2018 SDB Week of Prayer: Day 1 (January 7)
Sunday, January 7, 2018 The Meeting Place was Shaken
Powerful Prayer is Centered on God and NOT on our Needs
Scriptures to Consider: 1 Kings 18:36-37; 2 Chronicles 5-6; Nehemiah 9;
John 15:5-7; Acts 4:23-31
The first biblical practice of powerful prayer is that it is focused primarily on God (His character, His attributes, and His will) rather than on us or our needs.
In Acts 4:23-31, Peter and John’s lives had just been threatened. But instead of beginning their prayer meeting asking for protection, they quoted the Psalms about God’s sovereignty as ruler of all creation and His omnipotence in the need for His son, Jesus, to be sacrificed.
In Nehemiah 9, they gather for a solemn assembly. They eventually ask God to help them in their difficult times but first they read Scripture, praise God, and confess sin for more than half of a day. When they turn to prayer, they pray for 28 verses before they make a request of God.
In 2 Chronicles 5-6, Solomon leads a worship service that focuses on God for quite some time before he makes a request of God.
So why did these saints begin their prayer time with focusing on God?
- God was more important to them than getting their needs met.
- God is worthy of honor and praise.
- It helps us to see things from God’s viewpoint and help us focus on His will.
Start your prayer meeting by reading, listening to, and reflecting on Scripture. Start with praising, meditating, and testifying to His name. Start with speaking or singing about God and who He is. Confess your sins to one another and to God. Speak the gospel to one another and be reminded of His love and forgiveness for those who believe in Him.
Then connect with God in prayer because without Him we can do nothing but through Him we can ask whatever. Our prayer without a focus on God will produce nothing. Our prayer focused on God will result in God’s answer for us. This connection will align our focuses in life with God’s.
Unconnected and unfocused from God will result in a self-orientation. Connected and focused to God will result in a God-orientation. Focusing on God for prayer first renews our mind as to what is most important and will allow God through the Holy Spirit to transform our hearts.
Prayer Focus: In your prayer time today, do not make requests of God. Rather just praise Him for who He is. How much of your time do you spend on your dreams, finances, and desires rather than His for you and your church? Think about what you can remember from the Bible about how God has done immeasurably more than what we could ask or imagine.
Pray for Seventh Day Baptists to align their will and plans to God’s will and plan for them.
You can get the booklet in pdf format here: 2018 SDB Week of Prayer Booklet