21 Days of Hope | Preparing Our Hearts for Easter
Dear Church Family, It's time to start getting our hearts ready to celebrate the hope that we find in the empty tomb. Our 21 day prayer emphasis begins this Sunday, and this year we're making the whole process available to you ahead of time so that you can have the most flexibility in how you schedule your time. We'll also be posting daily on our Social Media channels for those who would like to take it day by day. We're looking forward to seeing what God does through this time. He promised to draw close to us when we seek Him, so let's take Him up on that. May His love forever change us as we find our hope in Him.
Day 1 21 Days of Prayer begins today! I know that God is going to work through this. Be open to His movement and expect that you will be shaped by His love and grace. Each day for the next 21 days I'll post some prayer prompts, Scripture, and a link to a devotional. Get alone with God and take the time to seek Him and let the prayer and Scripture sink in. Link to devotion: https://www.bible.com/en/reading-plans/29012 Scripture: Deuteronomy 8:1-20 John 6:35 Prayer: Pray for those who are taking this challenge. Any other needs you are aware of. Your heart What sin needs to be confessed? What are you holding back from God? Day 2 21 Days of Prayer (Day 2) You're off to a great start. Don’t rush this, and don’t let life get in the way. Block out some time each day to think, pray, and reflect. You won’t regret it. Link to devotion: https://www.bible.com/en/reading-plans/29012 Scripture: 1 Peter 1:13-25 2 Timothy 3:16-17 Pray: Your Family Does your family know Jesus? Do they see a clear example of following Jesus in you? Day 3 21 Days of Prayer (Day 3) Hang in there. You can do this. If you happen to miss a day just jump back in where you left off. I encourage you to get alone with God and take the time to seek Him and let the prayer and Scripture sink in. Link to devotion: https://www.bible.com/en/reading-plans/29012 Scripture: Psalms 119:105-112 Pray: Services and Ministries Our Senior Adults & 8:00 a.m. Service Children’s Church (Julie, Stephanie, Kids & Workers) Counseling Ministry (Ted and those being trained to help) Day 4 21 Days of Prayer (Day 4) How are you doing so far? We’re a little over halfway through the first week. This is a process that can help you build, or strengthen, your daily routine of connecting with God. Work a little on refining your schedule each day so that you’re building a routine that can continue after Easter. I encourage you to get alone with God and take the time to seek Him and let the prayer and Scripture sink in. Link to devotion: https://www.bible.com/en/reading-plans/29012 Scripture: James 1:19-25 Pray: Services and Ministries Youth Ministry (Jason T, Teens, families, Adult Leaders) Wed Night Ministries (Adult Service, Kids, Youth, Young Adult) K-12 Academy (Julie, Ted, Coach Yates, volunteers, students) Day 5 21 Days of Prayer (Day 5) You're doing great! Keep going. Life will try to derail you but keep pushing through. Part of the value of this is building some new habits, and being intentional about making Jesus a priority. Lean into that. Link to devotion: https://www.bible.com/en/reading-plans/29012 Scripture: Jeremiah 23:23-32 Pray: Services and Ministries Online Ministry Preschool (Shellie, Yolanda, staff, kids, families) Day 6 21 Days of Prayer (Day 6) You're doing great! Stay on target. We’re almost through week one. Sticking to the same time and place each day can help you stay focused and on track. Part of the value of this is building some new habits, and being intentional about making Jesus a priority. Lean into that. Link to devotion: https://www.bible.com/en/reading-plans/29012 Scripture: Hebrews 4:12 Pray: Ask God to help you pursue Him Ask God to help you be still and hear His voice Services and Ministries Women's ministries (Diana, Connie, Jane, Joyce) Men's ministries (Paul) Young Adult Ministry (Melissa & Russell) Day 7 21 Days of Prayer (Day 7) You've made it through week one. I would love to hear some feedback from you. What are you learning? What are the challenges that you’re facing? Is there some way that I can pray for you? Scripture: Matthew 7:24-27 Link to devotion: https://www.bible.com/en/reading-plans/29012 Pray: Ask God to help you display the fruit of His Spirit: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23) Pray that God would give you a greater desire to love people and point them to Him Church Leadership Deacons Pastor Jason Day 8 21 Days of Prayer (Day 8) Today we gather for worship, and tomorrow we scatter for ministry. Let's not take our times of corporate worship for granted, or neglect times of private worship. We need them both. Praise God that He hears our prayers and moves in our hearts regardless of our location. That is true every day, no matter where we are or when we call out. Scripture: Luke 23:33-34 Devotional Link: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/2231 Pray: Ask God for wisdom and understanding so that you can live out His Word Pray for help with resisting temptation Church Leadership Church Council and Committee Chairs Mikahla & Office Volunteers Day 9 21 Days of Prayer (Day 9) Keep up the great work. I have an additional challenge for you today. Do something nice for someone, something above and beyond, something they won't expect. Find a way to show kindness today. You may just lighten someone's load, even if only for a few minutes. I pray that you have a great day as you continue through 21 Days of Prayer. Devotional Link: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/2231 Scripture: Luke 23:42-43 Pray: Your Circle of influence Who can you tell about Jesus? Who can you minister to or help? Church Leadership Grow Groups Director (Bill) Missions: Overland Missions (Rachael Potgieter), Haiti (David Wine), Homeless (Chris Elrod), FX Ministries (Sean Fielder) Day 10 21 Days of Prayer (Day 10) I hope that you are learning and growing from this prayer emphasis. Mostly I hope that your desire to be quiet before God us growing. That's one of the most important things that we can cultivate. Don’t let this become a chore. Take some time to enjoy being still before God. He wants you to come close. Scripture: John 19:25-27 Devotional Link: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/2231 Pray: What sin needs to be confessed and repented of? Are you holding anything back from God? Day 11 21 Days of Prayer (Day 11) Congratulations! You've made it to the halfway point. Way to go. I pray that you have a great day as you continue through 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting. Devotional Link: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/2231 Scripture: Matthew 27:45-46 Pray: Ask God to display His love to those who are broken Ask God to show you what you need to see in your heart and life Ask God what relationships in your life need to be mended Day 12 21 Days of Prayer (Day 12) Keep going! God said that those who seek Him will find Him, and that He will draw near to those who draw near to Him. That's why we are on this journey. I pray that you have a great day as you continue through our prayer emphasis. Devotional Link: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/2231 Scripture: John 19:28-29 Pray: Church Volunteers Greeters & Counters (Glenna) Nursery Workers (Gena) Our Music and A/V Teams Day 13 21 Days of Prayer (Day 13) For those who have made it this far, you may be building some new habits. Now might be a good time to start thinking about how you can keep this going after day 21. Please let me know if I can help with that process. I pray that you have a great day, that you feel the presence of God as you seek Him, and that He gives you the opportunity to share His love today. Devotional Link: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/2231 Scripture: John 19:30 Pray: Church Volunteers Grow Group Leaders Administrative and Service Teams (Committees) Kids Pack Day 14 21 Days of Prayer (Day 14) Well done. You have made it through the second week. We start the final week tomorrow and will shift our attention towards the greatness of what Jesus has done for us as we prepare our hearts to celebrate the resurrection. Please let me know if there is anything specific that I can pray for you. Scripture: Luke 23:44-46 Devotional Link: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/2231 Pray: Church Volunteers Building & Grounds (Russell) Iglesia Bautista de Lakeland Eggstravaganza - Workers, families, SOS, follow up Day 15 21 Days of Prayer (Day 15) Here we are. It's week 3, and we’re approaching the end of our prayer emphasis. This week we zero in on God's great love for us displayed through the sacrifice of His Son. I'm praying that 2 things will happen for you this week: that God will overwhelm you with His love, and that this time together will help strengthen your relationship with Him. I am praying for you and hope to see you at worship today. Have a great week! Scripture: John 18:1-14 Devotional link: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/30379 Pray: Our Community Community Leaders (Mayor, City Council, Police, Fire/EMS) Hearts of the People in our Community Our Follow-up with Visitors Day 16 21 Days of Prayer (Day 16) We're on the home stretch together. This is the final few days of our journey, and is also Holy Week. I invite you to press in, focus on these foundations of our faith, and learn to be still before the Lord. I pray that you have a great day as you continue through this time of prayer and devotion. Devotional link: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/30379 Scripture: John 18:15-40 Pray: Our Community Salvations and Changed hearts Food Pantry (Rick and Cheryl) That we will meet needs Easter Services - That Christians will gather all around the world and worship, learn, and grow, that visitors will come, hearts will be open, someone will come to Christ, we will engage and help new believers grow. Day 17 21 Days of Prayer (Day 17) We have just a few days left on this, and I would love to hear what's going on with you. How have you changed, what prayers have been answered, what has God done? Please respond below or send me a private message. Let’s celebrate what God is doing! I pray that you have a great day. Devotional link: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/30379 Scripture: John 19:5 Isaiah 52:13-15 Isaiah 53 Pray like this: Psalm 139:33-34 23 Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! 24 And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! Day 18 21 Days of Prayer (Day 18) Jesus experienced some of the worst things that we can imagine: betrayal, abandonment, wrongful conviction, torture, humiliation, the wrath of God. Every bit of that was a willful and powerful display of His love. Take some time today to think about the power of that love. Our sin was great, but His love is greater. Scripture: John 19:1-16 Devotional link: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/30379 Pray like this: Matthew 6:9-13 9 ...“‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us today our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one for yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. Day 19 21 Days of Prayer (Day 19) You've almost made it. Don't give up now! As you follow Jesus to the cross in these last few days take some time to prepare your heart for Easter. The cross was used to purchase our freedom, but praise God it wasn't the end. I pray that you have a great day, and that I get to see you this weekend. Devotional link: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/30379 Scripture: John 19:19 Luke 23:32-56 Pray like this: Based on Romans 5:1-11 (https://unlockingthebible.org/2015/06/15-powerful-prayers-from-the-bible/) Father God, we thank you that your amazing unfathomable love has been poured out for us at the cross and poured into us by the Holy Spirit. We want to taste and experience more of the depth and breadth and length and height of your amazing love. Help us to walk by faith. Help us to endure in suffering. Help us to own our need of you. Help us to fully embrace your Son, Jesus Christ, our Redeemer. So, pour out your love into our hearts, in increasing measure by the power of your Holy Spirit, through Jesus Christ our Lord. It is in his name that we pray, Amen. Day 20 21 Days of Prayer (Day 20 Scripture: John 19:17:42 Luke 22:7-20 Devotional link: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/30379 Revelation 21-22 (This is what we have to look forward to. Take some time today to think about what our forever home will be like, and the price that Jesus paid for us to be able to enjoy it with Him. Take in His love, and live it out as a response to His great grace.) Pray like this: Based on 2 Corinthians 5:1-5 (https://unlockingthebible.org/2015/06/15-powerful-prayers-from-the-bible/) Father God, we praise you for the wonderful future that you have prepared for us through the death and resurrection of your Son, Jesus Christ. We eagerly await the day when we will enter into your presence for all eternity with holy bodies untainted by sin. Please help us to not lose heart when we face the many pressures, anxieties, and troubles of life in this fallen world. Let us take great courage in the knowledge that you’ve given us the Holy Spirit to prepare our souls for our kingdom dwelling with you. Thank you for letting Jesus live in us. It is in his name that we pray, Amen. Day 21 21 Days of Prayer (Day 21) You made it! Well, Kind of. There is one more bonus day. Surprise! Today is Eggstravaganza. I hope you can come so that we can enjoy a fun time together as a family while serving our community. Scripture: John 20:1-18 Devotional link: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/30379 Pray like this: Pray that churches around the world will clearly proclaim the Gospel Pray that believers will openly, lovingly share their faith Pray that you will have the opportunity to tell someone about your hope in Jesus Day 22 (Bonus Day) 21 Days of Prayer (Day 22) You made it! For real this time. I pray this has helped you draw closer to God, and strengthen the habit of daily Bible reading and prayer. Today we celebrate! He is Risen just as He said. He is faithful to His word, and we can trust Him even when things are dark and He seems quiet. I hope to see you this morning as we give thanks for the overwhelming love that Jesus has shown us. Scripture: John 20:19-31 Devotional link: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/30379