I wish I could convey the entirety of my heart to you when it comes to the emotions that flow from the encouragement that I received from you this past Sunday evening for the Evening of Prayer. We truly had a beautiful evening together. For those of you who were unable to attend, please know that we will have more opportunities to gather for prayer as a congregation.
Whether you were able to be there or not, here are the guiding scriptures we used to lead us. I hope that you will continue to connect with the work of the Spirit which began during our time together.
Let these scriptures guide your prayer:
1. Father, you tell us to humble ourselves and pray, for there is forgiveness in you, there is restoration in you. Lead us by the guidance of your Holy Spirit—your breath in us and through us. As we inhale the life of the Spirit, may we exhale not only our confessions of sin but also our petitions of need and hope for our very lives upon this earth. As You give Your breathe to us, may it return to you full of our desperate need today.
1 Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. 2 Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. 3 For I recognize my rebellion; it haunts me day and night. 4 Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight. You will be proved right in what you say, and your judgment against me is just.
Pray the Lord’s Prayer
2. Examine the quality of your confidence in God, or ask God to bring you to that place of confidence in Him:
15 Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, 16 for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see— such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him. 17 He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together.
3. Thank God for Salvation-His ultimate act of love. Thank Him for the messengers who bring the gospel to all people. What specific manifestations of evil in our world are burdening you? Pray for God’s deliverance:
1 John 4
9 God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. 10 This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.
4. What does the Holy Spirit impress upon you the most in this next passage? Has God placed the interests of someone else on you right now? Spend a few moments in prayer for this person:
1 Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? 2 Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose. 3 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.
5. Jesus taught us to pray for God’s kingdom to be expressed fully in our world. Here we are urged to pray for our government. Remember, it is easy to pray for political and cultural leaders you already agree with. But are you willing to bridge the divides in our culture by praying for those you disagree with?
1 Timothy 2
1 I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. 2 Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.
6. Perhaps “enemy” feels like too strong a word for people you find it difficult to love. You may have a very clear picture of who has been an enemy in your life, or you may not. But as you pray, ask God to show you who you’ve been viewing as an enemy and invite Him to change your heart toward them:
43 “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. 44 But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! 45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.
7. As you hear Jesus express the true quality of love here, where might the Spirit be leading you, and what might He be asking you to do?
46 If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. 47 If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that
8. Has the Spirit raised any of these issues in your life as areas of repentance? Is there someone in your life you want to forgive?
31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. 32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
9. Ask God to show you where you are struggling to obey Him:
1 John 5
3 Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome.
10. What areas of your thinking need transformation? Where do you lack confidence in what God has shown you about Himself/yourself?
2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
In Jesus’ Name