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Summer Prayer Challenge – Week 5

I know many of you who follow my blog also read my posts on social media, so as this one is a complete copy of all I’ve already posted this week you can skip this one 🙂

BUT to those of you following solely on my blog, I apologize for this post being so late. I already put the previous days’ prayer topics on Facebook/Instagram, however, this week was a busy one for me and I hardly had a minute to spare.

Better late than never right??

Thank you for joining me in this challenge!!

Here’s the overview of the prayer focuses for this week:

Remember above the lists, to meet with Jesus. Experience his love for you. Allow yourself to relax and thank him for all of his many blessings. Turn your mind off all the business of your day and just think about Jesus: Who he is. His wonderful character. Pray for your spouse and individual family members by name.

Monday: Our Pastors/ Families – Today pray for protection for them. Each time I see a news article of a fallen pastor or a new “church scandal” my heart sinks. Are our first thoughts of them: “How DARE they? How could a godly leader do this?” Do these things really surprise us? Satan well knows that if he can hurt the head, he can cripple the whole church… “Strike the shepherd and the sheep will scatter.” Today, pray for your pastor and their family. For God to put his hand of protection on them. That they wouldn’t feel the need to look “strong” in the face of trials or temptations but that they would be able to have trusted people around them to share with and be supported by. Ask God to give our pastors renewal each day. May they never have to feel like they are in this alone. Ask God to give them hunger and a desire to walk closely beside him, spending time in his presence each day. Pray that they would overcome evil by the power of his blood. Pray that they would be quick to repent and to ask for help, that God would keep them from pride. Pray for their families, that they would not feel the burden of always having to look put together, but that we would view them as God’s children in need of his grace as well. Pray that God would give us, the church body, MUCH grace for our leaders. May we always be a support to them, ready to protect and believe the best in them instead of always looking for the next thing to complain about. God, may we be a church that is a delight, not a burden, to lead.

Tuesday: Philippians 3 for the Church

Today as I pray for the body of believers across the world, that is, in every nation, tribe and tongue, I am drawn to Philippians 3.

“But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.”

What if every believer lived like this? As if everything else was garbage compared to Christ? That knowing Christ would become the biggest priority. Truly believing that all our righteousness isn’t because of our good works, but because of Christ! I tell you: we would judge less, hate less, sacrifice more, we would forgive, we would let go of our idols, we would live for Christ’s mission and not our own. Pray for these things!!

“For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things.”

Oh that we would not live as enemies of the cross! Pray that we would take our eyes off of earthly things and remember that our citizenship is in heaven! Pray that our glory wouldn’t be in our temporary idols. God, bring us into the joy of your presence!

Wednesday: Mental Health – Just why did I decide to devote one day a week this summer to pray into mental health issues? Was it just because I am coming out of a long season of depression?? Being diagnosed and then talking about it, completely opened my eyes to how HUGE this is. EVERYONE I talked to could relate in some way. “Wait. Did you just say EVERYONE?? You’re not truly saying that you believe everyone has a mental disorder do you?!?” No I am not. But everyone has mental health and physical health. And everyone I know has experienced sickness in some sort of way, so it would be naive to say that not everyone has experienced, to a degree, some hopelessness, depression, anxiety, etc. Here’s the thing: we feel ashamed to talk about it, as if we would be more righteous if we were just happy all the time. You know what has helped me the most? TALKING about it and finding people who will compassionately listen without judging or accusing me based on my feelings. Because feelings aren’t wrong, it’s what we do with them in our thought life and actions that matter. Today pray for those living with mental illness to be able to talk, to not lie to themselves and others about how they’re really doing, but to be open. When we are open, others feel free to be open as well. Pray for wisdom in responding to and dealing with these feelings. Pray that those who need medication for their illness would not be shamed because of it. Pray that they would also be open to Jesus, for he is the ultimate healer. Oh that we would find deep comfort in running to his arms and sharing the negative thoughts and feelings that torment us. He has promised to carry our burdens, if we only let him! Pray for our focus to daily be taken off our earthly situation and to be focused onto the Lord Jesus Christ. Pray for thanksgiving to flow from the lips of those who are struggling, for a thankful heart is a joyful one. Pray for mental illness to become a topic that we no longer fear. And thank Jesus that it is becoming easier to talk about. Thank him for the many ways he is already answering these prayers.

Thursday:  The Attack on the Family – Today, I am praying about the attack the church is facing in homes. Pray for marriages/families in the church. Thursday’s we pray for returning to our first love and I believe a part of this is strongly connected to what we do with Jesus in our homes. One of the ways we can show Jesus our love for him is to prioritize what HE does. And we have not prioritized the family. We have not taken seriously the marriage covenants we made before him. Today, pray for broken families, broken marriages, broken children in the church. Pray that we would learn to see the importance of those nearest to us. That the church would become known for a place where families thrive. Pray for parents to be willing to pour in the time it takes to raise children for the Lord. That we would not try to put this responsibility onto others/the church but that we would begin to seek God together, serve together, do devos together. May our families honor God and be a reflection of our love/devotion to him.

Friday: Our Nation

For me that is Canada. And there is something that deeply grieves my heart in this beautiful, multicultural country and that is the fact that racism is still strong and present. Many would deny this. But bring up the relationship between the white folk and the first nations and the air becomes eerily quiet.

Not all is well.

There is so much brokenness. So much pain. So much anger, hate and unforgiveness. So much judgement and jealousy. Conditions for most of those living on reserves is terrible. Many families are broken. And the most heartbreaking thing is that everyone know there is no really good solution. What has been done in the past is now done. It can not fully be restored. From a human standpoint, improvement in this area is impossible…but with God, ALL things are possible.

This is my prayer today for Canada and the indigenous peoples:

“God, heal what has been broken. Restore what has been lost. Bring comfort to all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve. Bestow on them a crown of beauty, instead of ashes. The oil of joy, instead of mourning and a garment of praise, instead of a spirit of despair. Father bring the indigenous people out victorious! May they be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendour. Oh God, bring compassion and forgiveness on both sides, soften our hearts toward each other. Money can never right the wrongs that have been done in the past. Only you can bring restoration. Come Lord Jesus.”

Saturday: I’m MUCH too Righteous for THEM!!! 

Outreach is one of the most important callings of the church, but I believe it is widely the most neglected one. Many, many Christian’s have no heart whatsoever for the lost.

I sometimes wonder if I do?

Do I care if people spend an eternity without Jesus? Do I care about the hopelessness that many people feel day after day after day? Or…do I deep down feel that some of these “sinners” deserve to live in pain? Alone. Forgotten.

Do I somehow feel that I’ve earned the right to walk with Christ, to know him? Today pray about this attitude. The attitude of thinking: if they would just smarten up, then they would be able to find Christ and turn their life around! You know the thing about lost people? They’re LOST! Lost people need help to find their way. LOTS of help. I needed lots of help. You needed lots of help. Think of the people who have all poured into your life. Where would you be without them? Pray for patience and a willingness to not just share the gospel, but to walk with those living in darkness. They NEED you to help them see! Pray that we would become so thankful for our blessings in Christ that we could not help but share them with the world!

  • CHALLENGE: Reflect on your attitude to those around you. Are there those who you don’t associate with because of something you feel they’ve done? Talk to someone you may have misjudged. Remember and imitate your Heavenly Father who “causes the rain to fall on the good and the bad.” Bless them in some way.

Sunday: Love for those Hypocrites/Sinners – As we gather together in our services, pray that our eyes would see those around us through the eyes of Christ. Often I believe many Christians are hindered in worship because they are so distracted by “those sinners/hypocrites” around them.  May we realize, but we are also among the sinners and hypocrites. Not one of us is 100% consistent with everything we believe. Not one of us always does the right thing and this attitude needs to go. Come and worship. Come and love. Come and receive grace and forgiveness. Come and serve others. Come and connect. Just come!

God bless you this week!

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