Year of Growth – Pray for 40
A Church In The Wild
The Book of Exodus tells the story of the Children of Israel’s journey from bondage into freedom. Their captors came after them with a sword to destroy them, but God delivered them by parting the water of the Red Sea. However, their miracle of deliverance was not the end of the story. Once “they survived the sword,” they were led into the wilderness where they wandered for 40 years. Their season of difficulty and frustration—living in an an unfamiliar place and waiting for an uncertain future—would become the place where they would come to meet God in a new way.
The Lenten Season invites us to become comfortable in the wild for a moment of personal reflection and spiritual growth. What have we become, individually and collectively? What are we doing with our lives? Where have we grown comfortable or complacent? Where is God moving in our lives? We turn away from the familiar cravings and comforts (food, social media, excessive spending), and instead we refocus our attention on prayer, fasting, and a simplified life as we seek to grow in our faith. Remember, the wilderness is not a barren place; it is a place of growth and preparation for the great work that God is calling us to fulfill.
What is Lent?
The Lenten season marks the 40-day period that Jesus walked through the wilderness as he prepared for the moment of His ultimate sacrifice—His death on the cross. It was during this wilderness journey that Jesus experienced the challenges of temptation, worry, fear, anxiety that are common to us all. The Lenten season is a reminder that the wilderness is an essential experience in the life of every believer. It is in the wild that we are stripped away from the creature cravings and comforts, that can become barriers and impediments to our personal and spiritual growth.
What is Fasting? What Should I Give Up?
Fasting is a part of the wilderness journey. As we turn our plates down, step away from social media, abstain from excessive spending, and cease from unhealthy overworking, it is important to remember that fasting is more than abstaining from food or familiar habits. It is a discipline that strengthens us spiritually. Through prayer and fasting, God has given us the power and ability to overcome our most pressing desires and temptations, that we may growth in faith and find grace in the wilderness.
Join us on Tuesday nights for a weekly Bible Study and Reflection series beginning March 14, 2017 until April 18, 2017.
Lenten season devotions – Daily Meditations and Prayer Starters
Day 27 | March 27, 2017
Scripture: Jeremiah 30:15: Why do you cry out over your hurt? Your pain is incurable. Because your guilt is great, because your sins are so numerous, I have done these things to you.
Prayer Starter: God of comfort, be with us in moments of loss and difficulty. May we resist facile hope, and wait for your healing touch.
Day 28 | March 28, 2017
Scripture: Isaiah 54:7: For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with a great compassion I will gather you.
Prayer Starter: Eternal God, in the midst of wilderness seasons, be with us. May the hope of the past lead us to reimagine the possibilities of a new day.
Day 29 | March 29, 2017
Scripture: Luke 10:41-42: “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things, there is need of only one thing.”
Prayer Starter: In this season of spring cleaning, take a moment to consider the distractions and worry that lure you away from your God given purpose. May our focus and attention to be focused on the One who truly matters.
Day 30 | March 30, 2017
Scripture: Exodus 8:17: Aaron stretched out his hand with his staff and struck the dust of the earth, and gnats came on humans and animals alike…
Prayer Starter: In the face of evil and injustice, give us visions that see beyond pharaohs and peace that is beyond our understanding. Amen.
Day 31 | March 31, 2017
Scripture: Isaiah 40:31: They that wait ion the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.
Prayer Starter: Teach us, dear God, to wait with eager expectation for the move of your spirit. May we discover new strength, new freedom, and new life.
Day 32 | April 1, 2017
Scripture: Isaiah 43:1: Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name.
Prayer Starter: As we journey through the wilderness, empower us to live and dream beyond our fear and anxiety. Embolden us to walk in the power of your name.
Day 20 | March 20, 2017
Scripture: Isaiah 42:16: “I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough place into level ground.”
Prayer Starter: In the midst of uncertainty and discomfort, teach us a song that reminds us of your faithfulness in seasons of change.
Day 21 | March 21, 2017
Scripture: Luke 24:35 Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of bread.
Prayer Starter: Dear Lord, meet us in the everydayness of our lives. Teach us to love as you love. Empower us to live the story of the Gospel.
Day 22 | March 22, 2017
Scripture: Isaiah 55:8: For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord.
Prayer Starter: Help us to embrace the changes that we see in our lives. Help us to leave our old ways so that we may be open to your plans for our future.
Day 23 | March 23, 2017
Scripture: Romans 10:9: …If you confess with your life that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
Prayer Starter: God, you call us to a radical love. May we be on the way to loving others beyond our differences, as we prepare for your resurrection.
Day 24 | March 24, 2017
Scripture: Genesis 17:6: I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you.
Prayer Starter: God of the future, help us to take steps away from our treasured past that we may embrace the possibilities of a greater tomorrow.
Day 25 | March 25, 2017
Scripture: Luke 6:20: Then he looked up at his disciples and said: Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.”
Prayer Starter: In this season through wilderness, may we identify with the suffering of Jesus, so that our witness as disciples speaks to the needs of those around us.
Day 26 | March 26, 2017
Scripture: Mark 6:21: Taking the five loaves and two fish, he looked to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before the people, and he divided the two fish among them all.
Prayer Starter: We are surrounded by stories of scarcity. May we trust that you will provide, and lead us to give to others as you have given to us.
Day 13 | March 13, 2017
Scripture: I Samuel 3:10: Now the Lord came and stood there, calling as before, “Samuel, Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
Prayer Starter: Come to us in the wilderness of this season, unsettle our expectations, open our hearts to be open to hearing from you.
Day 14 | March 14, 2017
Scripture: John 9:25: One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.
Prayer Starter: Miracle-working God, may we come to see you and those we journey with in a new way. May we drop the biases that divide, and embrace the beauty in everyone we see.
Day 15 | March 15, 2017
Scripture: Mark 8:34: “…If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”
Prayer Starter: Give us the courage to let go of all that is not life-giving, that we may live in the freedom of living in Christ.
Day 16 | March 16, 2017
Scripture: Isaiah 58:6: Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, and to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?
Prayer Starter: As we journey through the wilderness, lead us to a deeper faith that challenges injustice as we seek to build a better society for all.
Day 17 | March 17, 2017
Scripture: Psalm 23:6: Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Prayer Starter: Good shepherd, help us to trust you more than anything else, that we may know the joy and freedom of living in your perfect security.
Day 18 | March 18, 2017
Scripture: John 3:1-2: Now there was a Pharisee names Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. He came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God…”
Prayer Starter: In this wilderness moment, unsettle us. Unstick us from our familiar life, and transform us in your newness.
Day 19 | March 19, 2017
Scripture: I Kings 17:2: “You shall drink from the wadi, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.”
Prayer Starter: Sustain us in the wilderness with the energy, courage, freedom, and authority that we may be your disciples of love and healing in the world. Amen.
Day 6 | March 6, 2017
Scripture: Isaiah 55:2: Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy?
Prayer Starter: Help us to realize the ways in which greed and anxiety drives our decisions. Make us wholly yours.
Day 7 | March 7, 2017
Scripture: I Corinthians 1:27: But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose what was weak in the world to shame the strong.
Prayer Starter: God, turn us away from the values of empire, that we may pursue what you love—justice, mercy, and righteousness
Day 8 | March 8, 2017
Scripture: Exodus 33:19: …I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.
Prayer Starter: God, you provide grace and mercy, but on your own terms, not ours. Help us to trust your will and your way.
Day 9 | March 9, 2017
Scripture: Genesis 9:15: “…and I will remember my covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh.”
Prayer Starter: Merciful God, thank you for circling back around to save us. Flood us with the endless possibilities of new life.
Day 10 | March 10, 2017
Scripture: Matthew 15:28: Then Jesus answered her, “Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed instantly.”
Prayer Starter: Create within us a love that goes beyond our comfort zones, that we may reach out to touch the hurting one.
Day 11 | March 11, 2017
Scripture: Luke 6:21: Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.
Prayer Starter: In the season of sacrifice and denial, renew within us, O God, the joy and laughter that gives us strength.
Day 12 | March 12, 2017
Scripture: Isaiah 6:1: In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lofty, and the hem of his robe filled the temple.
Prayer Starter: Give us ears that hear, eyes that see, and a heart that feels your movement in the midst of our lives.
Day 1 | Ash Wednesday – March 1, 2017
Scripture: Psalm 51:10: Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.
Prayer Starter: God of grace, stir my heart that I may be open to the movement of your Spirit in this season of my life.
Day 2 | March 2, 2017
Scripture: Psalm 121:1-2: I will lift up my eyes to the hills—from whence cometh my help? My help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth.
Prayer Starter: Eternal God, give me the strength to let go of worn-out habits, that I may grow closer to you.
Day 3 | March 3, 2017
Scripture: 2 Corinthian 5:17: If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see everything has become new!
Prayer Starter: God give me courage to embrace the newness of this season—a new self, a new vision, a new call.
Day 4 | March 4, 2017
Scripture: Matthew 6:27: Can any of you by worrying add a single hour to the span of your life?
Prayer Starter: Free us, O God, from the strain and stress of worrying. Help us to know the peace of putting it all in your hands.
Day 5 | March 5, 2017
Scripture: Luke 4:1: Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the spirit into the wilderness.
Prayer Starter: Teach us to trust you through in uncertain moments, knowing that you walk with us each step of the way.