glory for what He did. Journaling is also important because it helps to build our faith. Every time God answers one of our prayers, we will have more faith next time to believe that He can do it again. So start writing down your prayer requests, and watch as God does miracles!
- Attend church prayer meetings.
In our church, we have pre-service prayer meetings on Sunday mornings from 10:00-10:20 am. When Jesus was getting ready to go to the cross, on the night He was betrayed, “they came to an olive grove called Gethsemane, and Jesus said, “Sit here while I go and pray.” He took Peter, James, and John with him, and he began to be filled with horror and deep distress. He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and watch with me.” He went on a little farther and fell face down on the ground. He prayed that, if it were possible, the awful hour awaiting him might pass him by… Then he returned and found the disciples asleep. “Simon!” he said to Peter. “Are you asleep? Couldn’t you stay awake and watch with me even one hour? Keep alert and pray. Otherwise temptation will overpower you. For though the spirit is willing enough, the body is weak.” (Mark 14:32-35,37-38).
In our pre-service prayer, we don’t meet for an hour; we only meet for twenty minutes. That’s not long, but it’s a great way to start your Sunday morning. Not only do we pray for the worship service, our church family, and our community, we’re also preparing our hearts for what the Lord is going to do in the service. I want to challenge you – if you’ve never attended a church prayer meeting before, give it a try. Go at least once, and if you don’t like it, you don’t have to go back. What do you have to lose? What do you have to gain?
- Take a Prayer Walk Through your neighborhood.
At the end of our church’s teaching on prayer, we have planned a prayer walk around our town of Beausejour. We’re planning on walking and praying around the outskirts of our town, believing for God to make a difference in our community. This is something that you can do on your own in your town or city. When you go out walking your dog or biking around town, pray for the people in your community. Pray for their salvation. Pray for them to recognize their need for Jesus as Saviour. Pray for all of the pastors and churches in your community, for the Gospel to go forth in power and change lives for eternity.
In Joshua 1:1-3, the Lord gave this promise: “After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, it came to pass that the Lord spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, saying: “Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them–the children of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses.” That’s a great promise to stand on! As you walk through your neighborhood, declare, “Jesus is Lord!”
Application: Which one or two of these suggestions can you put into practice in your life this week?
Father, I thank you for your Word, and that you’re calling your people to go deeper into the place of prayer. As we abide in you, and your Word abides in us, we will see more miracles and answers to prayer. Thank you for helping us to respond to meet with you in the secret place. As we meet with you and pray in secret, you will reward us openly. I thank you that you are able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to your power that works in us, in Jesus’ name, amen.
Pastor Chris Jordan