Praying With Full-Hearted Hope
The following material, drawn from the Seek God For The City 2008 Prayer Guide, helps introduce the prayer calendar printed in this issue on pages 10 and 11. Please see the bottom of page 11 for information on how to order copies of the Prayer Booklet from WayMakers.
...When desperate people pray, they may turn to the Scriptures to find comfort, but instead they find courage. It takes courage and yearning to pray on until God fulfills what He promised. The Bible gives us the great story of Godís purposes. Heís fulfilling His marvelous intentions to triumph over evil and to bring transforming blessing among all peoples by the power of the Gospel. Everything God has promised, He will do. When Godís people become confident in what God has spoken in Scripture, they begin to pray with hope. When we let God restore blazing desire in our hearts, we can pray and labor with passionate persistence. As you pray with these promises, let God ignite your desires to pursue all He has promised. Let God give you the zeal of Jacob, who said, "I wonít let You go unless You bless me" (Genesis 32:26).
Pray with Biblical Promise
The daily prayers in this guide begin with a passage from the Old Testament and a prayer which springs from that Scripture. Then a passage follows about Jesus, helping you see the same theme as it arises in the life and words of Christ. Then comes some specific prayer points which will help you apply the prayer theme of the day to particular people.
The prayers of this prayer guide are designed to get you started. Make it a point to read the Scripture aloud. Then read the prayer. And then read the Scripture again. Without hesitating, add your own impromptu prayer.
Opening up to know God
During these forty days, weíll first be seeking Godís face and then weíll seek Godís kingdom. God has shaped and called every person alive to seek His face.
The joy of being known by God. You are invited to seek Him in face-to-face nearness. As you bring yourself to God you arenít trying, of course, to physically see Him. Knowing God is really a matter of being known by God. Stand before Him so that He can gaze upon your open life. As you seek His face, His gaze will examine you, lift you and change you.
Imagine desiring what God desires. As we seek Godís face together in the next eleven days, weíll be opening ourselves to be delighted by what pleases Him and to be grieved by what saddens Him. By caring about what concerns Him, weíll allow Him to change us so that His desires become ours.
Return to Me and I will return to you. To seek Godís face means that we are coming to God. To seek Godís kingdom means that we are calling for God to come to us. These things go together. We may not be able to do either without doing both.
God told His people more than once, "Return to Me, and I will return to You" (Zechariah 1:3, Malachi 3:7). We are seeking Godís face, not because He is hiding or hard to find. He did not leave us. We all have found ways to turn away from God in our brokenness and have become fugitives from Him.
Special times for turning. There are special times in which God makes it possible for an entire people to reverse their course, and make a U-turn back toward Him together. Not all times are equal. Many sense that in these days, God is calling people all over the world to seek Him as never before.