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FaithSpring's 46 Day Prayer Challenge (Day 46) April 15, 2017

Posted By at Saturday, April 15, 2017

FaithSpring’s 46-day Prayer Challenge for Lent

Day 46, Saturday, April 15, 2017

Prayer Update! 100 hours and 25 minutes of Prayer through April 8, 2017.

Prayers of thanksgiving for God’s creations and blessings.

As the 2017 Prayer Challenge nears its’ conclusion, we offer God our prayers of thanksgiving for all that the LORD has accomplished. During this time of preparation for Easter, we have offered God many different prayers and followed those prayers with actions devoted to God. We have grown in faithfulness and we have opened new doors of communication with God. Now it’s time to give God some gratitude.

It’s easy to forget that some of the greatest blessings in life arise from the world in which we live. The sun that shines, the rain that nourishes, and the blooming trees and flowers are evidence of God’s work. Offer thanks to God for the crops that grow, clean water in our homes, and the jobs that sustain us. God has accomplished so much that we could spend our entire lives in prayer, and still not cover them all.

The point is that God has covered everything, including us. We are God’s greatest creation, and He loves us so much that He sent Jesus to protect our salvation. All of the things we have missed, forgotten, and messed-up don’t matter anymore. God forgives us through Jesus Christ, and for that, we can be thankful.

Today, thank God for all of creation, especially ourselves. Rest in the assurance that no matter what, God is standing by your side.

“Then God said, ‘Let us make humanity in our image to resemble us so that they may take charge of the fish of the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the earth, and all the things crawling on earth. God created humanity in God’s own image, in the divine image God created them, male and female God created them’…and God saw everything he had made: it was supremely good.” (Genesis 1:26-27; 31, CEB)

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FaithSpring's 46 Day Prayer Challenge (Day 45) April 14, 2017

Posted By at Friday, April 14, 2017

FaithSpring’s 46-day Prayer Challenge for Lent

Day 45, Friday, April 14, 2017

Prayer Update! 100 hours and 25 minutes of Prayer through April 8, 2017.

Pray and engage in 24-hours of fasting. (Don’t give up now! Try your best and keep reading.)

On the 45th day of the Prayer Challenge, we arrive at our most difficult task. Today, we begin a time of fasting (withholding food) for 24 hours. This challenge will be very difficult for everyone, although in the history of the Christian Church, it is something that has been regularly practiced by billions of Christians. The purpose of this fast is to recognize the ultimate sacrifice made by Jesus Christ and demonstrate our faithfulness to God who supplies for all our needs.

In many parts of the world, this is a very strict and holy sacrifice. In our Prayer Challenge, this is a complete focus on Jesus Christ. When Jesus began His ministry, He retreated to a mountain where He engaged in a 40-day time of fasting. When Jesus was crucified, He spent three days in the tomb without nutrition. These are just two examples of Jesus’ fasting, but it is likely that Jesus practiced this discipline many more times during His lifetime.

First, here’s the rules for our fast: Withhold food for 24 hours. If this is not possible (especially for children, diabetics, and others whose physical requirements would prove to be dangerous to their health), then consider reducing/eliminating non-essential food and all drinks other than water.

Second, for those who have never practiced fasting, there are two keys to a successful fast: Prayer and water. Our bodies will crave certain foods and drinks, primarily because our bodies are conditioned to fulfill the hunger needs as they arise. There are several options:

  1. Fast from all calories. If you choose this challenge, drink only water and pray at every opportunity.
  2. Fast from all food (but drinks are okay). If you choose this option, then make sure to pray fervently and consume plenty of water and other beverages to supplement your body’s needs.
  3. Conditioned Fast. If your dietary constraints (mentioned above) will not allow you to fast from calories or food, consider eating just fruits and vegetables and the minimal amount of other foods and plenty of water as your body requires (and continue to pray!).

(Hint: Begin counting the 24 hours from your last meal, so for many of us, we will already have a head-start of 10-12 hours.)

Don’t put yourself in danger, but neither give up before you begin. You’ll be surprised at what you can accomplish with a focus on Jesus Christ, along with plenty of prayer and water. God will care for you during your cravings, but even better, you will become a first-hand witness to how God supplies for the needs of His people.

“And when you fast, don’t put on a sad face like the hypocrites. They distort their faces so people will know they are fasting. I assure you they have their reward. When you fast, brush your hair and wash your face. Then you won’t look like you are fasting to people, but only to your Father who is present in that secret place. Your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” (Matthew 6:16-18, CEB)

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40 Day Prayer Challenge (Day 41) April 10, 2017

Posted By at Monday, April 10, 2017

 

FaithSpring’s 46-day Prayer Challenge for Lent

Day 41, Monday, April 10, 2017

 

Pray for a reflective, helpful, and inspiring Holy Week.

On the 41st day of the Prayer Challenge, we pray for a reflective, helpful, and inspiring Holy Week. Holy Week is the week that leads to Easter, and traditionally, it is a week that Christians engage in deep reflection about the sacrifice made by God through Jesus Christ. Churches across the world will host worship services, activities, and events that are all designed to enhance the upcoming Easter celebration.

 

The last few chapters of the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) illustrate the story of Jesus on His way to the cross. They are powerful reminders of both the humanity and divinity of Jesus, who chose to die so that the rest of us might live. None of us can replicate or duplicate Jesus’ journey, but thankfully, none of us will ever be put in that position. Jesus volunteered Himself as payment for our sins, granting us the opportunity for another chance to get our own lives in order.

 

This week, reflect upon Jesus’ sacrifice. Spend some time reading the last few chapters of each Gospel, and pay attention to the thoughts, words, and actions of Jesus Christ. Jesus died for us while we were yet sinners, and that proves God’s love towards us. In the name of Jesus Christ, we can all be forgiven.

 

“They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Sit here while I pray.’ He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,’ he said to them. ‘Stay here and keep watch.’ “ (Mark 14:32-34, NIV)

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FaithSpring's 40 Day Prayer Challenge (Day 40) April 9, 2017

Posted By at Sunday, April 09, 2017

 

FaithSpring’s 46-day Prayer Challenge for Lent

Day 40, Sunday, April 9, 2017

Pray for our enemies, frenemies, and those that seek to harm us.

On the 40th day of the Prayer Challenge, we seek to pray for our enemies, frenemies, and those who seek to cause harm to us. Although most of us are aware that we’re supposed to both love and pray for our enemies, putting it into action is a difficult task.

Take a moment and think about someone who seeks to cause you harm. What kind of emotions arise when you think about praying for them? Anger? Hatred? Frustration? Praying for enemies sounds good in theory, but when we put names and faces to it, it’s a very different story. It seems completely unnatural and certainly unfair to consider asking God to help, car for, or even bless these people. But indeed, this is what God commands and it’s a tough order to follow.

Yet just as God witnesses the harm that others seek to cause us, God also recognizes the difficulties we face in offering a prayer on their behalf. Our willingness to seek God’s blessings for these people demonstrates our faithfulness in God’s work, and it also demonstrates the value we place on God’s people. After all, just as God created each of us, God also created the people who seek to hurt us. None of us is without sin, and thankfully, Jesus Christ came to save both us and them.

“Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for He is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked.” (Luke 6:35, NLT)

 

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FaithSpring's 40 Day Prayer Challenge (Day 39) April 8, 2017

Posted By at Saturday, April 08, 2017

FaithSpring’s 40-day Prayer Challenge for Lent

Day 39, Saturday, April 8, 2017

Pray for our nation’s agriculture and crop farmers.

On this 39th day of the Prayer Challenge, we remember our nation’s growers of grains, fruits, vegetables, and other crops. In a modern and technologically-advanced culture such as our own, it is much too easy for us to forget about those who provide the basis for the vast-majority of our own food consumption, as well a significant amount of the world’s food needs.

Our farmers work extremely long hours, with little certainty of the income they may receive from their work. Farmers are also susceptible to the extreme conditions of nature, which can be disastrous to their produce. They wake before dawn and work until after dusk every day, tilling the soil, planting the seeds, fertilizing and watering their crops through a long growing season. Finally, they harvest their crops, hoping and praying that their crops will generate enough income to pay their expenses and debts. The farmer’s life is rarely one of glory and riches. It is a life that is born from sweat labor, all in the attempt to feed our country and the world beyond.

Do you know a farmer? If so, you already have first-hand knowledge of the incredible work they complete on behalf of our country. But even if you don’t know a farmer, it doesn’t take much to imagine the great work they accomplish our behalf.

Pray for our farming community today. Pray that God blesses them with a bountiful season, and give thanks to God for all that they do for us.

“Dear brothers and sisters, be patient as you wait for the Lord’s return. Consider the farmers who patiently wait for the rains in the fall and in the spring. They eagerly look for the valuable harvest to ripen. You, too, must be patient. Take courage, for the coming of the Lord is near.” (James 5:7-8, NLT)

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40 Day Prayer Challenge (Day 36) April 5, 2017

Posted By at Wednesday, April 05, 2017

FaithSpring’s 40-day Prayer Challenge for Lent

Day 36, Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Pray for a special child in your life.

On the 36th day of the Prayer Challenge, pray for a child who is special to you.

Is there anything that can compare to a child’s joy? Not likely. Children represent the best of humanity and they wear it proudly on their faces. Many adults spend their lifetimes trying to recreate the joy and innocence of a child, but the trait we should be trying to imitate is their faith. Today, consider a special child in your life (or several children if you’d like to pray for more than one) and say a pray for them.

The faith of a child is truly amazing. They often believe something simply because someone tells them. Maybe that is why Jesus pays so much attention to them. Even during times of great uncertainty, a child can still maintain faith when the rest of us have deserted it.

Although a child may ask plenty of questions, consider this: They don’t ask questions in the attempt to prove the truth of something. Rather, they ask questions to help them gain a better understanding of what they already know to be true. What a great lesson it could be for the rest of us to recognize that Salvation is such an easy concept that everyone can comprehend it.

Don't let a lifetime of baggage keep you from having faith in God. Often, this baggage prohibits us from moving forward towards the simplest truth about Faith: Jesus Christ is the Lord and Savior of the world.

Why believe in Jesus? Ask a child.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16, KJV)

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40 Day Prayer Challenge (Day 34) April 3, 2017

Posted By at Monday, April 03, 2017

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FaithSpring’s 40-day Prayer Challenge for Lent

Day 34, Monday, April 3, 2017

PRAYER UPDATE! 87 hours and 50 minutes of prayer have been offered through April 1, 2017!

Pray for the students, faculty, and staff at your preferred local elementary school. If you don’t have a specific school in mind, consider praying for Terry Elementary School in Little Rock, Arkansas.

On this 34th day of the Lenten Prayer Challenge, we are seeking prayers for an elementary school of your choice. Our elementary schools are much more than just educational institutions. These schools also hold the key to the future of the world in which we live. Whether we refer to public, private, or home-based institutions, we should make a conscious effort to pray for them.

For many adults, praying for our children is second nature. But we should also be considering the teachers who instruct them. These people dedicate themselves to the improvement of the world beyond themselves, teaching a wide variety of academic subjects. They also instruct our children in valuable life lessons, such as social interaction, respect for each other, and the importance of diversity. They deserve some prayers of thanksgiving.

In addition, let’s also remember the staff, administrators, and support personnel at our schools. These folks are the ones who often serve as the bones of the operation, and without their service and leadership, our teachers wouldn’t have a place to teach and our children may not have a place to learn.

If you aren’t associated with a local elementary school, or if one doesn’t come to mind, we invite you to pray for Terry Elementary School in Little Rock, Arkansas. FaithSpring Church, the sponsor of this 40-day challenge, is honored to work closely with Terry Elementary as they help prepare almost 400 elementary students for leadership in our communities. Terry Elementary, as well as any school of your choice, will gladly welcome these prayers of support.

“Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19:13-14, NIV)

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40 Day Prayer Challenge (Day 33) April 2, 2017

Posted By at Sunday, April 02, 2017

 

FaithSpring’s 40-day Prayer Challenge for Lent

Day 33, Sunday, April 2, 2017

Pray for FaithSpring’s search for a permanent home.  

Today is the 33rd day of our prayer challenge and we encounter the only challenge that relates to a specific church or person. On this day of the challenge, please include FaithSpring Church’s search for a permanent home. 

In case you are unfamiliar with the FaithSpring story, FaithSpring Church began seven years ago with the expressed purpose to make disciples for Jesus Christ. Since that time, FaithSpring has grown in numbers, ministry, and most importantly, discipleship. We currently meet in our third location, a retail strip-mall in West Little Rock. But we are now blessed to be in the position to seek a permanent home so that we can continue to grow in the manner that God leads.

As you can imagine, this can be a challenging process, but we are confident that God will open the doors at the right time. Please consider praying for FaithSpring Church’s property search. Your prayers can help make a difference for a place that loves and welcomes all people.

“Greet each other with a sacred kiss. All the churches of Christ send you their greetings.” (Romans 16:16, NLT)

 

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40 Day Prayer Challenge (Day 32) April 1, 2017

Posted By at Saturday, April 01, 2017

FaithSpring’s 40-day Prayer Challenge for Lent

Day 32, April 1, 2017

Pray to be honest, trustworthy, and honorable in all things.

Today is the 32nd day of our prayer challenge. In our prayers today, we focus on something that is very important: the need to be honest, trustworthy, and honorable. Sure, honesty should be common sense, but none of us is exempt from saying or doing dumb, dishonest things. Whether it’s a big lie, little fib, intentionally hurting someone, or accidentally making a dumb decision, striving for honesty can be more difficult than one might think.

Why should this topic be included in our Prayer Challenge? Because it’s just as important to pray for our own character as it is to pray for anything else. Our character traits, or more specifically, the ways we relate to the world around us, may be the most visible evidence of our Faith. Lots of people pay attention to how we live, so practicing (and praying) for strong character traits can really make a difference in our lives and the world beyond.

Can we be trustworthy in all things today? Pray to God and ask for God’s help, then strive for honor in all things.

“Inside, the leading priests and the entire high council were trying to find witnesses who would lie about Jesus, so they could put him to death.” (Matthew 26:59, NLT).

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40 Day Prayer Challenge (Day 30) March 30, 2017

Posted By at Thursday, March 30, 2017

FaithSpring’s 40-day Prayer Challenge for Lent
Day 30, Thursday, March 30,  2017

UPDATE: 77 hours and 10 minutes of prayer through March 25!

Pray for those who are homeless and without adequate shelter.

On the 30th day of the prayer challenge, we pray for those who are homeless and don’t have adequate shelter. The most recent data indicates that in 2016, over 2,600 Arkansans don’t have a home or adequate shelter. But for those of us living in Central Arkansas, we can’t deny that we are seeing more homeless people along our roadways than ever before. Whatever the actual number of homeless may be, we all must recognize that this is a very significant concern in our community and our country.

Most of us can’t begin to imagine what life would be like if we were living on the streets or the woods next to the highway. We stress over leaky faucets, broken appliances, and rooms that need to be repainted. But we forget that our homeless community doesn’t have access to clean water, methods to power to appliances, or any rooms at all. We may not have everything, but our homeless community doesn’t have anything.

Today, pray for the homeless men, women, and children in our community, regardless where we might live. Seek God’s blessings for them, and consider asking God for some direction in what we should do for them. All of God’s children deserve a place to call home.

“No, this is the kind of fasting I want…Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help. Then your salvation will come like the dawn, and your wounds will quickly heal.” (Isaiah 58:6-8 selected, NLT)