7 days of prayer

Welcome to our August 2023 7 Days of Prayer. Let’s all make a decision, here and now, to seek Jesus with reckless abandon and watch as He begins to transform every area of your life! There is no better investment you could make in yourself and in your family than to put God first in this way.

As Christ followers we look to Jesus to see how He modelled His daily prayer. Let’s look at some keys to help you have a great time in prayer.

Mark 1:35 Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where He prayed.

Prayer is most effective when it isn’t something we do every now and then, but when it’s a lifestyle we cultivate. To understand how to have a lifestyle of prayer, we can look at the example Jesus demonstrated during His life on earth.

Jesus got up early in the morning to spend time with His Heavenly Father. Make a daily appointment with God - whether it’s first thing in the morning, at lunch, or in the evening - and faithfully keep it.

Jesus had a specific place He went to pray. Having a designated place to pray helps us remove distractions and frees us to worship and pray out loud.

When Jesus taught His disciples how to pray, He gave them a prayer outline. We call it “The Lord’s Prayer.” As we pray every day, our plans for our prayer time can vary, maybe including worship music, Bible reading, and quiet time to listen to God. It doesn’t always have to look the same; it just helps when we have a plan for connecting regularly with God.

At New Life Church we have used the acronym ACTS as a model for personal prayer. Here is a short description of the four letters in this acronym and what they mean as we pray through them in this order:

Adoration: Give God praise and honour for who He is as Lord over all.

Confession: Honestly deal with the sin in your prayer life by bringing it to the Lord and knowing He has forgiven you (See 1 John 1:9). Confession can also mean you can find some scriptures relevant to you to declare (confess) them over your life and your family.

Thanksgiving: Verbalize what you’re grateful for in your life and in the world around you.

Supplication: Pray for the needs of others and yourself.

You can make this plan as long or as short as necessary but try to plan at least 10 to 15 minutes to begin with and grow up to 30 minutes and longer.

How we pray

During each of the 7 days of this challenge we have provided some simple prayers for you to pray. We encourage you to continue praying beyond just the words we’ve given you as a starting point. You don’t have to say or do anything that you wouldn’t normally say or do when you’re talking to someone—just be yourself! God wants to hear your honest prayers. Share your thoughts, your frustrations, what you’re thankful for, what you need—He wants to hear it, so He can respond! God doesn’t want polished, eloquent prayers; He just wants to hear from you. He wants to have your undivided focus as you speak to Him throughout your day. In 1 Thessalonians 5:16–17 ESV it says, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God.” Carve out time to spend in His Presence, either morning, lunchtime or evening. You can also pray when you’re getting ready in the morning, when you’re on your way to work or school, as you’re walking to your car or the next destination, when you’re driving, and everywhere else. God is with you all of the time, so anytime is a great time for prayer.

Types of fasts & what they require

1. Daniel Fast: No meat, sweet foods, or strong drinks (see Daniel 10:2-3). This can be done for an extended period of time. This could also be considered a vegetarian diet because there is no meat or animal products eaten.

2. Partial Fast: This would be not eating one main meal you would usually eat on a daily routine, such as breakfast, or lunch, or dinner. This meal would be skipped until the fast was over. You can also fast sugar, TV or anything else the Holy Spirit reveals to you.

3. Half-Day Fast: Fast until 3PM (ninth hour). This is the fast John Wesley participated in (see Acts 10:30-31).

4. Complete Fast: This would require you to abstain from all solid foods, consuming liquids only. When Jesus fasted in the desert, the Bible says, “After fasting forty days and forty nights, He was hungry”. This verse does not mention Jesus being thirsty (see Luke 4:1-2).

N.B If you have any medical conditions that could make fasting dangerous, please do not fast until you have cleared fasting with your medical practitioner.

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