As a church, we have just finished walking through the Minor Prophets. The messages of all these men have been so powerful, but one stuck out. As we heard from the prophet Joel, Pastor J.D. challenged us: “We can measure how desperate we are for God by how seriously we take sin in our lives and how often we fast and pray.” So, we want to respond by devoting this week to prayer, with a special day (Wednesday, June 7) devoted to fasting.
This guide is intentionally simple. Each day we’ll provide a short verse with some guided prayer points that highlight what is happening around the Summit this summer. Use the passage of Scripture as the basis of your prayer.
You can use this guide on your own or (better yet) with a friend or two. Invite someone in your office or your neighborhood to spend a few minutes praying with you. Ask the unbeliever you’ve been praying for how you can pray specifically for him or her during this time. However you do it, set aside some time to pray with us during this season. It very well may be the most important thing you do all week.
As Samuel Chadwick once said, “Satan dreads nothing but prayer. His one concern is to keep the saints from praying. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work, prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, he mocks our wisdom, but he trembles when we pray.”
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:16-17 ESV)
Pray for the children and families of the Summit:
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33)
Pray for our middle school and high school students:
Elevate Summer Camp is July 14-18. This is always an enormously transformative time for our students and the adults that accompany them. The theme this year is the kingdom of God. Pray that our students would walk away with both a greater knowledge of what life in the kingdom of God looks like and also a greater desire to pursue it.
Fasting is not a way of punishing ourselves so that God is somehow obligated to pour out his blessing. Like all prayer, fasting is a recognition of how desperately we need God. When we fast, we express our longing for God and mourn the areas of our lives where he is absent. We don’t fast to gain God’s favor but as a grateful response to the favor he’s already given us in Jesus.
“‘Yet even now,’ declares the LORD, ‘return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments.’ Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster.” (Joel 2:12-13)
As you fast, pray with us:
“Lord, I want your presence and power in my life—in my family, in our church, in our community—more than I want food. I’m not okay with the sin in my life. I’m not okay with my kids not knowing Jesus. I’m not okay with the number of people in the Triangle who don’t know you. I’m not okay with the injustice that still affects so many in our community. I’m not okay with the millions around the world who still haven’t heard the name of Jesus. And I want your presence in this more than any other earthly good.”
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Pray for our college students:
“Enlarge the place of your tent, and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out; do not hold back; lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes. For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left, and your offspring will possess the nations and will people the desolate cities.” (Isaiah 54:2-3)
Pray for our continued outreach:
When we trust in Christ through faith we enter into an intimate relationship with a personal God who has chosen to reveal himself through creation, Jesus, and the Bible. Our understanding of God and our faith in him are cultivated not only through reading the Bible, but also through prayer. Praying is a way to experience and express intimacy with God.
Developing a consistent and vibrant prayer life is vital to our growth as a disciple of Christ. Start by committing 15 minutes each day to prayer. The ACTS model (below) is a simple way to structure your time and is a great way to respond to what God reveals to you as you read his Word with either the Whole Story reading plan or Every Verse plan this year.
Adoration: As you read the Scripture, reflect on the character of God revealed in his Word. Let that revelation lead you to worship and adore your God.
Confess: The Word of God will do it’s work of exposing and uncovering sin. Respond to that conviction by agreeing with God that what he says about your sin is right. Pray for the desire and willingness to follow Christ in full obedience.
Thanksgiving: Where do you see God working? Where does his Word remind you of his deeds. Spend time thanking God for his faithfulness in your life and in the lives of others.
Supplication: God’s Word helps us understand his purposes and his plans, it reminds us of all that he has promised to do. Ask God to give you the desires of his heart as you pray for your needs and the needs of others. This can include prayer for friends, family, church, missionaries, government leaders, and the movement of the gospel around the world.
Pray scripture back to God. Find scripture that relates to what you are learning or going through, and pray those scriptures to God. If you are not sure where to start, check out the daily Bible reading plan and start praying through today’s reading.
At the Summit, we believe that prayer is an essential part of our lives as individuals and as a church. Prayer is the place where we experience and express intimacy with God. It is also the place from which we derive power for life and ministry.
Charles Spurgeon, famous preacher in 19th century England, referred to the prayer gatherings of his church as the “boiler room.” In Spurgeon’s time, boiler rooms were the powerhouses, the driving forces of everything. And he believed that prayer was the spiritual power behind the effectiveness of his ministry.
At every Summit campus there is an opportunity for you to gather and pray for God’s blessing on the worship gatherings. As a part of the Boiler Room team you can choose to participate during any service time as frequently as you like. Prayer guides and tips for praying will be posted in this group that will help you maximize your time in prayer.