Welcome to day 1 of our 21 days of prayer! We are excited to invite you to be a part of our focused prayer time this January. It will be our third year we’ve committed to prayer at the outset of a year as a church, and each year it’s looked a little different. To give you an overview of what you can expect in the next three weeks, there will be a daily prayer-focused post written by a member of Centre Church from now until January 27. Our theme for these next few weeks is New Beginnings. Our hope is that the verses and ideas presented will help you take time daily to pray, pause, reflect, and hear from God. We believe that God speaks through his diverse church (a wide variety of people) to communicate a message with solidarity. So, we invite you to lean in spiritually for the next 21 days, by stopping in here to read a prayer-focused insight, and committing to personal prayer time.
Prayer is most simply understood as conversation with God. Sometimes prayer could seem a bit of a one-sided conversation, but the best talks with God include a good portion of listening. One of the ways that God speaks to us is through the words written in the Bible. As we begin the first day of our 21 Days of Prayer we want to share with you a helpful way that you can approach the reading of the Bible, and by doing so become a better listener. We have found this process helpful, by intentionally creating space to hear God’s voice clearer and clearer, and discerning what He has to say to us. This is so important in the busy-ness of daily life. Having a sense of what God would like to communicate to us is really an important starting point for time in prayer. This approach to reading God’s word has roots in a contemplative practice called Lectio Divina. Today, at the start of 21 days of prayer, we want to encourage you to try this spiritual practice. But before we get to the Bible verses for today, first let us talk you through the process:
1. Still your heart and mind, and pray before reading the Bible verses. Ask God to open your eyes to see what he wants to show you.
2. Read the whole chosen passage of the Bible slowly, out loud if you can.
3. Have a time of silence and reflection, which we would encourage to last 2-3 minutes.
You will repeat steps 2 & 3 a total of three times. However, each time you pause to think about what you have read, you will focus on a different aspect of the text. On the first reading, you will look for a word or phrase that stands out and simply sit in silence and prayer with God about this phrase. Mull those words over in your mind. The second time you read, you’ll go deeper with that word or phrase, asking the question, “God, what are you trying to tell me about this word or phrase.” The third time you read the Bible, you will move from asking God what he’s trying to tell you about this passage to asking, “God, what are you asking me to do today about what you’re telling me.” Ask the question about the next 24 hours of your life. It’s that simple, but powerful! We even recommend journaling about this reflective time, so you can look back on what God has revealed to you.
So today as we begin our 21 Days of Prayer, we invite you to try this meditative prayer practice using the Bible passage below.
Have an awesome time with God today.
1 God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.[c]
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
7 The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
8 Come and see what the Lord has done,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease
to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the shields[d] with fire.
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
11 The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Josh & Destiny Loeve