Awesome message by Kathy Branzell of National Day of Prayer!
Psalm 139:7-10 says, “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.”
We have been praying for you! There are so many challenges, crisis, and catastrophic events happening around us. I recently heard someone call out, “hang in there!” While this comment is meant to encourage, I thought, we are not hanging by a thread or at the end of our rope, we are holding fast to God and He is holding on to us.
Scripture tells us to “Pray continually.” The forty prayer prompts we are sharing in the forty days leading up to Easter are simply a way to help equip you for more intimate and intentional conversations with God whether for a few minutes, forty minutes, or continually throughout our days.
Last week we wrote to you about considering a time to fast during this forty-day season where we want to lengthen and deepen our prayer life. This week we want to urge you to hold fast to God, who is unchanging, never caught off guard, always loves you and never leaves you. Those are very powerful words in these current days of coronavirus concerns and impacts that are touching almost all of America. Jesus is our hope! God’s promises never fail. He is the same powerful, awesome, loving, God the minute before and the minute after our tragedy or triumph. Our circumstances do not change Him, but when we hold fast to Him, He can transform us through all circumstances.
Where do you turn in challenging times? What or who do you turn to? This week’s prayer prompts will urge you to pray and hold fast to God’s Word. Don’t listen to rumors, opinions, or critics; listen to Truth. During this, “Year of the Bible,” we pray that you are continuing to read the Bible every day, profess it in prayer and put it into practice. Truth keeps us on track, it reminds us of who we are in Christ, and more importantly it keeps us focused on Him, abiding in Him and relying on Him.
This week we are praying that you are filled with faith, hope, and the promises of God and more as you “hold fast” and not just “hang in there.” Please join us in prayer now.
Heavenly Father, You are amazing, awesome, all-powerful, all-knowing, seeing the end from the beginning. Nothing changes You, nothing overwhelms You, and nothing separates us from Your love. You are holding fast to us through the corona virus. Please show our medical community how to heal and prevent this virus. We resolve to pray and not panic as You are our peace and courage. Remind me of who I am in You, with You all things are possible. You never leave and never break a promise. Your Word is a light to the path we should walk; we pray that it would be smooth, and we hold fast to You and will not stumble or be shaken when we are holding on to You.
Preparing in Prayer: Lenten and Lengthened Season of Prayer
Day 16: 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil.
As you pray, we want to encourage you to read the whole chapter of Scripture not just the verses we supply or that you see in your favorite devotional book or app. This will help you read and pray in context. It is vital that we hold fast to God’s Word as we read it, hear it taught, and preached. Pray through your notes that you take on Sundays. Writing down what you hear and learn helps you to remember to hold fast to the lesson that was shared, not just to guide you through another week, but when temptation comes, and you feel weak. Ask God to help you hold fast to what is good.
Day 17: Hebrews 3:6 but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house -whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end.
Think about the faithfulness of Jesus and the unsearchable pain and sacrifice that He suffered for us. Thank Him for all He has done from the cross to today. Resolve to hold fast to confidence, and your testimony of hope that you have in Him. Ponder and pray about what it means to be the Church, His house, His ambassador to the world who needs to know Him.
Day 18: Luke 8:15 But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance.
Our hearts are vulnerable places that can be hurt or hardened by the drama and sin that abounds and attacks us. Pray daily that would God to protect your heart as you take care to hold fast to its honesty and goodness. Pray that your heart would be pure, good soil for God’s Word to take root and bear fruit.
Day 19: Hold Your Tongue: Philippians 2:14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing;
Our tongue is a powerful thing! It can change the mood of a gathering, heal or harm a relationship or reputation. It can spread pain or more importantly it can spread God’s glory. Ask God to make you aware of what is flowing from your mouth and to help you hold your tongue from complaining and arguing and to help you create a habit of praise, thanks, and peace.
Day 20: Matthew 6:33-34 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
In addition to praying about what we hold fast to, we also pray about what we need to release. We were made for hope and confidence in Christ not to worry. We were made to cast our cares to Him knowing He cares for us. Express to Jesus in your prayer time, what that means to you. If you are worried or burdened with something pray it over to Jesus and then every time you feel the urge to worry, praise Him instead.
Day 21: Philippians 2:10-11 so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
The name of Jesus is precious and holy. Saying His name should first bring honor to Him and peace and confidence to you knowing you live in His authority and under His authority. Pray His name and if physically possible, get on your knees as you pray today. Confess that He is Lord, He is your Lord, and give glory and thanks to God who sent His Son to redeem us and reign over us.
Day 22: Obedience: Joshua 22:5 But be very careful to keep the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the LORD gave you: to love the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him, to keep his commands, to hold fast to him and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.”
Holding fast to God, means letting go of your pride and preferences. You must let go of having everything your way, in order to hold fast to His word, ways and will. His ways are higher, filled with wisdom and love, therefore, we obey Him. Jesus said, “If you love me you will obey me.” (John 14:15) Pray through the areas of your life where you have not been or have difficulty obeying Him.
Day 23: Psalm 25:7 Forgive and Forget: Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions; According to Your lovingkindness remember me, For Your goodness’ sake, O LORD.
On day two of this prayer journey we started the habit of daily confession of our sin and asking God for forgiveness. There is no sin too big for God to forgive, no past too terrible that Jesus’ blood cannot wash white as snow. Once you ask for forgiveness you must receive it and live in that forgiveness. God’s forgiveness means your spiritual future goes forward as if it never happened. The earthly results may remain, but God turns consequences into blessings and shame into glory in the light of His lovingkindness. During your prayer time and every time Satan tries to remind you of your past, thank God for His forgiveness and turn the temptation to feel guilt, into a joyful time of praise and thanksgiving. God forgets our forgiven sin but always remembers our praise!
Serving Him with Gladness,
Current and Upcoming Events
About the National Day of Prayer
The National Day of Prayer tradition predates the founding of the United States of America, evidenced by the Continental Congress’ proclamation in 1775 setting aside a day of prayer. In 1952, Congress established an annual day of prayer and, in 1988, that law was amended, designating the National Day of Prayer as the first Thursday in May.
To learn more, or to find a National Day of Prayer event in your community, visit www.NationalDayofPrayer.org. To schedule a media interview, send your request to firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact Dion Elmore, Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations at The National Day of Prayer Task Force, (719) 559-9574.
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