January 8: Tuesday – Tasks!

Fabián Alexis [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

This week we’re looking at practical tips to pray. Using our mnemonic, Sunday is praying for Salvation. Monday is praying for MissionariesTuesday is praying for Tasks that we have to do. We’ll distinguish tasks from the other days in that today we pray for projects, while the other days we’ll primarily pray for people.

And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.

Luke 19:13

We are given resources while here on earth, and given a job to do. As we go thru our life, we have jobs to do at home, work, church, school, and elsewhere. Perhaps its a shed you’re building for the kids, or a set for Vacation Bible School. Maybe its classes for your degree. What does God say?

 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

Philippians 4:6

By the way, pray that we can do it with the right attitude!

And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men

Colossians 3:23

January 7: Monday – Missionaries!

This week we’re looking at practical tips to pray. We talked yesterday about on Sunday praying for Salvation. Today is Monday, so we can pray for Missionaries

  1. Look thru the missionaries your church supports, and add them to your notebook. 
  2. Browse some of the helpful guides for praying for missionaries online
  3. Send them an encouraging note – especially if God has been leading you to pray for them. 

Like cold water to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country

Proverbs 25:25

What can you pray for missionaries?

Pray that they would be good teachers of the Word

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

2 Timothy 2:15

Pray for Open Doors

Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:

Colossians 4:3

Pray for God to call more people to the mission field

Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will {i} send forth labourers into his harvest.

Matthew 9:38

January 6: Sunday – Salvation

We’ll pause learning from the shortest prayers of the Bible to go thru some practical ideas to pray better. If you have a system that works for you, great! But if you’re struggling, here’s some ideas:

  1. Get a notebook. I use a Moleskine 5″ by 8.25″ for note-taking, task-logging, journaling, etc. Yes you can use your phone (trust me, I use mine plenty), but there’s something about pen and paper.
  2. Write it down. When you tell someone “I’ll pray for you” and….. you forget? Remember, “The faintest pen stroke is better than the sharpest memory.”
  3. Use a Mnemonic to pray for different requests each day.  We’ll use one from SharingNewHope for example. Today is Sunday, so let’s pray for the Salvation of people who need to know the LORD.

Does God want you to pray for others to be saved? What does God want for people?

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

2 Peter 3:9

To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me

Acts 26:18

Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.

Romans 10:1

Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

1 Timothy 2:4

Who can we pray for, that God would work in their hearts?

January 5: Nine words recognizing Who our God is.

And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.

Matthew 8:2
Niels Larsen Stevns: Helbredelsen af den spedalske,Healing of the Leper

This leper believed that Jesus could cure his disease. Not that Jesus was an intermediary who could ask God to cure his disease. But that Jesus Himself had the power to make him clean. Yes, Jesus did make the leper clean – because He has the power! The fancy term for all-powerful is “omnipotence.”

As we’re making an extra stop in our day this week to pray at noon, take a  moment to thank God for his Omnipotence. He has the power to save you from all of your problems! Nothing is impossible for our God!

Got any rivers you think are uncrossable? 
Got any mountains, you can't tunnel through? 
God specialises in things thought impossible 
He does the things others cannot do!
-Oscar Eliason

(Learn about the story behind the song “Got any Rivers?”)

January 4: Seven words that changed a life

1And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.

Luke 18:13

Sometimes we take prayer for granted. We think highly of ourselves, and lowly of our God. As we’re pausing this week for prayer at noon – take a minute to ponder how big of a gap there is between man and God, and thank God for hearing our prayers!

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

Luke 18:14

January 3: A 5 Word Prayer & Thanksgiving

And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.

Luke 17:13

The ten lepers made a short prayer to Jesus, and He answered. The lepers point out to us the power of short prayers, but there’s more!

And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.

Luke 17:14-15

Jesus was glad to hear their prayer, but He was also glad to hear their thanks! As we pray – don’t forget to thank God for answered prayer!

And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.

Luke 17:17-19

January 2: So I prayed.

As we’re starting the year, we’re looking at the short prayers of the Bible. For many of us we remember God right before a meal and right before bed. But God is always with us! 

Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven.

Nehemiah 2:4

Nehemiah was talking to King Artaxerxes, and he paused mid-conversation for a quick prayer. This week – let’s try to set a new habit in our lives of pausing this week at noon to pray.

As we intentionally pause for a moment at noon, we can ask God to help us pray throughout the day at other times too!

January 1: The Shortest Prayer in the Bible

Pray without ceasing

1 Thessalonians 5:17

Growing in prayer isn’t about just praying longer, but more frequent. Today we’ll look at the shortest prayer in the Bible.

But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.

Matthew 14:30

Three words counted for a prayer, and that prayer worked! This year – before you commit to spending three hours each morning in prayer like Martin Luther, start by making sure that you don’t forget about God during the course of your day.

Here’s an easy way to get started! Whatever your smart device – iPhone, Google, Alexa, say “Hey Siri/Ok Google/Alexa, Set a daily reminder at noon to pray.

It’s amazing how fast the day can go by without a conscious thought of God. Every day at noon when your device beeps – stop and pray. It doesn’t have to be long, but it will start to change your life!

Counselman Collection

Share how the Prayer Encouragement Project has been a blessing to you! E-mail me at randy@vcyamerica.org or call and leave a message at 414-885-5370.

December 31: Ending the Year in Prayer

Editor’s Note – Spurgeon gives a passionate plea to his church to continue in prayer, noting the blessings in prayer they have received! What a great encouragement to us to end this year and begin the next in prayer!

Charles Spurgeon
Charles Spurgeon

And, now, I said I would say a word as to why WE ought to pray especially, and that shall close the sermon. Beloved friends, this church ought to pray without ceasing. We have been in years past notable for prayer. If ever a church has prayed it has been this church. I might find many faults with some who hinder prayer, but yet I must say in God’s sight I know and feel that there has been living prayer in this church for many years, and hence it is we have had many years of peace and prosperity.

We have lacked nothing because we have not lacked prayer. I do not doubt we might have had much more if we had prayed more; still prayer has been very mighty here. Now, brethren, suppose you had no pastor, suppose the preacher was gone from you, and that the black cloth upon this pulpit was not for a deceased elder of the church but for the preacher himself, you would pray, would you not? Will you not pray for me then while I live? If you would pray for another to come, will you not pray for me while I am here? I desire to discharge my office before you in God’s sight with all earnestness, but I cannot without your prayers, and as being gone from you, you would lift up many sighs, and you would with prayers ask for a successor, pray for me while I am yet with you.

Beloved, you have prayed very earnestly for the pastor when he has been sick, your prayers have been his consolation and his restoration; will you not pray for him now that he is able to preach the gospel, that his health may be sanctified to God’s service, and the ministry of the truth may be mighty in the winning of souls. I ask it of you, I think I might claim it of you. I do beseech you, brethren, pray for us.

Suppose again, dear brethren, there were no conversions in our midst, would not you pray? And since there are a great many conversions, should that be a reason for leaving off? Shall we worship God the less because he gives us moor? Instead of one prayer which would go up were there no conversions, there should be ten now that he continues to work salvation among us.

Suppose we were divided, and had many schisms, and jealousies, and bickerings, would not the faithful ones pray in bitterness of spirit? Will you not pray since there are no divisions, and much Christian love? Surely, I say again, you will not treat God the worse because he treats you the better. That were foolish indeed.

Suppose we were surrounded to-day with hosts of persecutors, and that error everywhere crept into our midst and did us damage, would you not pray, you who love the Lord? And now that we live in days of peace, and error, though it prowls around, is kept out of our fold, will you not commune with the Lord all the more? I will say yet a third time, shall we pray the less because God gives the more? Oh no, but the better he is to us the more let us adore and magnify his name.

Just now we need to pray, for some are growing cold, and turning to their old sins. We need to pray, for we are doing much for Christ. Every agency is in full work. We want a great blessing upon great efforts. We have had such results from prayer as might make a man’s ears to tingle who should hear of them for the first time: our history as a church has not been second even to apostolic history itself: we have seen God’s arm made bare in the eyes of all the people, and to the ends of the earth the testimony of this pulpit has gone forth, and thousands have found the Savior,-all in answer to many prayers.

Pray, then, without ceasing. O church in the Tabernacle, hold fast that thou hast, that no man take thy crown. Oh, continue to be a praying church that we together; when we shall stand before the judgement-seat of Christ, pastor and people, may not be accused of being prayerless, nor of being slack in the work of the Lord. I earnestly hope all this will tend to make to-morrow’s day of prayer more earnest and intense; but yet more do I pray that at all times all of us may be fervent, frequent, instant, and constant in prayer; praying in the Holy Ghost, in the name of Jesus.

December 30: The Blessing of Prayer

Charles Spurgeon
Charles Spurgeon

“Pray without ceasing,” for you want a blessing on all the work you are doing. Is it common work? “Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it.” Is it business? It is vain to rise up early and sit up late, and eat the bread of carefulness, for without God you cannot; prosper.

You are taught to say, “Give us this day our daily bread,”-an inspired prayer for secular things. Oh, consecrate your seculars by prayer. And, if you are engaged in God’s service, what work is there in which you can hope for success without his blessing? To teach the young, to preach the gospel, to distribute tracts, to instruct the ignorant, do not all these want his blessing? What are they if that favor be denied? Pray, therefore, as long as you work.

You are always in danger of being tempted; there is no position in life in which you may not be assaulted by the enemy. “Pray without ceasing,” therefore. A man who is going along a dark road where he knows that there are enemies, if he must be alone and has a sword with him, he carries it drawn in his hand, to let the robbers know that he is ready for them. So Christian, pray without ceasing; carry your sword in your hand, wave that mighty weapon of all-prayer of which Bunyan speaks. Never sheathe it; it will cut through coats of mail. You need fear no foe if you can but pray. As you are tempted without ceasing, so pray without ceasing.