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30th Birthday Prayer Guide

Introduction and purpose

With the detailed planning for our 30th birthday it is easy for me to get bogged down in planning and neglect something important.  We want food, décor, momentum, excitement and a memorable event.  And yet, if we ignore the spiritual component, then we ignore the most important component of our celebration.  Any work we undertake for God must first be led by the Holy Spirit and birthed in prayer.  

 

To this end I invite us to join together as a community of faith for 30 days of prayer in preparation for our 30th birthday.  Some have been here for 30 years, and others may have been here for just a few days or weeks.  But we can all pray with great faith!

 

This guide is divided into 3 sections along with our theme “REMEMBER, REMAIN, REVIVE”.  I ask that each of us would take time each day to pray for what God has done, is doing, and will do through our shared witness and service.  I truly believe the impact will be powerful for each of us!

 

 

REVIVE

When trying to define the word “revive” a first thought may be “to bring something back to life”.  But there are other definitions of “revive” when reading the Bible according to an online dictionary.  In Habbakuk it is “To describe Yahweh's gracious work for His people”.  In Ezra “To preserve or provide means of life”.  And in Genesis 45 “To recover new life or vigor after depression”.  

 

St Andrew’s has not been dead, but 2023 has proven to have challenges that suck the vitality out of our mission by re-focusing much time and energy to other places. Some of that challenge has been depressing. Our 30th birthday comes around the 1-year anniversary of our decision to embrace a new future for our church in joining the Global Methodist Church. So, we pray for God to help us recover our new life in embracing the future God has for us.  To pray for revival is to follow God’s leading into the future.  We have already prayed prayers of thanksgiving in remembering our past, and prayed with intention about remaining faithful.  Now we pray for God to revive us as we move forward!

 

Day 21 - Our First Love

Falling in love with someone is euphoric and exciting.  Staying in love with someone can be hard work.  Many people fall in love and marry, only to fall out of love and divorce.  The ancient church in Ephesus was faithful in fighting against false teachers, but are criticized for losing their first love.  Fortunately the  accusation Jesus levels at them is accompanied with the invitation to return to Him.  No doubt when they return to Him the experience a revival of faith and practice!

 

Prayer – Lord Jesus, we acknowledge that sometimes our affection for You grows cold because we know You are always available to us.  Forgive us when we take You for granted.  Help us, Lord, to do a holy work of staying in love with You!  May each day be filled with praise to You, with thanksgiving for You, with stillness in Your presence and opportunity to share of Your great love.  You will always love us!  May our devotion be true…AMEN.

 

 

 

Day 22 - Passionate Worship

Not all people express the passion that they feel in the same way, so to think there is only one way to worship passionately would be an attempt to fit everyone into the same box.  However, passionate worship has a few commonalities even when it is expressed differently.  I think that one of the keys to passionate worship is to worship with the expectation that God will speak.  God will speak a word that “I” need to hear, or that someone else may need to hear.  Come with the expectation that the Holy Spirit is moving in our midst, and we come to express our affection for God.

 

Prayer – Holy God, birth in us an excitement for worshipping You.  Whether in our car, sitting at home, standing in the worship center of the church or when fellowshipping with friends, may we be aware of Your presence.  Help us to worship in spirit and in truth…AMEN.

 

September 2 - Love Extravagantly

Not everyone expresses or receives love in the same way.  A key to loving in an extravagant manner is to learn to speak a person’s love language.  Maybe a person needs a big hug, while others need someone to listen non-judgmentally.  One person needs to receive gifts while another person needs compliments and encouragement.  For those that appreciate acts of service, doing the dishes is love.  Putting the dishes away is loving extravagantly.  In our relationships with others we want to express love because many people feel unloved.  Choose to express love to those closest to you, and to those who may not have received love in some time.

 

Prayer – Jesus, You gave us the commandment to love each other.  You teach us that the way we love each other is demonstration of our love for You.  As we seek to love You more, may we learn to express love to others.  May all who enter our buildings find within our walls expressions of our love…AMEN.

 

 

September 3 - Witness Boldly

Witnessing boldly reminds us of the story of Shadrach, Meschach and Abednego.  They stood strong rather than bow before an idol, even when the threat was their suffering and death.  Sometimes we are called to witness with such boldness.  Other times a bold witness may be offering a helpful word of encouragement when someone does not want to be encouraged. Sometimes bold witness is standing for truth, when it would be popular to keep quiet.  Jesus teaches the disciples when sending them to share the news of His Kingdom that we must be “wise as serpents and gentle as doves”.  Our boldness is not speaking loudly so that we overwhelm people with aggressive speech.  Boldness can be offered in humility when the consequences are known, but the witness must be shared.

 

Prayer – Lord Jesus, You send us into the world to be Your witnesses.  Empower us with Your Holy Spirit so that we speak Your word of truth without compromise.  And yet help us to speak with gentleness so people feel loved and cared for rather than feeling judged and condemned.  May our witness lead others into new relationship with You…AMEN.

 

 

September 4 - Serving Humbly

We live in a world where a photo op tries to prove how much a person cares.  A politician or celebrity walks through the rubble of natural disaster followed by a legion of cameras.  Names are dropped on the news to call attention to a great person who lends a hand.  In such a world we are the people who serve without the cameras or reporters.  We serve when others don’t notice.  We serve because people have needs every day, not merely when large scale disasters invite masses to serve in relief.  We serve because the Son of Man came to serve, not be served.

 

Prayer – Lord Jesus, we remember that You teach us that whenever we clothe the naked, heal the sick, visit the imprisoned or give water to the thirsty, we are not simply doing this for those in need.  We do this also for You.  Whether we get recognition for what we do or do not get recognition, may we serve You with true humility.  Grant us willing hearts to offer ourselves and our gifts to You…AMEN.

 

 

September 5 - The Next Generation 

It is said that the Church is always one generation away from extinction.  Experience teaches us that as a church, we cannot simply invite future generations to appreciate what previous generations appreciate. Instead we share the faith handed down to us to the next generation.  That generation will also find expressions of faith that become meaningful to them so that their lives are connected to Christ.  And yet, they will also learn that generations after them will find ways to connect with Christ.

 

Prayer – Most Holy God, Your word teaches us how one generation must live faithfully in relationship with You, while learning to communicate the story of Your grace to a subsequent generation.  By Your Holy Spirit guide us, direct us, teach us…how we can share the gospel with the next generation, even when we do so in a way that is different from what we have experienced.  We ask this in Jesus’ name and for His sake…AMEN.

 

 

September 6 -  Reach Those Who Need A Savior

At some point in our lives we become aware of a stark reality that there is nothing we can do to save ourselves from sin.  We are in need of a Savior!  And that is precisely why God humbles Himself to take on human flesh and then pays the penalty for all sin.  And even now in this moment, God is at work calling all people into a relationship with Himself.  Someone took the time to tell us of the Savior. It may have been our parents, grandparents, a teacher, coach, neighbor, friend or even a pastor.  As we seek revival, may God grant us favor as we witness boldly to those who have yet to meet the Savior.  May God give grace for us to live and speak of His Saving power and grace.

 

Prayer – Thank You, Jesus, for saving me from my sin! Thank You for filling me with Your Spirit to transform my life, and for giving me power to witness to others.  May we have desire to reach out and share your love, mercy and grace to those who have yet to receive it.  Specifically I pray that ____________ will come to profess you as Savior and Lord…AMEN.

 

 

September 7 - Invitation To Follow

When witnessing to someone who does not know the Savior we can get tongue tied and grow unsure exactly what to say.  Perhaps we can simply offer an invitation to follow Jesus.  That is what Jesus invited people to do.  Of course, we use the church as a place people come to follow to learn how to follow.  To invite someone to worship, MidWeek, Sunday School or some other event, is to invite them to join with others who are trying to follow Jesus more closely.  In this way we communicate that we too continue to follow the Savior.  Please join us!

 

Prayer – Lord Jesus, I want to walk more closely aligned with You.  And I want to journey with friends in mutual assistance on this walk.  As I follow You, I specifically ask that You fill me with Your Spirit as I invite ___________ to join in a journey of faith…AMEN.

 

 

September 8 - A Holy Life

Matthew 5:48 is a daunting scripture.  “But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect” (NLT).  Other translations say “be holy”, but not matter what word is used it can feel impossible.  Did Jesus really mean this?  Of course, He did!  And I believe He makes it possible or else he would not tell us this.  Does perfection mean we never sin?  Well, that is one definition.  Our Wesleyan heritage describes perfection in the way of love.  Perfection is loving God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and loving our neighbor as we love ourselves.  The work of the Holy Spirit in our lives helps us to know better how to love God and love others.  We should strive to live a holy life!

 

Prayer – O God, so often we see our imperfections.  We feel defeated, ashamed, guilty and beaten down.  It does feel impossible to live a holy life.  Revive us, O God, so that our very nature is to think, speak and act in love.  May our love be a reflection of Your holiness…In Jesus’ name, AMEN.

 

 

September 9 - Ready to Fly

The hope of our faith is to be resurrected with Jesus and to dwell eternally in God’s presence!  As we seek a revival in our lives and in our community of faith, we wait and persevere for the Lord to return and establish the fullness of His Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.  Waiting can be difficult…or boring…or distracting.  And yet we must wait.  To this end we can recall the words God speaks through Isaiah: “But those who trust (wait upon) the LORD will find new strength.  They will soar high on wings like eagles.  They will run and not grow weary.  They will walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31 NLT).  As we seek revival for St. Andrew’s Community Church – A Global Methodist Congregation – let’s get ready to fly!

 

Prayer – Blessed Jesus, our waiting is not idleness.  Our waiting is joining in the fields of harvest until You return.  We seek Your face, we labor to  do Your bidding and give glory to You for the great things You have done, and for the great Savior You are.  Lift us up to new heights on the wind of Your Spirit like an eagle that soars on the air currents of the atmosphere!  We long to be with You, and thank You that You are always with us…AMEN.

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