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I received permission from Jon Graf to post the daily Connection! prayer devotions on Pray.Network.  These devotions are available as a free e-mail subscription from the Harvest Prayer Ministries website at http://connection.harvestprayer.com/.

I have found these devotionals to be not only inspirational but also great equipping for my own prayer life.  There aren't many devotionals that are actually about prayer - most have a quick prayer at the end and that's about it.  But this one has prayer as its focus.  I thought others on the Network might be interested in it.  I will attempt to post each one daily - although I'll inevitably miss here and there. 

I have previously written a Spotlight blog post on the Connection! devotional; if you're interested, check it out here: http://www.pray.network/profiles/blogs/praynetwork-spotlight-connec....

I hope you enjoy and benefit from this devotional as much as I have.

--Andrew

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July 15: Teach Me the Way of Humility

Before you begin, like the disciples in Luke 11:1, simply ask, “Lord, teach me to pray.”

Father, I come before You asking that You empower me by Your Spirit that the humility of Christ might be evident in my relationships with others. May I do nothing out of selfishness but truly consider others better than myself and look out for the interests of those You have placed in my life. Father this is so against my nature!

Forgive me Lord—for I confess that more often than not I am more concerned with my own needs, and getting my own way. May selfishness be put to death in me that I might truly serve others in love.

Forgive me, Father, for I confess that often my involvement in the needs of others is based on my own comfort or if it’s convenient for me. How selfish I am Lord! Teach me what it means to love sacrificially I pray—to love like Jesus, to serve like Jesus! Teach me this way.

May I extend grace and mercy to others as You, Father, have extended grace and mercy to me. Destroy pride in my life in all of its ugly forms: the need to have my own way, to be heard, to be right, to be noticed and appreciated, excusing sin in my life . . . (pause and allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you). Help me to be keenly aware of the ways that I exalt myself, and may I instead exalt Christ.

Your Word promises that You will guide the humble in what is right—I want to be guided by You! I choose this day to submit to the promptings of Your Holy Spirit, to not resist His work in my life, and to humble myself under Your mighty hand that You might lift me up in due time as You see fi t. May the refining fi re of the Holy Spirit have full reign in my life this day that I might be a useable vessel for the purposes of Your Kingdom. And may I be an extension of Your love and mercy to those who are burdened with the cares and brokenness of this world and are in desperate need of the Savior. I ask these things in His Mighty Name. Amen.

Philippians 2:2-4; Galatians 5:13; Galatians 6:2; Daniel 4:37; Psalm 25:9; 1 Peter 5:6; Luke 10:25-37

 

Prayer Points

Praise your covenant God for his abiding faithfulness (Deut. 7:9). Give thanks that even “if we are faithless, he will remain faithful” (2 Tim. 2:13). Confess any unfaithfulness you’ve allowed into your relationships with God and others. Commit yourself to bearing the fruit of faithfulness through the power of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22). Ask God to help you be a faithful follower of Jesus Christ.

Pray that God’s covenant love would extend through your generation and on to generations yet to come.


–Adapted from Pray the Word: 31 Prayers that Touch the Heart of God by Tiece King. This resource is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount on the book.

–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount on the book.

July 16: What Are You Remembering?

Then his people recalled the days of old, the days of Moses and his people—where is he who brought them through the sea, with the shepherd of his flock?  Where is he who set his Holy Spirit among them…  Isaiah 63:11

“Recalled” is a powerful word. Especially in this situation, the recollection of what God had done in the past led to a revival among the Lord’s people. It is so easy to forget the amazing works of God. That’s never more true than when we get caught up in our own desires and ways. Forging ahead in our self-centeredness and sin, we forget all God has done in the past. So it was with the nation of Judah in Isaiah’s day.

Now, however, God stepped in to punish their sin. Disaster ruled the day. The presence of God seemed far away. Sin didn’t seem so fun. Bit by bit, they began to remember that things used to be different. There was a time when God had led them through the godly leadership of Moses. There was a time when the Holy Spirit was present and made a real difference in their lives as individuals and as a nation.

Remembering past moves of God can be powerful. It can stir us to repentance and longing for a renewed sense of the presence of God. What are you remembering today?

Father, thank You for the gift of memory, and for stories that have been passed down through the generations about the ways You have moved in the midst of Your people. Thank You for stories of revival from the Great Awakening in the United States and beyond. Lord, would You use those stories to stir within our hearts a desire for similar awakenings? Help us, Lord, to remind each other of Your work in days past, and of our great need today. May we recall those things that You would have us meditate on and pray over.

Prayer Points

In your heart sing to the Lord, your strength and song; praise the one who has become your salvation. Give thanks that with joy you can draw water from the wells of salvation (Isa. 12:2-3). Confess that your worship is sometimes lacking because you don’t always remember the greatness of your salvation. Commit yourself to worshiping and singing with your whole heart; ask God to make you awake and alive to the power of his Word and the joy of music.

Pray for families with young children and teenagers, that the children may feel a sense of participation in worship this week and of belonging to the body of Christ.


–Adapted from HeartCry for Revival devotional 2011 by David Butts, author of Asleep in the Land of Nod. This resource is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount on the book.      

–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount on the book.

July 17: Like a Mighty Army

“So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith” (Acts 6:7).

Of all the many assemblies in the book of Acts, the most power-packed are the prayer meetings. When the chips are down, when the battle is joined at the very gates of hell, the prayer meetings rise to the call of duty and take over. Like a mighty army of God, the church marches forward on its knees—on its witnessing feet, too, but its method is to take ground first on its knees, in prayer.

Observe a few examples. In chapter 1 the 120-member prayer meeting in the upper room is pregnant with “prayer and supplication,” waiting to be delivered. Pentecost would celebrate a birth.

If we want to see how much power a great prayer meeting can unloose and set in motion, look into chapter 4. Notice that the original prayer meeting (chapter 1) did not weaken or thin out; the membership increased to many thousands! The prayer meeting increased as part of the “increase” (Acts 6:7). What a blueprint for our day when “church growth” is such a popular subject!

Powerful God, I desire to be counted as one of the mightiest warriors in Your army! I know that spending time on my knees in prayer is the key to winning every battle and overcoming adversity. It is Your strategy for drawing lost people into Your kingdom! May the congregation I attend become known for the spiritual and numerical growth that comes through a praying people.

Prayer Points

Give praise to the one by whom all things were created, the one in whom all things hold together, the head of the church (Col. 1:16-18). Thank God for giving direction and purpose to your life in this day. Confess those times in the past few weeks when you’ve tried to take over the direction of your life. Commit yourself completely to Christ’s leadership in this week. Ask him to help you find the time to listen for his voice at the beginning of each day.

Intercede for the leaders in your congregation, that they may find the wisdom and courage to follow Christ’s plan for your church without hesitating.

–Adapted from With One Accord in One Place: The Role of Prayer in the Early Church by Armin Gesswein. This resource is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount on the book.      

–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount on the book.

July 18: Redeemed Humanity

But only the redeemed will walk there, and the ransomed of the LORD will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away. Isaiah 35:9-10

What a glorious picture Isaiah presents! The redeemed people of God, following the Lord on His great Highway of Holiness, enter into the city of God with gladness, joy and singing. Although heaven immediately comes to mind, we should not confine this glorious scene to heaven alone. The Scripture also reflects a picture of redeemed humanity as we experience the glory of God in this life. The author of Hebrews writes, “But you have come to Mount Zion.”

When the glory (presence) of God comes in revival, we will find ourselves in the midst of this glorious procession of worship and praise. To see and experience such a glorious occurrence is worth pouring out our lives in prayer for revival.

O Lord, what glories await us when You come in power! We tremble in anticipation of seeing Your glory fall upon Your people. We eagerly wait for the time when millions who are now in darkness will be drawn to the light of Your presence. Help Your people, Lord, to “press in” with fervent intercession. Grant us that spirit of prayer that we may continue to cry out until we see Your glory come down! Give us perseverance and strength. Grant us joy in Your house of prayer.

Prayer Points

Praise the Lord Jesus, who will be “revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels” (2 Thess. 1:7). Thank him that he will come to restore justice and righteousness in the earth. Confess the times when you have not lived in awareness of Christ’s coming again in power and judgment. Ask him to help you desire and look forward to his coming, and commit yourself to preparing yourself and others for “the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all who have believed” (1:10).

Ask the Spirit to give the churches in your community a sense of urgency in bringing the good news of Jesus’ death and resurrection to the unchurched and unbelieving in their neighborhoods.


–Adapted from HeartCry for Revival devotional 2011 by David Butts, author of When God Shows Up: Essays on Revival. This resource is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount on the book.      

–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount on the book.

July 19: Search Me, O God!

“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” (Matthew 6:1-4)

There is no doubt that Jesus wants us to do good things for others. He wants us to love our neighbors and to give to those who have needs. That’s just a part of what it means to follow Him. But Jesus never looks just at the outward act of righteousness. He focuses instead on the intentions of our hearts. Why are we helping others? Is it to be well-thought of, or is it an act of worship before the Lord?

Most of the Sermon on the Mount deals with doing right things with right motives. Jesus never wants us to focus on just the horizontal, whether it is giving, fasting, or praying. Instead, the call is to do these acts vertically. Look to the Lord to engage in deeds of service and kindness as acts of worship, desiring His pleasure and not the affirmations or thanks from others.

One of the more challenging aspects of following Christ is to rightly discern our own reasons for doing what we do or saying what we say. If you are like us, we can both recall times in our lives when we have done or said “good things” not because of the call of Christ, but to be liked or thought well of. We have gone the extra mile so that another will do something for us in return rather than because it is commanded by Jesus.

Even when we think we don’t want acknowledgment or thanks for our actions, so often, deep inside, we wonder why nobody said anything. It’s precisely here where prayer enters in. We ask the Lord to examine our hearts. Praying Psalm 139:23-24 is helpful: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

The Lord is not constrained by the selfishness of our own desires and when we ask Him to search us . . . He will. As His Spirit reveals to us the ways we continue to do or say things for wrong reasons, we are being given the opportunity to repent and return to selfless service that honors the Lord.

Thank You, Lord, for giving me the privilege of serving others. Your Word says that You came not to be served but to serve. I want to serve others so that I will become more like You. Guard my heart Lord, that my service would not be to attract attention to myself, but instead to You. Search my heart and see if there is any offensive way in me. Show me how to serve others so that my left hand does not know what my right hand is doing.

Prayer Points

Praise the Son of God, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Thank God for the depth of the riches of that wisdom and knowledge (Rom. 11:33). Confess those areas of your work or personal life for which you have forgotten to ask his wisdom and guidance. Commit yourself to calling out for insight and crying aloud for understanding, to looking for it as for silver and searching for it as for hidden treasure (Prov. 2:3). Ask God to let his discretion protect you and his understanding guard you.

Intercede for the parents you know who are struggling with raising their children, that God will open their hearts to his wisdom.


–Adapted from Vertical with Jesus: A 30-Day Journey to Impact Kingdom Living by David and Kim Butts. This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount on the book.

July 20: Walking In Awareness of the Divine Presence

Then his people recalled the days of old, the days of Moses and his people-where is he who brought them through the sea, with the shepherd of his flock? Where is he who set his Holy Spirit among them, who sent his glorious arm of power to be at Moses’ right hand, who divided the waters before them, to gain for himself everlasting renown, who led them through the depths? Isaiah 63:11-13a

“Where is he?” is the main question of this passage. The “he” referred to, of course, is God Himself. Judah recognized, to their dismay, that the Lord was no longer with them. His awesome presence had ceased to be in their midst. Their unrepentant sin had separated them from their God and they were paying the price.

The question for believers in our day, is whether or not the presence of God is with us in our assemblies and gatherings as the people of God. Are we going through the motions of worship and service, while missing the transformative power of the presence of God? Could it even be that He is present, but we are walking in unawareness of the Divine Presence? Perhaps the most powerful question we could ask as we begin a worship service is the same one the people of Judah asked, “Where is He?”

Father, I don’t want to miss You. Help me personally not to get so caught up in activities and busyness that I forget to pay attention to all that You are. Awaken Your people to Your presence in our midst. Forgive us for making worship about us and our preferences. We turn from self and turn to You. Change us forever by Your presence in our gatherings.

Prayer Points

Praise the God who knows the depths of your heart and sees all the secret places there. Give thanks that he hears the prayers of many people all over the earth and listens to all of our cries for help. Confess to God the days in this past week when you have not made sufficient time for prayer for yourself and others. Commit yourself to remembering his deep love for you and all people, and ask the Spirit to make that awareness grow into a habit of praying without ceasing “on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests” (Eph. 6:18).

Ask God to hear and answer the prayers of the unsaved, “so that all peoples of the earth may know [his] name and fear [him]” (1 Ki. 8:43). as a God who listens and responds.


–Adapted from HeartCry for Revival devotional 2011 by David Butts, author of Asleep in the Land of Nod. This resource is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount on the book.      

–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount on the book.

July 21: You Are Great, O God

O Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth! Your glory is above the heavens. When I look at the night sky and see the work of Your hands, the moon and the stars which You have set in place, Your greatness overwhelms me, and in my heart I feel so small and insignificant. Yet You tell me that You have made me a little lower than the angels and crowned me with glory and honor, made me ruler over the works of Your hands, and have put everything under my feet!

That You, O God, creator of all things calls me by name and says “do not fear I am with you, I have redeemed you, you are mine,” is a blessing too great to comprehend! That You have called me out of the darkness of my sin and into the wonderful light of the Lord Jesus makes my heart overflow with thanksgiving! For I remember when I was still dead in my sin, hopeless and despairing, but You have rescued me from that dominion of darkness and brought me into the kingdom of Jesus and my sins have been forgiven! My slate has been wiped clean! Hallelujah! O God, purify me, I pray, that I might be found living a life that is worthy of the calling that I have received from You.

Open the eyes of my heart ever wider, I pray, that I might have a clearer understanding of the “glorious inheritance” that You have called me to. Strengthen me in my inner man that I might always press on toward You. May I press on today. Renew my passion and hunger to know You and to be in Your presence. Help me to live as one who has been called by the God of the universe into intimate fellowship and communion. I confess my weakness to you, the difficulty that I have almost continually, to remain steadfast and focused on Your face alone. Help me, Lord! Be strong in my weakness I pray, and accomplish all that You intend. Be glorified, Father—in me and through me. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Psalm 8; Isaiah 43:1; 1 Peter 2:9; 2 Timothy 1:9; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 1 Thessalonians 2:12; Ephesians 4:1; Ephesians 1:18; Philippians 3:14; 1 Corinthians 1:8-9; 2 Corinthians 12:9

 

Prayer Points

Glorify the Lord, who is gracious, full of compassion, and gentle with the weak (Ps. 116:5). Thank God for rescuing you during those times when you needed his help, even when you didn’t ask for it (116:8). Confess the times when you have been impatient with others in need. Commit yourself to remembering throughout this day God’s compassion for you and to reflecting that compassion to others. Ask God to help you fulfill this vow.

Ask God to make the congregations in your community centers of kindness, where those in need will find the hands of Jesus ministering to them.

–Adapted from Pray the Word: 31 Prayers that Touch the Heart of God by Tiece King. This resource is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount on the book.

–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount on the book.

Andrew, thank you for this. It expresses what I need to pray. God bless you and yours for your faithfulness.

I now have the book  Pray the Word: 31 Prayers that Touch the Heart of God by Tiece King on kindle.

Thank you, Malva!  I have Tiece King's book also, and I find it to be a great resource for praying the Scriptures.

Malva Birch said:

Andrew, thank you for this. It expresses what I need to pray. God bless you and yours for your faithfulness.

I now have the book  Pray the Word: 31 Prayers that Touch the Heart of God by Tiece King on kindle.

July 22: When God Feels Far Away

Look down from heaven and see from your lofty throne, holy and glorious. Where are your zeal and your might? Your tenderness and compassion are withheld from us. Isaiah 63:15

We hear a cry from the heart of God’s people who were missing the presence of God. He seemed so far away…off in heaven on His throne. What a contrast from the earlier picture of a God who was distressed when His people were distressed. Now it seems as though He had forgotten His people. Their prayers went unanswered. The zeal and might of God were missing from their experience.

You’ve probably felt like this too. It is not unusual for an individual to experience that “dark night of the soul” when God feels far away. Perseverance, repentance, and worship will overcome such a state. Of greater concern is the issue of a whole group of Christians who are missing out on God’s best for them. In many places today, it is normal for congregations to lack the presence of the Lord and not even be aware of His absence. Perhaps as we pray with Isaiah, we will see others drawn into a passion for His presence.

Father, look down from heaven and see Your people today. We have become content without You. Stir us up. We can’t live out the life of Jesus on earth without Jesus. Turn us from self-centered faith to God-centered faith. Pour out Your Spirit upon Your people as we seek Your face. May Your zeal, Your might, Your tenderness and compassion be ever-present in Your Church!

Prayer Points

Glorify God as the one who fills all of your desires and needs with his presence alone. Thank God for being sufficient for you even when every other source of joy or support is taken away. Confess your dependence on other people or situations to make you content and happy. Commit yourself to making Jesus your “pearl of great price,” and ask him to make you willing to give up all you have for the sake of his kingdom, if necessary (Mt. 13:44-46).

Ask God to bring to your mind the material needs of an unsaved acquaintance so that you will be able to help meet those needs and bring that person closer to the kingdom.


–Adapted from HeartCry for Revival devotional 2011 by David Butts, author of When God Shows Up: Essays on Revival. This resource is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount on the book.      

–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount on the book.

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