During Prayer Week 1993, our great longing is to see Christ as he really is, and to open our lives and our church to him more fully than we ever have. We have seen him in John’s vision in Revelation 1:13-18. We hear him in his letters to the churches in Revelation 2-3. He tells us that he stands at the door of the churches and knocks and that any church who will humble themselves (in prayer!) and open the door, he will come in and be with them in ways more intimate and healing and joyful and empowering than they have ever known.
Prayer Week is a great time to re-orient your life as the new year begins. Take it as a week to seek the Lord about what all the other weeks of your year should look like. Here are some opportunities we are encouraging you to consider.
Personal Prayer: We suggest that during Prayer Week all of us focus on the vision of Jesus in Revelation 1:13-18 and letters of Jesus to the seven churches. The letters are found in Revelation 2-3. Starting with Monday and the letter to Ephesus (Revelation 2:1- 7), each day would correspond to a different letter. Let us turn each letter into prayer for ourselves and our church and the world.
Prayer Retreats: We suggest that you consider a few hours away from work and home to retreat with God. You are welcome to come to the church and use the sanctuary or prayer room beneath the sanctuary, or some other secluded spot. We will try to have the building open as much as possible. Call if you have any question about your time.
Morning Prayer: Each day this week, Monday through Saturday, from 7:00 to 7:30 a.m. in the Commons we will pray together for Christ to come in and sup with us and speak to us and reveal himself to us at Bethlehem, and to put salve on our eyes that we might see him as he really is.
Night of Prayer: At 10:00 p.m., Friday, January 8 we will begin the night of prayer with a time of worship in the Commons, where we will focus our attention on the glory of Christ revealed in Revelation 1:13-18. Following the worship we will pray through the night in seven 50 minute segments with breaks between each segment. We will try to stay sensitive to the leading of the Spirit, so that if he wants to do something different from our plan, we will not stand in the way. We will end the night of prayer with Communion during the 5:00 to 6:00 a.m. hour.
Reading about prayer: One of the ways God stirs us up to pray, and takes us deeper in prayer is through the biblical wisdom and inspiration he gives to others. Don Carson has written a deep and inspiring book on prayer called, A Call to Spiritual Reformation: Priorities from Paul and His Prayers. We have made these available to purchase in the Commons on Sunday and will continue to make them available. Don’t feel you need to read all of a book to be blessed by it. One chapter alone may change your life.
I long to seek the Lord with you during Prayer Week, ‘93.