There are many ways to pray for the United States. Some take a very politicized approach to prayer, seamlessly blending politics with spiritual truth in ways that are sometimes inspired and at other times, well, pretty agenda-based. Others take a more generic approach, simply trusting God to bring about the right results without really concerning themselves too much with specific issues. Still others take an approach founded not in politics but in Scripture and less issue-based than Word-based. In this last camp falls a 40-day prayer devotional entitled Desperate for Change, by Dave Butts.
Desperate for Change focuses its prayer topics on scriptural themes such as peace, hope, courage, and wisdom. Each day's devotion features a couple of paragraphs on that day's theme, then two or three bullet points to guide prayer and finally a written prayer from Dave. The tone is heartfelt, worshipful - and yes, a bit desperate. Desperate to see God glorified in our country; desperate to see our country return to His ways. Desperate, in the words of Day 1's devotion, to see the United States reverse the trend of placing man's wisdom above the truth of God's word.
This 40-day devotional is great for individual or small group use; but perhaps its greatest potential lies in using it as a guide for a churchwide prayer campaign. If it's true (and it is) that the greatest difference Christians can make on the direction and shape of our country is through prayer, then Desperate for Change is an investment in our country that the Church cannot afford to pass up.
Desperate for Change is available through Harvest Prayer Ministries at www.prayershop.org (click the picture for a link directly to this resource). It's also the basis for the "As One" prayer campaign featured in the Praying for the United States group (http://www.pray.network/group/praying-for-the-united-states) here on Pray.Network.
Most of us over time have probably read hundreds of devotions. I receive several devotions a day via e-mail now. And, while format varies, the typical content is a scripture reading, brief story, application/thought for the day, and then a quick prayer at the end. These devotions can help set a tone for our day and remind us that God is present. But often the prayer piece seems almost like an afterthought - an acknowledgment that we should pray, but without much focus on prayer itself.
Enter Connection!, a daily devotional published by Harvest Prayer Ministries. Connection! is aimed at an audience who wants to go deeper in prayer and who will allow Scripture to challenge their prayer lives. Where many devotions focus horizontally through both their stories and their applications, Connection! maintains a consistent vertical focus, emphasizing our walks with God and the state of our hearts before him. Regular topics of the devotions include: our need for revival; the church as a house of prayer; praying in one accord; and praying Scripture.
Each day's devotion begins with a Scripture reading and a brief explanation of the Scripture, followed by an application to individuals, the church, or the country today. A written prayer follows, typically including confession related to the devotion's topic and a plea for God's forgiveness and cleansing and for his glory.
This is followed by a list of prayer starter points, typically excerpted from Alvin VanderGriend's Patterns for Prayer. These prayer points include elements of confession, thanksgiving, a prayer of commitment and a petition for God to act, with references to specific Bible verses.
Connection! devotions are more likely to take ten minutes than two, but if you're looking to enrich your prayer life through a devotional format, you will likely find these daily devotions challenging, inspiring, and equipping.
To find out more, check out past devotions, or subscribe via email or RSS reader, go to http://connection.harvestprayer.com/.
PrayNetwork Spotlight by Andrew Wheeler.
See Andrew's website at www.togetherinprayer.net
JOIN ME IN A BREATH TAKING COMMUNION WITH OUR CREATOR!
It's a little before dawn and I walk the 200yds from my comfortable cozy cabin, in the brisk clear air to The Prayer Chapel at Harvest Prayer Retreat Center in Indiana.
The moonlight casts a silver glow over the ice-covered lake. Entering the Chapel I experience the presence of God in the beauty of His creation as I quietly speak out the names of Jesus inscribed in a variety of scripts upon one of the walls.
I sit down at the writing desk and read a description of worship by Richard Foster which started like this: "Worship is living in the reality of God's creation with a heart open to receive all it's glory. Wow for the next nine hours that is what I did and incredibly it seems as if it were but one. As you watch today's PM3 may God give you a desire to come out of hiding in the busyness of life and TAKE A DAY, & BE IN HIS CREATION.
Chkk-Chirrrrrrrrrrrr in the joy we share in Jesus and give away a PRAY NOW blessing today!
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