Starting tomorrow, March 1st, we’re beginning a 31-day prayer challenge to pray for our Easter services. We invite you to take part in this transformative challenge which will strengthen your prayer life and walk with the Lord! Below, you’ll find the full list of topics to pray for, an 8.5×11 Poster you can download and print at home to put on your fridge or mirror as a reminder, as well as instructions on how to opt-in to push notifications on the Reliance Church app where we will be sending daily reminders with the topic to pray for right to your iOS, Android, and Windows devices!
As our Easter 2012 service, Ransomed is quickly approaching, our desire as a church in Temecula is to put a strong emphasis on prayer. We think it is vitally important to be constantly praying for God’s will over Reliance Church and that is why we are making such a strong effort to cover this event in it.
The greatest privilege a Christian has is prayer. Prayer is not only a privilege, but it is also the responsibility of every believer. Jesus said,
Prayer is such a personal experience for each individual. For some believers it’s an essential part of their walk with the Lord, for others it’s like a new foreign language, something we deeply desire and honestly fear. Some might even feel uncomfortable praying with others. Like anything new, we need to take baby steps to make it part of our daily routine. Not everyone is going to have an amazing prayer life on the first try. But like all things worth doing, if you take baby steps in cultivating this essential life component, you will eventually grow to have a deeper prayer life. This begs the question, what exactly is prayer?
1. Take advantage of not having to prepare a “real’ meal and let the kids choose from any cereal they want for dinner. Why should Dad be the “fun parent” all the time?
2. Pray for your man to encounter God in a real life-giving way.
3. Stay up late “pinning” till your heart’s content with no guilt attached to the way you are using your late-night hours.
4. Pray for the speakers at the retreat.
The preacher calls out “Stand to your feet!” and for an inexplicable reason, my heart is pounding uncontrollably. I feel anxious, and somehow I know that if I don’t follow his exhortation to stand, this could very well be the last opportunity I have to choose God. A tug-of-war in my mind ensues; excuses and fears pull my heart away from Jesus, but then unexpectedly, instantly, and boldly, in a moment of faith and courage that was not in me before, I stand to my feet. The crowd disappears, my worries dissipate, and now I don’t care what they think; it’s just Jesus and me. Tears flood my eyes as I realize it is my sin that He paid for on the cross at Calvary… and yet He loves me. God isn’t angry with me; He accepts me even with my extreme imperfection. Then the preacher instructs us to come forward. We gather near the stage, and while I know that he encouraged and prayed for us, I really can’t recall what he said. What I do know is that this moment was both the end and the beginning. It was the end of my life, as I had known it and the beginning of my new life in Christ. It was the most imperative day of my life; the day I was transformed by the grace of God.
Easter provides a unique opportunity for the Gospel as we focus in on the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. Above is glimpse of what coming forward may have looked like. Perhaps you heard the call to “come forward” as the Spirit of God brought conviction of sin upon your heart. While physically getting out of your seat does not determine the validity of your response to this call, it can be discernably measured. James 2:17-18 says it this way: “Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead…I will show you my faith by my works.” The proof that you have come forward is conveyed by how you go forward.
“Don’t pray when you feel like it. Have an appointment with the Lord and keep it. A man is powerful on his knees.” -Corrie ten Boom
10. Pray habitually. Pray at the same time every day so that your time of conversation with the Lord becomes engrained in your daily routine.
9. Pray specifically. Rather than spouting off overly generalized prayers such as, “Lord, please heal the sick,” specify exactly who and what you are praying for. For instance, you might pray that God would eradicate the lymphoma your work colleague was recently diagnosed with.
8. Pray thankfully. Are you tempted to spend most of your prayer time voicing an endless stream of complaints about the problems in your life? Make it a point to silence your grumbling; instead identifying the aspects of your life you are thankful for. Embrace a grateful attitude for the blessings He has given you.
7. Pray audibly. When in the appropriate environment, praying aloud can drastically eliminate the distractions that appropriate your mind, enabling you to concentrate entirely on your time with God.
6. Pray in writing. Recording your prayers in a journal allows you to tangibly track your prayer requests and the manner in which God has answered them.
5. Pray collectively. Joining in unified prayer with other believers can be incredibly powerful. Furthermore, if your group opts to meet regularly, your prayer life gains an avenue of accountability.
4. Pray in repentance. The Lord is a forgiving God who loves unconditionally. Repent from sin, which separates you from Him. Seek the redemption of Jesus and realign yourself with God’s will.
3. Pray quietly. Be still and know that He is God. Pursue moments of silence before the Lord, listening intently to what He may say.
2. Pray honestly. Whether or not you voice them, God already knows all your struggles, temptations, doubts, and insecurities. Be authentic. Open your heart to the One who made you.
1. Pray humbly. Before the King of Kings and the Ancient of Days, acknowledge His supremacy. Renounce your pride. Kneel before the Creator of the universe and recognize your smallness.