Three Special Ways to Start Your Year with Prayer
God is pleased and honored when we come to him first before any undertaking. And he is displeased and dishonored when we “set out to go down to Egypt, without asking for His counsel” (Isaiah 30:2).
I am eager to meet with you in united prayer to seek the Lord at the beginning of this year. By the end of this year there will be, Lord willing, the shell of a new sanctuary on our parking lot. This block will never look the same. Then there is your personal life! Three hundred sixty five days to love God with all your heart and your neighbor as yourself.
1) Daily morning prayer on the third floor, 7:00-7:30 AM Monday through Friday.
Start your 1989 mornings with a week of early prayer. I’ll be there each day with other staff starting promptly at 7:00 and ending promptly at 7:30 so that you can be on your way to work. “O Lord in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.” What might God do through us in that week if we seek him early together for his empowering each day!
2) Battle fronts of prayer, Wednesday evening 7:15-8:30.
On Wednesday, January 4, we will divide our first 1989 midweek prayer time into six or seven segments and focus on the various battle fronts of prayer. Each section of ten minutes or so will have a leader who speaks from his or her own experience about battles on a particular front. Then we will direct our prayers against the particular enemy on that front.
It is crucial that we think in terms of warfare when it comes to prayer. Without this mindset, we begin to settle back into the mentality that prayer is for making life comfortable. So much in our culture and in our own sinful souls makes us think of ourselves as spiritual civilians instead of enlisted soldiers of Christ. When that happens you hardly need to pray to God to make you comfortable; Satan himself will be happy to oblige that answer to prayer.
Prayer is for storming the strongholds of Satan! “Deliver us from evil!!!” “Open a door for the word!!!” “Thy kingdom come!!!” “Vindicate your elect, O Lord!“ “Come, Lord Jesus!!!”
It will help us tremendously to clarify what our prayer life should be like to come on Wednesday and pray through some of the battle fronts where the warfare is raging.
3) Begin the year with a night of prayer, Friday 10:00 PM – Saturday 6:00 AM.
Praying all night (January 6-7) is a way of saying to God with your whole body and soul,
I need you! I need you more than I need sleep. I want power this year. I don’t want just an ordinary year in 1989. I want to go for broke. I want something extraordinary to happen in my life for your glory. You have promised that I would seek and find you when I seek you with all my heart (Jeremiah 29:13). So I am going to go hard after you with all my heart this first week of 1989. Show yourself to me in new and mighty ways!
How do you pray all night? By dividing the night into eight fifty-minute parts with ten-minute breaks for refreshment. Each part has a leader and a focus. This year the parts will be like prayer clinics on how to do certain kinds of praying. It will be a night of learning as well as doing. You can come for any or all of the eight parts. They will all start on the hour. We will begin with worship and end with the Lord’s supper early in the morning.
I look forward to beginning the year with you in prayer. God will be pleased. His name will be honored. And we will be mightily strengthened for the work before us.