****This day’s devotional includes a time of prayer using a prayer guide of scriptures and prayers crafted using those scriptures. It is designed to help you pray God’s words over yourself, your family and friends, the city, the nation, and the world. As we unite in prayer and receive God’s call to action in this time, we believe God will hear us and heal our land. Today, take time to read these scriptures aloud, pray the prayers crafted using those scriptures as well as anything else God brings to mind and heart****
The last two days were spent forgiving others and receiving God’s forgiveness. This begins the pathway to pray for our spheres of influence. Check out these scriptures that reveal this to us:
“Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of your servant. For your sake, Lord, look with favor on your desolate sanctuary. Give ear, our God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your Name. We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy. Lord, listen! Lord, forgive! Lord, hear and act! For your sake, my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name.”
2 Chronicles 7:14
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.
Key Scriptures/Prayers for the Church to Influence the World with God’s Love
John 17:20-23 (Jesus Prayer for Us to Be Unified)
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
How good and pleasant it is
when God’s people live together in unity!
It is like precious oil poured on the head,
running down on the beard,
running down on Aaron’s beard,
down on the collar of his robe.
It is as if the dew of Hermon
were falling on Mount Zion.
For there the Lord bestows his blessing,
even life forevermore.
(Crafted using above scriptures): Jesus, I pray that I, along with your church, will be an answer to the prayer that you prayed in John 17. I pray that we would be one as you and the Father are one and that we would pursue unity with one another. I thank you that unity does not mean the same thing as uniformity and that you made us all individually unique and beautiful in your image. Please forgive us for the ways we have not honored one another and have judged, competed, held prejudice or racism in our hearts, and, as a result have failed to be an example of unity and love to those who have yet to come to know you.
I pray that we would become a people that demonstrate what it looks like to invite people to come as they are in the same way that you invited people to come to you. In the same fashion, we invite you, God, to come as you are and search our hearts and show us ways that we need to change and be transformed by you so that we can more fully represent you and your character to the world around us. I pray that we would walk in a unity like you describe in Psalm 133—a unity that leads to you pouring out blessing and healing us and those around us in our spheres of influence.
Overcoming Fear and Being a “light” Among Darkness
Psalm 91:1-6, 9-11 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways”
Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.
See, darkness covers the earth
and thick darkness is over the peoples,
but the Lord rises upon you
and his glory appears over you.
Nations will come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your dawn.
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.
1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
(Crafted using above scriptures): Father God, I acknowledge that Your faithfulness, protection, and shelter are greater than any “plague” that may come near me. I admit that it can be in my sin-nature to fear in times like we are facing, but I run toward You and not away from You in this time. I pray that You would push back fear and strengthen me to resist the temptation to give in to fear and panic in this time.
I pray that your Church would live from a place of your peace—a peace that surpasses anything that the world can offer–and that this peace we carry would draw others to want to know you. Father God, I ask You for a deeper awareness of Your love for me and those around me, as You push away fear.
You told us that the enemy comes to kill, rob, and destroy, but you come that we may have life. Perfect me in Your love and drive out fear in me and around me. Help me to be an influence of your perfect love around me and that I would impact the lives of others with your love.
Supernatural Provision and Generosity
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
(Crafted using above scriptures): Father God, in a time when many are hoarding out of fear, I pray that we would be known for our love, sense of family, devotion to prayer, the miracles you do through us, and our generosity. I pray that You would provide in such extravagant ways, that we would have enough for ourselves and our families, as well as for others in need. I pray that we, as Your Church, would live from a place of abundance and provision instead of lack and scarcity.
Release of God’s Love and Family Through His Church
Isaiah 60:1 “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you (His Church) and his glory appears over you.”
Romans 8:15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”
2 Cor 5:17-20 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. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God
Malachi 4:6 He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents
Luke 13:29 —- People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God.
Acts 17:23 For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship–and this is what I am going to proclaim to you.
(Crafted using above scriptures): Father God, I pray that in a time when the world is in deep panic, Your Church would rise up with hope. I pray that we would be reminded that because of your Spirit we are adopted into your family, and we live from a place of Your deep love for us as Your children.
I pray that, we as Your Church would be awakened by Your perfect love and rise up in supernatural love, peace, joy, faith, and hope, and that this would draw others to You. Where the enemy has intended to bring great destruction, we pray that You would usher us into one of the greatest awakenings the world has yet known. Awaken us and awaken those who have yet to know You in this time. Help us be the ministers of reconciliation and the ambassadors You have called us to be. We pray that You would no longer be “the unknown God” in our cities. May many come to know You as their Father, and I pray that a deep revelation of the family of God and You as our Father would come to our world in this hour.
Not only did Jesus speak to crowds, we see time and again through scripture that Jesus often stopped for the “one.” In fact, in Luke 15 he teaches about how much a shepherd who has 100 sheep would leave 99 to look for the one gone astray. Jesus, the one who called Himself the “Good Shepherd” invites us to live a life where we are aware of “the one” and live out the very things we just prayed. So many want to do the big things, but few are willing to do the little things—-like seeing “the one.”
Invite God to open your eyes and speak to you about who or what your “one” is as you step into 2023.
- Who has God called you to influence with His peace, generosity, love, kindness, or joy? Who is He calling you to be more intentionally influencing? And what action(s) does that require? Write out anything he shows you.
- As we wrap up this week of prayer, ask God what is next for you. Journal about what God has brought to mind for you and consider what next step you can take to connect to a group designed to help you Belong, Grow, Serve, or Heal.
- Then, as you obey Him through prayer and action, let the adventure begin. Happy New Year 2023!!!!