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21 Days of Prayer


Prayer of Awakening


21 Days of Prayer

My heart in these next 21 Days is that God would wake us up to His presence. As a church, as an individual, young or old, my prayer is that God would wake us up to the fact that He loves us and wants to use us to spread His love throughout our community.I believe that you are here for a reason.


Possibilities/Expectations 

  • kids expectations

Have you ever had expectations of how things would happen, but then watched as those expectations didn't happen?

• I had this idea of taking my boys fishing.

The first one took place when my boys were younger. Silas was 2 and Josiah was 3 and I had this idea that I would teach them how to fish. So we showed up at a local pond. And I broke out a box of worms. And I sat Silas down on the ground next to me and was attempting to teach him how to bait his hook. So I’m focused on this worm and trying to talk to Silas. When I hear him start to giggle. I thought he’s really into this, but didn’t turn around until he started to giggle louder. So I’m curious, and when I turn around Silas has a dirty worm hanging out of his mouth. I could only see half of the worm. The other half was wriggling inside of his mouth causing him to giggle.

  • awakening

I was awakened to what it meant to be a father to boys.


What I begin to think about is what could happen in 21 Days as we unite in prayer? What are the possibilities of prayer? What can happen when God awakens us to the power of prayer? What can happen when we are awakened to who we are as people of God?

These 21 Days will lead us into Easter and I want us to be praying about Easter, but that not the end game of prayer. We're not gonna put all our eggs in one basket.

 

Expectations of prayer.

There's a story in the Old Testament (OT) about God inviting His followers to lean in to His presence and He sets the expectations for them. He awakens them to who they are.

• The presence of God was so important to the people of Israel. Moses set up a tent-like structure where the presence of God would dwell. The people of Israel carried the tent wherever they went.

• When they move into the land of Israel they again set up a tent like structure for the presence of God to dwell.

• However, David wanted to build a more permanent structure for God.

• Solomon carried out his vision and built what was called the Temple. It was the place the presence of God would dwell.

• This is a time when things are going well but, God wants them to be prepared for when things begin to fall apart around them.

2 Chronicles begins with the temple being built and dedicated and in chapter 7 God does something. He teaches His people how to pray.

• I think more importantly he teaches them how to be awakened to God.

 
Church, don't you want to be awakened to God? See, there's a part of us that, I think, gets lulled to sleep. We go through the motions of life.

• Wake up, work, school, go to sleep, do it all over again.

• We go through the motions of church. Sing, try to stay awake during the sermon, go home.

• Eventually what happens if we're not careful is we get lulled asleep. Its not that God has moved away, its not that worship has changed, its not that the Scriptures are different, its that we have fallen asleep to the things of God. We have forgotten who we are.

• When God speaks in this passage He reveals how to be awakened to God.

 

2 Chronicles 7:12-16
I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a temple for sacrifices. When I shut up the heavens so that there I no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.

 

If you've been in a dry place with God, you are seeking God to awaken you.

If you've been going through a difficult time in your life, you are seeking God to refresh you.

If you don't know where to turn, you need to be reminded.

Individually we need God to awaken us and realize that we as a church have been placed in this community for a reason, that the cause of helping hurting people, broken people, and lost people matters. My prayer is that through this 21 Days, God would awaken us to stand up.

 

How? 

We need to be awakened to…

I. Awakened to Who we Are

A. People of God - "If My People" -

B. It's easy to forget your identity.

C. Maybe you’ve gone through the toughest time of your life. Your marriage is on the rocks. Your kids need God to do something in their lives. You never dreamed you’d be walking through the situation you are in.

D. And walking through all of that you may have begun to wonder. Does God still care? Is He still near?

E. He says, "If My people". No matter what you may have experienced God still loves you. He has not abandoned you, but He walks through your darkest situation with you.

F. What He most wants is for you and I to wake up and realize that He is near.

G. Here's the temptation church. We are tempted to forget that we are the Church. We are called to make a difference and leave an imprint on our community.
 

II. Awakened to Our Need for God

A. Humility

B. God is calling us to be awakened to the fact that we need God. We need him to show up in our lives.

C. We need His presence.

D. We need Him.

E. My problems is so often I get lulled to sleep and begin to build my own kingdom. I get stuck in my world. But even Jesus himself said, "Not my will, but yours be done."

F. When we are awakened to our Need to put God first we realize often that looks a lot like putting the needs of our community first. It looks like God I know you want to make a difference in that child's life, use me.

 
III. Awakened to Pursue God  

A. Pray  and Seek Him

B. Why is it so hard sometimes to get excited about leaning into God? Have you noticed that. Like we get excited about that sports game, or we get excited about that movie coming out.

C. I think because we don’t realize who we are connected to. That as  you say yes to Jesus you become connected to Him through relationship.

D. And prayer is a powerful part of your identity in fanning the flame that is started on that day when you say yes to Jesus.  

E. Your prayers are what God uses to change you. To bring transformation in you.

F. And the prayers that change the world are the prayers of passion.

G. See God defines what He means by prayer - Pray and Seek My face.

H. Hide and Seek w/ Lucy -

1. Wherever I hid is the place she's going to hide next. Lucy doesn't stop until she finds me.

2. The way to find God is to turn our full attention to Him.

I. This area doesn’t need another church, it needs a church that is awake to God. It needs a church that will stand in the gap and pray, seek God’s face and then move out into the community to share that love. It needs a church that will fan the flame of seeking God on one end and reaching out a hand on the other.

J. It needs a church that will reveal that God has not abandoned them. God is raising up a church that will lean wholeheartedly in to Him. And it begins as we pursue Him.

IV. Awakened to what holds our attention

A. Turn

B. God wants us to be awakened to what our attention is on.

C. My prayer is that as we seek Him over these next 21 Days that we will be awakened to what our attention is on.

D. The Israelites built the temple as a place to meet God. God said, turn away from the things that distract you. Yet over and again they allowed things to distract them. They allowed things to take their full attention away from the relationship with God.

E. Be awakened to what you're attention is on.

F. Where is our attention? Where is our focus? Where is our heart?

G. In order to turn towards God we must turn away from whatever holds our attention.

H. And yet, as we turn to God we realize that He holds all we need anyhow.

1. Lucy - When she was younger, she didn't have my full attention so she'd reach up and grab my face and pull it towards her.

2. I think that's what God is attempting to do with us. I believe that's what God wants us to be awakened to. He's reaching up pulling our gaze towards Him. And what we need to do is to let Him. Don't fight it. Don't allow the distraction to take us back.

3. The best way to accomplish this is to get in a life group with other people who will help you. Don't do it alone.

4. In fact, get in a life group while things are going well, because there will come a point in your life when things aren't going well and you'll want to have that group already in place to help you through it.

 

The story of the Israelites is a God who's calling for them to turn themselves fully towards God. It’s a people who built a temple that they could visit, that they could see and know that God's presence was there.

We have a story, too. Our story begins at the cross. We are a kingdom people with a kingdom purpose. We see that there is a God that loves so much that He’s willing to step in to the pain and suffering. He's willing to walk into our shame, our guilt, our sin. He's willing to carry it all to show us His love and faithfulness.

Then it moves to an empty tomb, of a savior who conquered even death. So, we might know that there is nothing that can contain Him.

There’s a picture of God who wants to be with us so much that His presence resides in us.

As we ask the question, what are the possibilities of prayer. We become awakened to who we are as the people of God.

They asked Jesus who He was. Jesus knew who He was and the dead were raised, blind received sight, those who couldn't walk were healed, those with incurable disease - were healed.

What could happen when the people of God become awakened to who we are?

There is a family that is waiting for us to become awakened to who you are in Christ.

There is a workplace that is waiting for us to become awakened.

There is a neighborhood that is waiting for us to become awakened.

There is a community that is waiting for us to become awakened, stand up and say, we will make a difference because we are the people of God. We will house the homeless, we will feed the hungry, we will clothe this community, we will step into places and reach people for Christ. We will because God is awakening us to what he can do when a people lean into Him.

Do you need to start a relationship with God? God turned to His people and said "Now my eyes are open" and "My ears attentive".





Worship Set


All Because Of Jesus 

- Steve Fee

Verse 1

Giver of ev'ry breath I breathe
Author of all eternity
Giver of ev'ry perfect thing
To You be the glory

Maker of heaven and of earth
No one can comprehend Your worth
King over all the universe
To You be the glory

Misc 1 (Pre-Chorus)

And I'm alive because I'm alive in You

Chorus 1

(And) it's all because of Jesus I'm alive
It's all because the blood of Jesus Christ
That covers me and raised this dead man's life
It's all because of Jesus
(I'm alive I'm alive I'm alive)

Misc 2 (Bridge)

Ev'ry sunrise sings Your praise
The universe cries out Your praise
I'm singing freedom all my days
Now that I'm alive



Good Good Father 

- Anthony Brown and Pat Barrett

Verse 1

I've heard a thousand stories
Of what they think You’re like
But I've heard the tender whisper
Of love in the dead of night
You tell me that You’re pleased
And that I'm never alone

Chorus 1

You're a Good Good Father
It's who You are
It's who You are
It's who You are
And I'm loved by You
It's who I am
It's who I am
It's who I am

Verse 2

I've seen many searching for answers
Far and wide
But I know we're all searching for answers
Only You provide
Because You know just what we need
Before we say a word

Misc 1 (Bridge)

You are perfect in all of Your ways
You are perfect in all of Your ways
You are perfect in all of Your ways to us

Verse 3

Love so undeniable I can hardly speak
Peace so unexplainable I can hardly think
As You call me deeper still
As You call me deeper still
As You call me deeper still
Into love love love



Until My Voice Is Gone

- Travis Ryan

No other king commands our full attention
No other names above all other names
No other throne rules over every nation
No other god deserves our highest praise
No other death could buy our sweet redemption
No other blood could wash away our shame
No other cross could lead to resurrection



Hear Us From Heaven 

- Jared Anderson

Verse 1

Lord hear our cry
Come heal our land
Breathe life into these dry and thirsty souls
Lord hear our prayer
Forgive our sin
And as we call on Your name
Would You make this a place for Your glory to dwell

Chorus 1

Open the blind eyes
Unlock the deaf ears
Come to Your people
As we draw near
Hear us from heaven
Touch our generation
We are Your people
Crying out in desperation

Verse 2

Lord hear our cry
Your children worship
As we sing out Your praise
Would You make this a place
For Your glory to dwell

Misc 1 (Bridge)

Hear us from heaven
Hear us from heaven
Hear us from heaven
Hear us from heaven
Hear us from heaven
Hear us from heaven
(REPEAT)

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