40 DAYS OF PRAYER SESSION ONE: DO YOU REALLY WANT TO GROW UP?
9.23.18 - 9.29.18
AS CHILDREN WE'RE OFTEN EXCITED TO GROW UP AND EXPERIENCE THE
FREEDOM THAT COMES WITH GETTING TO BE" A BIG PERSON." AS WE REACH ADULTHOOD, WE WANT TO HANG ONTO OUR YOUTH AND LET GO OF RESPONSIBILITIES THAT COME WITH AGE. BUT WHEN IT COMES TO OUR FAITH, THE BIBLE SAYS WE ARE NOT MEANT TO REMAIN AS CHILDREN BUT INSTEAD ARE TO GROW UP IN CHRIST. THIS SESSION WILL GIVE YOU AN INSIDE LOOK INTO OUR SPIRITUAL GROWTH CAMPAIGN, 40 DAYS OF PRAYER. YOU'LL LEARN SIX LAWS OF SPIRITUAL GROWTH AND ACTION STEPS TOWARD A DEEPER RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD. DISCOVER THE IMPORTANCE OF FEEDING ON THE WORD, DEVELOPING SPIRITUAL HABITS, AND GROWING TOGETHER IN COMMUNITY. FIND OUT WHY NOW IS THE TIME TO GROW UP SPRITUALLY!
"We are not meant to remain as children at the mercy of every chance wind of teaching... Instead we are meant to hold firmly to the truth in love, and grow up in every way into Christ..." Ephesians 4:14
SIX LAWS OF SPIRITUAL GROWTH
1) WE GROW WHEN WE FEED ON GOD'S WORD
Jesus: " People need more than bread for their life; they must feed on every Word of God." Matthew 4:4
Paul: "...the Word of grace is able to build you up and give you all the blessings that God has for his People." Acts 20:32
Hear...Read... Study...Memorize... Meditate... Apply
Action Step: To help get in the habit of reading your Bible every day, set a reminder on your phone or put it in your calendar for the same time each day. You can also download the YourVersion Bible app and have the Bible with you wherever you go.
2) WE GROW WHEN WE LEARN IN DIFFERENT WAYS
"In many different ways John preached good news to the people." Luke 3:18
_-By Listening (Auditory)
_-By Watching/Reading (Visual)
_-By Talking (Verbal/Oral
-By Doing it (Physical/Kinesthetic)
3) WE GROW WHEN WE DEVELOP SPITITUAL HABITS
"Now that you know these things you'll be blessed if you practice them!
"Solid food is for mature people, whose minds have been trained by practice to know the difference between good and evil."
"All good athletes train hard and practice to get better. They do it to win a prize that won't last. But we practice to win a prize that will last forever." 1 Corinthians 9:25
-Habit of weekly large group worship
-Habit of small group fellowship
-Habit of a daily time alone with God (Bible & Prayer)
-Habit of memorizing God's Word
4. WE GROW WHEN WE HELP EACH OTHER GROW
" I want to help each other grow with the faith we have. Your faith will help me, and my faith will help you." Romans 1:12
" Let us be concerned for one another, to help one another to show love and to do good. Let us not give up the HABIT of meeting together, as some are doing. Instead, let us encourage one another all the more...
" Hebrews 10:24-24
5. WE GROW WHEN WE EXPECT TO GROW
Jesus said, "According to to your faith will it be done for you."
6. WE GROW WHEN WE COMMIT TO GROW
God: "You'll find me when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else..."
Action Step: Covenant with others
Nehemiah: "In view of all this, we are making a covenant together in writing, and all of us are signing our names to it..."
40 DAYS OF PRAYER SESSION TWO: A BEGINNERS GUIDE TO PRAYER
9.30.18 – 10.6.18
FROM CINDERELLA TO ALADDIN, THESE FAIRYTALE STORIES ARE BASED ON CHRACTERS WHOSE LIVES ARE CHANGED WITH THE GRANTING OF A WISH. WHEN IT COMES TO PRAYER, WE OFTEN TREAT IT LIKE A MAGICAL WAND THAT WE WAVE AT GOD WHEN WE WANT OUR DREAMS TO COME TRUE.
BUT THE BIBLE TEACHES US THAT PRAYER IS A RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD, AND NOT AN ENCHANTED TOOL. THIS SESSION SHARES FOUR FOUNDATIONAL TRUTHS OF PRAYER AND HOW TO CONNECT WITH GOD
IN CONVERSATION. YOU WILL LEARN THE IMPORTANCE OF TALKING TO GOD ABOUT EVERYTHING IN SIMPLE AND SINCERE WAYS. FIND OUT HOW PRAYER WILL DRAW YOU CLOSER TO GOD AND WHY ANSWERED PRAYERS ARE HIS GIFT OF GRACE.
"One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of the disciples said to him, 'Lord, teach us to pray..."' Luke 11:1
Our frustrations with prayer are caused by: misconceptions
--not a magic wand
--not a fire extinguisher
--not a tug of war
--not a ritual to relieve guilt
FOUR (4) FOUNDATIONAL TRUTHS ABOUT PRAYER
1. GOD LOVES FOR ME TO TALK WITH HIM ABOUT ANYTHING
"The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who reverence him." Psalm 103:13
"We can be confident in approaching God, knowing that he listens to us whenever we ask him for anything according to his will. And since we know that he hears us when we make our requests, then we can be sure that he will answer us." 1 John 5:14-15
PRAYER IS: A CONVERSATION, NOT A CEREMONY------- A RELATIONSHIP, NOT A RITUAL
"I have good plans for you, not plans to hurt you. I will give you hope and a good future. Then you will call my name. You will come to me and pray to me, and I will listen to you." Jeremiah 29:11-12
ACTION PLAN: What do you tend to do more often, talk to God or post on social media? On the devices where you check social media, install Bible apps if you have not already. Place the apps physically next to your social media apps as
a visual reminder to check in with God first and often. Anything that you think about posting on social media, talk with God about first.
2. GOD LISTENS TO PRAYERS THAT ARE SINCERE AND SIMPLE
"When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. Instead, when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray do not keep babbling on and on like pagans, for they think they will be heard
because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him." Matthew 6:5-8
"let us come near to God with a sincere heart and a sure faith..." Hebrews 10:22 3.
3. GOD LIKES TO SHOW HIS GRACE BY ANSWERING PRAYERS
"Call to me and I will answer you. I will show you marvelous and wondrous
things that you could never figure out on your own." Jeremiah 33:3
"If you, being imperfect and sinful parents know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him?" Matthew 7:11
"You do not have, because you do not ask God." James 4:2
4. GOD LONGS TO BE CLOSE TO ME
"The Lord waits for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion." Isaiah 30:18
"I don't want your sacrifices I want your love! I don't want your offerings,
I want you to know me!" Hosea 6:6
"Friendship with God is reserved for those who reverence him. With them God shares the secret of his covenant." Psalm 25:14
"Draw close to God, and God will draw close to you." James 4:8
ACTION PLAN : Write down Isaiah 30:18 (above) and keep it somewhere you will see it every day.