Let's Pray Together -- January 2024

Between January 7-28, 2024, we are committed to focusing on God through prayer setting the table for him to move mightily in our hearts and through our lives in the coming year.  Our prayer guide in this journey is "The Upside Down Kingdom" by Robert Watson.

  Check in regularly on this page for blog postings, prayer prompts, calls to action and the opportunity to dialog about what God's teaching you during this intentional time of turning our focus to Jesus and asking the question: how can we live more joyfully and fully in this upside down kingdom of his.

Be sure not to miss anything by clicking the button below to register.  You'll receive notices and updates to alert you of resources we've added to enhance your prayer journey.

What's God Teaching You Through  21 Days of Prayer

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Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Jesus Draws a Crowd
Matthew 4:23-25
Interesting reflection on Jesus teaching & healing ministry as "pulling back the curtain just enough for us to catch a fleeting glimpse of an invisible, yet powerful Kingdom not of this world."  This first day of our 21 days of prayer journey challenges us unlearn our natural tendencies & invites each of us to ask God, "Help me see what I can't see that is wrong in my thinking."
The Beatitudes
Poor --Mourn --Meek --Hunger --Thirst --Merciful --Pure --Peacemaker --Persecuted

We don't naturally read this list and see blessing. But in God's upside-down kingdom these are exactly the kind of people who finish first.  Day 2 challenges our assumptions and our self-reliance; today's prayer reminds us of our biggest blessing --
God's presence with us throughout each day.
Salt & Light
Jesus said that you are the salt of the earth and the light of the world.  
How will you let your light shine this week?

Day  4

Day  5

Day 6

The Fulfillment of the Law
Matthew 5:17-20
"Jesus was able to accomplish for us what we could not do and live the life we could not live.  His expectation for us is to know him and allow him to change us from the inside out."  Not deeper than obedience, it's a righteousness rooted in who we are in Christ.
What does God want to change in you so you can love genuinely and deeply?
"In his teaching, Jesus gets to the heart of murder.The problem is not just the act of taking  life.  The root is contempt within our hearts for another life...
when we see another human being as 'less than'".
Who do we need to reconcile with regardless of who is in the wrong? Who do we see as "less than"?
The prayer listed in today's reading certainly gets to the heart of the matter,.
"Father, you know my heart far better than I do. Search me and know me. Reveal any areas I have allowed to operate unchecked. Help me see the value of my relationships and the danger of a lustful path. I know you love me and speak so strongly on this topic because of that love. Help me to enjoy this life without the seeds of adultery that want to rob me of that joy. Amen."

Day 7

Day 8

Day 9

Matthew 5:31-32
"Divorce is not new. It has been around since antiquity and continues to be part of life. It is a tough and sensitive issue, and how we deal with those who are experiencing or have experienced divorce matters. It is our responsibility to understand how Christ saw divorce and show both grace and truth just as he did."
Grace: no matter what we've been through, no matter what we've done, Christ loves us and stands ready to redeem us.  Are you single? Jesus loves you. Are you married?Jesus loves you.  Are you divorced? Jesus loves you.
Truth: God created marriage and he wants us to honor our vows.  He longs for us to soften our hearts toward him so that he can change us from the inside out within our marriage relationship. He can heal our hurts, he can restore our marriages.
Matthew 5:33-37
Today reminds us that everything we have is only on loan from God, the true owner of heaven and earth.
"Jesus is brillian at not just telling us what do to, but rather how to thinnk.  Think like a steward. Manage well what belongs to the Owner. And what you can actually own is your integrity and character. Let your 'yes' be yes and your 'no' be no."
Eye for Eye
Matthew 5:38-42
Meekness is not weakness. It is power under control.  How brilliant of Jesus once again to point us to a third option when confronted with injustice and persecution. Finding the third option might take a quick minute so today's reading encourages us to pause and seek Jesus in those moments.

Day 10

Giving to the Needy
Matthew 6:1-4
Outward vs. Inward -- how are we giving? Interesting and challenging questions today about whether or not we give out of abundance, to show off, or as a true act of faith.  Perhaps considering the story of the widow who gave so little but whose little was all she had would allow God to speak to us about the state of our hearts.

Day 11

Love for Enemies
Matthew 5:43-48
"Lord, as I seek to be more like you, help me to love my enemies. help me to show this uncommon grace and make a big impact on the lives of those who hate me. Help me to love more and judge less and, in that, to be a light to those around me. Amen"

Day 12

Matthew 6:5-15
Do we understand Jesus' forgiveness?
Is our lifestyle a lifestyle of prayer?
Today challenges us to consider our prayer life and change our minds about it.  It is not something to be done only in times of need or regret.  It can be a constant conversation with the one who created the heavens and earth and each of us, the one who knows everything that is going on with us,  the one who wants to work through us to advance his kingdom.  We get to talk to that guy!  
Lord, may we stay in constant conversation with you in humility for all you've forgiven us of and in hopeful expectation that you're working all things together for our good.

Day 13

Day 14

Day 15

Matthew 6:16-18
Today fasting is trendy as a weight loss method, but today's passage reminds us that Jesus thought of fasting like he thought of prayer and giving to the needy - he assumed we do it as part of our Christian life.  Let's pray today with hearts earnest to seek how God would help each of us incorporate this discipline in our lives.
Treasures in Heaven
Matthew 6:19-24
Today reminds us that when our eyes are bad, our whole bodies are filled with darkness.  What are your eyes focused on?  Do you view the world through the eternal lens of faith and hope or do you see only the circumstances around you?  Let's refocus on Jesus and watch the change that will make in you.
Do Not Worry
Matthew 6:25-34
"Can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?"
The prayer our prayer guide offers today is a perfect one for us worriers: "Lord, every day is full of things to worry about. I pray I can focus on you and give you my burdens. Help me to see your provision and care in all that is around me. And help me to know that I am loved by you more than I can ever imagine. Help me to seek your Kingdom and righteousness and to know you have all I need today.  Thank you for loving me and providing for me. In your son's loving name, Amen."

Day 16

Day 17

Day 18

Judging Others
Matthew 7:1-6
This day's passage challenges us with this statement: "Jesus does not want his followers just to be more religious people, following laws and trying to look good before others.. He's not asking for legalism, but too often this is where following him can lead."
What's the log in our own eye we need to remove?
How does Jesus want to change us from the inside out so we can grow in his love and grace and then share that with others.
How would our treatment of others change if we saw them with the recognition of the amazing grace that was given to us?
Ask, Seek, Knock
Matthew 7:7-12
Today extols the power of pursuit.  If we ask, seek, knock, God will "give, reveal, and open the door."  And he's given us his Holy Spirit to walk along side us and talk us through the pursuit.  How are you tapping into the power of the Holy Spirit in your daily life?  Let's pray that we move forward, that we pursue Jesus every day in the power of the Holy Spirit - He's waiting and will be faithful when we do.
The Narrow and Wide Gates
Matthew 7:13-14
When we choose the narrow gate that Jesus said leads to life, we gain life, not only for ourselves, but through our testimony many others will have the opportunity to find that life, too.  It's open. Will we walk through it and will we invite others to join us?

Day 19

Day 20

Day 21

True and False Prophets
Matthew 7:15-20
In this passage, Jesus warns us to look out for lies and those selling them.  Lies, false teaching, can look good, even innocent, but the proof is in the pudding, as the old saying goes.  Lord, give us wisdom and show us lies for what they are. Help us to recognize truth by the fruit it produces.
"The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Gal. 5:22-23)

True and False Disciples
Matthew 7:21-23
We can pretend to follow Jesus; we can say all the right things, act all the right ways, even declare Jesus to be Lord, but what's in our hearts is all that matters. When our hearts truly change though, our words, our actions, the object of our worship change too as an outpouring of our gratitude and adoration and we won't care if anyone sees.  Only then, when we truly declare with our mouths Jesus as Lord and believe in our hearts that God raised him from the dead, we'll be saved (Rom 10:9-10).
The Wise and Foolish Builders
Matthew 7:24-28
How sad it would be if we spent our lives amazed by Jesus, but not transformed by him?!  Let's stop saying, I wish I could forgive, but they hurt me too bad; I wish I was stronger, but I'm not; I wish I could have faith, but it's too impossible.
 The passage gives us a math equation:
 Information + Application + Relationships = Transformation
Start where you are right now in this equation and move ahead. The Holy Spirit is there to power our journey, BUT we have to put one foot in front of the other and move. We have to apply the information and live the application in our relationships to get to transformation. Let's pray, "Holy Spirit, help me stay in step with you as I apply what I know. May your fruit be evident in my personal life and my relationships. Jesus, I long for the day you will make all things new, including me. But until that day comes, help me to start the journey of transformation by living as a citizen of your Kingdom today."
Today fasting is trendy as a weight loss method, but today's passage reminds us that Jesus thought of fasting like he thought of prayer and giving to the needy - he assumed we do it as part of our Christian life.  Let's pray today with hearts earnest to seek how God would help each of us incorporate this discipline in our lives.