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40 Day Challenge, Day 44 (April 13, 2017)

Posted By at Thursday, April 13, 2017

 

FaithSpring’s 40-day Prayer Challenge for Lent

Day 44, April 13, 2017

 Pray for God’s forgiveness of our most troubling sins.

 Wait – read that again. Isn’t that supposed to say our WORST? You know your sin is worse than anyone else’s right? And you know that you probably have better reasons than anyone to avoid God, church, or transparency, right? April Fool’s Day is over and it’s not a joke. Today’s prayer is NOT for our “worst” sin but our most troubling. Can you see the difference?

Each one of us are sinners. Simply put, all of us have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. But guess what – out of His great love, Jesus loved us despite our sin and died for us! Jesus took our punishment so we didn’t have to and by His sacrifice we can stand before God blameless.

What? Blameless? Does that make you scratch your head?

Sometimes we may get a little crazy and make grace into religion. Religion is rules. Grace is a gift that we don’t have to earn – we just accept it. Jesus took the blame for our sin and if we say “Yes, I believe and want your grace. I make you my Lord.”, then we are able to start over no matter how troubling our sins! No one is worse or better than the next guy… but some of us tend to compare ourselves beyond need and rank our sins beyond grace.

Here’s the deal: If God needed us to determine the penalty for our sin, why would He have let Jesus die for us? Or put differently, if Jesus died for you, do you have to make the price of you sin exceed what He has already paid?

Today we pray about our most troubling sins. First, ask God to show you clearly what your sin actually is: it could be a past action or a recurring behavior, but it might be in an attitude. Second, admit that this is just what it is – sin – and ask God’s forgiveness. Third, ask God to empower you over this sin and fill you with His Spirit.

Sometimes we must keep asking for His strength because we keep wanting to pick back up the old, dirty bags, but God isn’t seeing things the way we do: if we give him the old bags, He removes them and He starts at work in us to reshape our hearts and minds. Give God the old stuff today. Those bags tend to get heavy and you’re probably tired of carrying them! Pray today for the newness and strength He promises as we give over the most troubling sin that wear us down.

“But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” – I John 1:9

 

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40 Day Challenge, Day 43 (April 12, 2017)

Posted By at Wednesday, April 12, 2017

FaithSpring’s 40-day Prayer Challenge for Lent

Day 43, April 12, 2017

Pray for churches, temples and places of worship.

Today we pray for houses of worship of all faiths – the temples and churches of our world. This very week, Jewish and Christians alike are celebrating their most sacred days. For the first time in many years, Eastern and Western Christians celebrate Easter on the same calendar day. This week brings multiple holidays for Hindu and Buddhists throughout the world and next week marks holidays that unite Christianity and Native American tribes.

Today we pray that places of worship are protected, places of peace and safety for mankind. Jesus loved the Jew and the Gentile alike and He lived, died, and was resurrected for the salvation of all people. We pray today for those that are searching for His love, even if they don’t yet know where to find it.

We also pray, specifically, for Christian churches everywhere. Pray that we might be welcoming to those traveling in our doors and accepting of what they bring with them. We pray to be united with one another across denominational or national differences. In this holiest of weeks, may Christ’s churches keep their eyes on His love and His glory above all, His Light outshining the things that distract us from living and loving as He lives and loves. And, as God leads, we pray that we would be bold to invite strangers inside our doors; we pray this Easter might be fuller and richer for welcoming all of God’s children to worship together.

“How wonderful and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony!” – Psalm 133:1 (NLT)

 

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40 Day Prayer Challenge, Day 42 (April 11, 2017)

Posted By at Tuesday, April 11, 2017

FaithSpring’s 40-day Prayer Challenge for Lent

 Day 42, April 11, 2017

 Pray for Alzheimer and dementia patients.

As we journey to the cross in this Holy Week, our prayers today are for those suffering Alzheimer’s and dementia. Yes, we remember their caregivers and the pain and suffering they face in watching deterioration. We lift these special persons, too. However, we consider the journey of the patient themselves and seek to identify with their experience.

Once they were like you.

Once they could freely love and laugh.

They once understood clearly.

They still have feelings.

They still know pain.

Once they were full of life.

Their thinking is distorted.

Sometimes they realize this.

They still love, even if they can’t express it.

Sometimes their mind feels locked.

They need compassion.

They need human touch.

They need… love.

Today we ask for God’s grace and mercy to be abundant to these souls and surround them with people who love them unconditionally. May they see smiles all around them, feel warmth and safety, and be free from manipulation and neglect. May they hear the good news of Christ: even if they cannot respond; even in the battle of the disease for the mind, the heart can receive Christ and the soul – even when words may not come – may find His peace. Pray that during the fog that these brothers and sisters might remember that God never forgets them!

“I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.” - Isaiah 49:15-16 

 

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FaithSpring's 40 Day Challenge, Day 38 (April 7, 2017)

Posted By at Friday, April 07, 2017

 

FaithSpring’s 40-day Prayer Challenge for Lent

 Day 38, Friday, April 7, 2017

Pray to be at peace with others.  Action: Reconcile with someone today!

The closer we get to Christ’s resurrection, the more challenging the Action Items. Can you, being like Christ, seek to be at peace with others? With EVERY person you know?

Forgiveness, reconciliation, relationship. Being “at peace” with others involves these aspects, yet even when restoration – or initiation of – relationship is not yet accomplished, with God’s help we can, indeed, be at peace with others.

Being at peace does not have to mean that everything is hunky-dory. Being at peace means we choose to no longer fuel the emotions that drain us; intead, we choose to accept what can and cannot change and we choose to be loving and kind, forgiving and accepting, even if the circumstances remain. Being at peace means we won’t seek retaliation or harm, correcting another’s behavior, or beating ourselves up for something we can’t undo; instead, we choose to let God be God with circumstance and trust that He will honor our choice for loving, kind living with actions that support a heart of good.

Being at peace in the heart is a good thing and, at times, choosing inner peace may be the only thing we can do when another party is stuck on pause for more opportunity. However, even though “being” at peace is very, very good, God still wants us to strive for the very, very best and give our all to seek reconciliation with others.

Pray today that you might remain at peace with God’s love for others flowing out of you, even with those that may be hard to love. As for action, you probably know where you need to reconcile – either in offering grace, admitting fault, or just recognizing you may have unknowingly created pain in the life of someone else. Today’s challenge comes with the choice to act on God’s desire and to seek to reconcile. Pray about it, ask God’s wisdom and direction, and, if you feel that tug on your heart, just do it!

“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” - Romans 12:18

 

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FaithSpring's 40 Day Prayer Challenge for Lent, Day 37 (April 6, 2017)

Posted By at Thursday, April 06, 2017

FaithSpring’s 40-day Prayer Challenge for Lent

Day 37, Thursday, April 6, 2017

Today’s Challenge: Pray for those celebrating birthdays and anniversaries.

“Birthdays and Anniversaries? You must be kidding! What a cop out for the 40 Day Challenge!”

Today’s challenge may seem a little peculiar, but days that “seem” wonderful on the surface for most could be difficult for others. Sometimes our own birthdays can be filled with anxiety, painful memories, or dread for what might be out of our control. Birthdays for others can bring us stress when relationships are severed or strained. Anniversaries may be romantic for many, but sometimes anniversaries remind us of our loved one in heaven that we long to see again.

What about an anniversary of a loss? Of a tragedy? Many times, especially in times of loss and grief, we are reminded by friends that the first year is difficult to pass through. On the other hand, though, is any anniversary of an event exactly easy as we watch the days get closer or remember the emotions and experiences?

But not everything is difficult and not everyone faces these challenges on these days. Today may be a day that brings brighter hope than any other for those celebrating. We also remember those joyfully facing their personal milestones and thank God for putting these special days in our life as a reminder of the lasting joy and hope He promises to us in the middle of the mundane and routine. We thank God for the presence of these persons in our own lives!

Jesus promises that He is with us in all things, be that joyful or difficult days. Today, take a moment to consider those celebrating difficult birthdays or anniversaries, not only on this April 6 but throughout this season. Thank God for the reminder that every day we have is a gift, regardless of what may transpire, and ask God to give you proper perspective on your own milestone days in the coming year.

“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” – Psalm 118:24

 

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FaithSpring's 40 Day Challenge, Day 35 (April 3, 2017)

Posted By at Tuesday, April 04, 2017

FaithSpring’s 40-day Prayer Challenge for Lent

Day 35, Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Today’s Challenge: Pray for 5 minutes for recovery organizations and their staff.

Scripture tells us multiple times of how great the love is of those who give everything they have for others, loving as close as can be! Surely, no one can be more committed to loving mankind than those that love others at their worst, including times of difficult and painful recovery. It’s not that those in recovery aren’t willing and committed, but sometimes the process of recovery brings physical withdrawal spilling into emotional and behavioral outburst and recklessness. When a patient is reaching for more and at “rock bottom”, one who understands and is fully committed to the potential – no matter how ugly the process – can be an incredible impact for good and for success!

It is hard to recover from addiction. It is equally hard to walk this path with strangers, day in and day out, usually receiving much anguish, heartache and pain while other parties fight to heal. Today we lift the organizations and staff that believe in mankind when man cannot believe in himself! Today, take five minutes to lift the many organizations that work to bring hope in hopelessness, support in the darkness, and answers when no one knows which question to ask first! These servants of God and called and equipped to bring Light in the midst of dark pain and make the difference for many individuals and families as the living, tangible presence of Christ in the longest nights and darkest days. Thank God for their work, ask God to bless and expand their effort, and praise God for the impact they are having in our community and world.

“Pray for us. We have no doubts about what we’re doing or why, but it’s hard going and we need your prayers.” – Hebrews 13:18 (The Message)

 

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40 Day Prayer Challenge, Day 31 (March 31, 2017)

Posted By at Friday, March 31, 2017


FaithSpring’s 40-day Prayer Challenge for Lent

Day 31, March 31, 2017

ACTION: Give up caffeine for one day! (Kids: give up sugar/sweet beverages).
Today marks our fifth "action day" in the 40 Day challenge. What is it about caffeine that makes some of us cringe to think of denial? Is it the possibility of a headache, or perhaps starting the last day of the week with less than our best ammo? Why would this even be on the agenda for the 40 Day challenge? There's nothing "sinful" in caffeine, right?
What if we examined our dependency on something else for a day, recognizing that many in our circle are dependent on far more damaging substance? Would we find that we are no different than the addict we prayed for on Day 23? Just because our chain is different, do we find ourselves any less dependent?
What if we examine how much we depend on a substance - caffeine - to fuel our behavior, attitude, perseverance or patience? Maybe the coffee makes us a bit more "with it" for conversations, relationships, parenting... but could we be just as engaged if we were prayerful and focused? Is it possible we might be even more "us" if we had were completely raw in our responses, observations, reflections?
Today we give up caffeine and choose to use our energy and God's to withstand the day's demands. We may be tired or achy, we may be a little less relaxed, but with Gods help we can not only be a little healthier we can also be a little more authentic. Maybe we will even be inspired to cut back a little (after all... too much is not very kind to our body!).
Commit today to cut the caffeine and let God be the fuel. There's always tomorrow, but today we will find a different blessing in knowing that God equips us to live differently in all aspects of life- physical as well as spiritual.
"Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will esotablish your plans." - Proverbs 16:3 (NIV)

 

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40 Day Prayer Challenge, Day 29 (March 29, 2017)

Posted By at Wednesday, March 29, 2017

FaithSpring’s 40-day Prayer Challenge for Lent

 Day 29, Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Today’s Challenge: Pray for 5 minutes for cancer patients and their families.

Our prayers today turn to those battling for their life with cancer. Cancer is a life-changing diagnosis for patients and their families, affecting everything in their daily activity and moment-to-moment peace. Faced with the news of cancer, patients are immediately overwhelmed with next steps, food aversion lists, medicines, appointments, sanitation and “germ warfare” routines, all while trying to maintain some semblance of normality with their home, spouse, children, and workplace. These stressors are in addition to treatment plans and scans, where each visit brings emotional, mental, and spiritual taxation upon a physically exhausting process for the patient. Caregivers assume a full-time job of managing the physical needs as well as the business management of routines, appointments, and scans, not to mention management of changing financial and insurance demands in the midst of job changes due to illness.

Pray today for those patients and their families in the battle of living. Pray for physical comfort and awareness of God’s presence with them, both as provider and comforter. We can do little to remove their burdens but we can journey with them and lift them in prayer, trusting them to God’s all-sufficient grace in every step of the path.

“Be strong and courageous… it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

 

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40 Day Prayer Challenge, Day 28 (March 28, 2017)

Posted By at Tuesday, March 28, 2017

FaithSpring’s 40-day Prayer Challenge for Lent
Day 28, March 28, 2017

Pray for those who are unemployed or facing work difficulties.

How will you feed your child? What will it take to keep the lights on? Who is going to give you an opportunity to earn something? Is any job enough for what you need? So many questions, so many needs, and so many, many uncertainties when employment is shaky or lost! Most of us have faced at least one event of financial uncertainty in our employment, but not all of us can identify with the experience of unemployment.  
Today, begin your prayer considering the experience of an unemployed parent or provider. Consider what your lifestyle might be like if your provisions were cut short. How long would you be able to remain at peace? How long would you be able to remain confident in your relationships with your (employed) friends and family?
We pray this day for those around us, knowingly or in private, who are facing uncertainty or living without provision because of job difficulties. We pray for peace in the wait, provision and assurance in the transition, and quick and right opportunities for the future. Pray today, too, that God would keep your heart soft to the employment pressures of those you encounter. We may not always be able to meet each need, but perhaps we can be the hand of grace to someone carrying great anxiety and uncertainty as they seek to better circumstances for their family and themselves!
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11
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40 Day Prayer Challenge, Day 23 (March 23, 2017)

Posted By at Thursday, March 23, 2017

FaithSpring’s 40-day Prayer Challenge for Lent
Day 23, Thursday, March 23, 2017

Today’s Challenge: Pray for those who struggle with addiction.

In today’s prayer challenge, we come to God on behalf of brothers and sisters everywhere in bondage – consumed with an overwhelming need for the very things that destroy them physically, mentally, and spiritually.

Addiction is a silent killer, destroying the body and overwhelming the will to protect one’s self. In the midst of addiction, every slip up batters the mind to feel defeated and powerless. Every failure seems greater than the last with Hope seemingly further away. As the body craves more and more of the substance the mind turns against the soul, looking for ways to meet the physical desire despite the reality that the choice is damaging with the possibility of ultimate destruction. Yet there is good news! There is, indeed, Hope and His name is Christ! Jesus provides restoration, healing and recovery. Through the power of Christ, addiction can most assuredly be overcome!

Today we pray for those in the battle to know this Hope, seek this Hope, and surrender to His power over life-consuming addiction. We pray for those today that may not yet be able to pray for themselves and we ask God to break the chains to substance and fill them with the water of life He provides. We pray, too, that we would love one another with open hearts and judgement-free compassion: we just never know who may be battling bondage in silence, fear, or with shame that God longs to remove.

“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.” – Isaiah 61:1