40 Days Of Prayer

One of our hopes at Aletheia Church (Tampa) for 2014 is that we would become a church marked by prayer. Meaning, even more important than being a “doing church”, we are a praying church. This Sunday I will preach a sermon on Acts 1:12-26 called “Living out the Mission of Jesus Through Prayer”. It is my hope that the Holy Spirit will ignite a passion in the body for prayer.
I stumbled recently upon the words of Jesus’ little brother, James: “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” (James 5:16). I believe Aletheia is becoming a church marked by confession and repentance, with people who are seeking to find identity solely in Christ. But when it comes to prayer, I feel as though we have a long ways to go in seeing the extent of God’s grace in this area.

This coming Sunday we are going to usher in 40 days of prayer. During these 40 days, we feel as though God has given us 5 fearless prayers that we will pray as a church body; essentially choosing one prayer a week to focus on for the entire week.

1. Our Worship – We must pray that our lives will be marked by the grace of Christ and our hearts will be full of continuous praise to our King! We must pray that our identities will be rooted in Jesus, meaning practically, He will be given control over all areas of our lives.

2. The Church – We must pray that Aletheia will be marked by the grace of Christ; that we will be a people full of the light, life, and love of Jesus. That our aim will be to bring glory to Christ through the planting of more churches and that the churches we currently are partnering with in St Petersburg, Gainesville, Jacksonville, and Sarasota will continue to be a gospel force in those respective cities.

3. Our City – We must pray that Jesus will continue to redeem our city; that people will be rescued by the grace of Christ and reconciled in love to God. We must pray that 100 people in our city will be baptized this year at Aletheia as a reflection of the gospel fruit accomplished in Tampa, through Aletheia. We must pray that our city groups will multiply so that the community of Christ can be built up in more and more dark corners of Tampa. We must pray that Jesus will multiply our city groups this year twice over.

4. Our World – We must pray that Jesus will continue to pour His grace over the world and use us to assist in His redemptive efforts. Specifically, we are praying that the churches we support in Italy and India will be used to accomplish the mission of Jesus. We must pray that other strong global church planting partnerships will take place, specifically in Latin America as well as those places across the globe that are unreached.

5. Our Leaders – We must pray that the grace of Christ will pour over into the lives of the men who are leading Aletheia Church, both elders and deacons, and their families. We must pray that the Holy Spirit will gift, raise up, and equip other godly men and women to lead this church, as well as our church plants in the future.

Now, this will have the tendency to become like anything else in our lives: routine and mundane. We can view it legalistically and feel obligated/pressured to be a part of it. We can view it self-righteously as a sort of a check list where God will be more pleased with us if we do it.

OR, we can view these 40 days as an opportunity to worship our God in a deeper way and beg Him to stir our hearts and to move in ways that we have never seen Him move before.

We are also asking that all those who participate seek to fast 5 of the 40 days (here is a helpful article on fasting).

Prayer is not about receiving. It is about worship. What an opportunity we are going to have as a church body to worship our King and watch Him go to work in our hearts, His church, this city, and this world. Buckle up!

4 Comments

  • Justin says:

    Can’t wait!
    The link regarding fasting isn’t working for me, though. Is it working for others?

  • AP says:

    Fixed the link. Thanks Justin.

  • Matt says:

    Thanks for posting Aaron. This is so encouraging and inspiring for me as we endeavor to plant Bridgeway down here in Sarasota. Even though we’re not “members” of Aletheia you all have made us feel apart. We are truly partners in the gospel. I will be praying and fasting with you-both for Aletheia and Bridgeway-that as we partner in the gospel, Jesus would be glorified in our cities in greater ways than we ever dreamed!

  • AP says:

    So encouraged to receive this early today Matt. Grateful for the bond that Jesus is forming between these two churches. Blessed to know you. Excited about the future! Praying for you.

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