We just baptized 4 more people today! That makes 195! There are only seven short weeks until Easter (April 20) and we are preparing for another incredible celebration. In this time when we are welcoming Spring and new beginnings, we are praying in four specific directions for the next 40 Days. Below is our prayer focus and at the bottom is the prayer guide. Before I share the plan let me share this: God is doing something deep inside of my own heart as it relates to prayer and seeking His direction for our church. It’s changing me, I want to invite you on this encounter with me.
“The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”.” Luke 17:5
How Will the 40 Days Work?
#1 The Prayer Guide – Every day read the text from the prayer guide below and pray in whatever direction God leads you. This means you will need to set aside some time away from everything everyday! Imagine if 500+ people called out to heaven at the same time about the same thing! God is about to move. The Guide goes from March 9 – April 17.
#2 Two Prayer Nights – These will be two special prayer nights on March 18th and April 1st from 6:30-8:30 PM at the youth center (200 Whitehead rd in Hamilton) These are not worship services, but open prayer times when you will have the opportunity to come and pray and be prayed for. I am anticipating people being healed in miraculous ways.
#3 Weekend Prayer focus – We will continue preaching on Sundays through the book of 1 John. Every week you will have the opportunity in the services to pray for other and be prayed for. Every Sunday God is moving, It is time for us to make worshiping with the church family our HIGHEST priority.
Our Four Prayer Focuses…
#1 Increase our FAITH – Jesus takes convicts and turns them in to converts. That is right, this is what we are all about, restoring people in their relationship with Jesus. He came that we would have faith and that He would die and be the ultimate sacrifice so we would have eternal life and know and follow HIM. RESTORED! This is our word. Jesus rose from the DEAD and while pointing to Jesus, we have baptized in the last month! Many of them were youth and teens. Why? Our church is investing people, time, energy and love in the next generation. Join me in praying that the faith of the people would INCREASE in Jesus!
#2 Release the FINANCES – What we invest in we value. We just concluded our Next Generation offering and you gave $84,000 towards the vision! I have talked with more people these last two weeks that have lost their jobs and my heart goes out to them. When you can’t provide for your family there is uncertainty, fear, confusion and even insecurity. We need to continue to pray for God’s provision for the people of our community. Especially the elderly, the disabled, the widows and the single moms. When we begin praying these prayers God will move us to realize that we are to be generous and help one another through difficult times. I love being a part of a church and community that believes in taking care of those who are going through rough times. We do this because it is an example of the Gospel of Jesus in action. Giving is not about a legalistic percentage, but a heart that is transformed as a reflection of the Gospel. A FAMILY takes care of one another and advances the Gospel with its finances.
#3 Give us FOCUS – Be more afraid of missing an opportunity than failing. We as a church are to be SENT ON MISSION as carriers of the DNA of the Gospel of Jesus. It is what matters and what we are to be pursing as our FIRST priority. We are to renew the community through serving it relentlessly! This starts with the church. Who has Jesus sent you to? The most logical place to start is your own nuclear family, your co-workers and your neighbors. These are the people we are to be inviting into our lives to share experiences with. It isn’t about arguing or convincing them, but about loving them, having conversations, and showing them the good news of the Gospel of Jesus. The church is at it’s best serving the community, loving people, taking care of one another, pursuing the common good, sharing meals together and speaking out as a peaceful voice of reason. We have to focus on the right things.
#4 Grant us FAVOR – We are HIS children – Let me say that again. You have a seat at the table with Jesus and he calls you, “brother, sister and friend.” I tell my children they bear my last name and they need to act like it! When you realize whose family you are in and that the Father has lavished the greatest gift of love and favor on your life, It changes how you PRAY. Through forgiveness of sins, repentance, privilege and honor to be called the church and a life in heaven with HIM, he has given us favor. This changes our perspective. We need to pray for the favor of God that he would be merciful and gracious, especially with those who don’t know Him yet. We are the church for people who aren’t here yet.
The Prayer Guide
Increase Our Faith Readings: March 9 – 18
Day 1: Luke 17:1-10 It starts small
Day 2: Hebrews 11:1-40 Our faith legacy
Day 3: Genesis 12:1-20 Just go
Day 4: Joshua 1:1-9 Faith & courage
Day 5: 1 Samuel 2:1-11 Faith and barren land
Day 6: Nehemiah 1 Desperate faith prayers
Day 7: Psalm 31:1-24 Faithfulness of God
Day 8: 1 John 1:1-9 Gospel & faithfulness
Day 9: Proverbs 3:1-12 A lifestyle of faithfulness
Day 10: John 17:1-26 Jesus Prays boldly (Prayer Night)
Release The Finances Readings: March 19 – 28
Day 11: Exodus 16:1-36 God provides
Day 12: Matthew 6:1-14 The Lord’s prayer & provision
Day 13: 1 Timothy 6:1-10 Finances & contentment
Day 14: Luke 6:27-42 It all comes back to you
Day 15: Malachi 3:6-15 The Tithe and God’s blessing
Day 16: Luke 21:1-4 The all-in lifestyle
Day 17: Psalm 132:1-18 Provision & worship
Day 18: Romans 13:13-14 Jesus as your provision
Day 19: Mark 10:13-31 Provision & perspective
Day 20: Acts 4:32-27 The church and possessions
Give Us Focus Readings: March 29 – April 7
Day 1: Acts 4:23-31 Boldness in prayer
Day 2: Matthew 6:19-34 Priority of the Gospel
Day 3: James 1:1-17 Perseverance
Day 4: 2 Chronicles 7:11-22 Do one thing (Prayer Night)
Day 5: 2 Peter 3:8-13 Holy living
Day 6: Romans 8:1-17 Freedom from guilt
Day 7: Romans 8:18-39 God’s promise
Day 8: Colossians 3:1-25 Family focus
Day 9: Colossians 1:1-29 Jesus & disciple making
Day 10: Mark 2:13-17 Priority of sharing our faith
Grant Us Favor Readings: April 8-17
Day 11: Luke 2:22-40 Jesus and the favor of God
Day 12: Genesis 18:1-21 The favor of God for Abram
Day 13: Luke 1:1-25 Mary receives favor
Day 14: Jeremiah 29:1-23 Plans for good
Day 15: Philippians 1:3-18 Completion of God’s plan
Day 16: John 1:1-34 Jesus defined
Day 17: Galatians 2:15-21 Participation in the favor
Day 18: Matthew 27:1-31 Jesus and stress
Day 19: Matthew 27:32-66 Jesus crucified
Day 20: Matthew 28:1-20 Jesus resurrected
This is going to change us…
Josh is the lead pastor of 217church, a multi-site, contemporary church in Mercer County NJ planted in 2010. 217church is a family with small groups in New Jersey and Pennsylvania that meets Sundays in the Hamilton AMC24 Theater 9:30 & 11am and Grace Rogers School in East Windsor, NJ at 10:15. Our new East Windsor Campus meets every Sunday. If you are looking for a church in East Windsor NJ, Hamilton NJ, Mercer County, Middlesex County or Bucks County, PA, don’t miss our weekend services. Visit www.217church.com for more information.