SEVEN-DAY PRAYER GUIDE

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1 SEVEN-DAY PRAYER GUIDE

2 DAY 1 GIVE THANKS Give thanks to God for his Son, Jesus Christ - whose perfect life, sacrifi cial death, and miraculous resurrection have made it possible for our sins to be forgiven, and for us to be restored into a right relationship with God. [Romans 3:21-26] Give thanks to God for the promise of Heaven - that, because of Jesus, death has been conquered, and we have the certain hope of eternal life. [1 Corinthians 15:50-58] Give thanks to God for the ways he has blessed your life during this past year. [Psalm 103:1-5] Give thanks to God for the many ways he has shown his faithfulness to you throughout your life, and to Village Church throughout our history. [Lamentations 3:21-27, 1 Thessalonians 5:18] Give thanks to God for how he is using trials and challenges to help you experience more of his work in and through your life. [Romans 5:3-5, James 1:2-4]

3 DAY 2 GROW grow in our understanding of the infi nite love that God has shown us in Jesus Christ. Pray as well that we would all grow as people who love God completely, and who love others fully. May we be a people known for the love we have for God, and for one another! [Ephesians 3:16-19, Mark 12:28-31] grow in our understanding of the holiness of God which is so central to his character. Pray that the Holy Spirit would reveal areas of sin in your life; pray that God would allow you to experience his transforming, purifying work in your life every day. May we be a people truly set apart for God s eternal purposes! [Isaiah 6:1-8, Psalm 19:12-14] Pray very specifi cally for people - perhaps even including yourself - who fi nd themselves trapped in chronic, habitual patterns of sin in their lives. Some of these people desperately want to be free from the bonds of sin, while others have not even reached the point yet of wanting to turn their backs on their sin. Pray that God would allow people ensnared in sin to experience his forgiveness and freedom, as they confess their sin to him. May we be a people increasingly defi ned by repentance and purifi cation! [Galatians 5:13-25, 1 John 1:8-9] Pray that God would help you - and everyone at Village Church - to grow in our knowledge of his Word this year. Pray that we would experience the life-changing power of God s Word in our lives, and in our church, in very specifi c ways this year. May we be a people who treasure the gift of God s Word - and who give the Word its rightful place of priority in our lives! [Hebrews 4:12-14, Psalm 119:89-96] Pray that God would help you - and everyone at Village Church - to grow in applying his Word to any and every situation in our lives. Pray that we would act upon what we are learning as we read our Bibles, and as we hear it taught; pray that we would be doers of the Word, rather than simply being hearers. May we be a people who develop Christlike habits to develop Christlike character! [James 1:22-25]

4 DAY 3 CONNECT experience authentic Christian community in our relationships with one another. As we become increasingly transparent in our relationships, pray that we would receive genuine acceptance from one another - and that we would extend that same acceptance to one another. May we be a congregation of people who deepen our friendships to deepen our faith! [Romans 12:9-13, 1 John 4:7-12] Pray that God would help more and more people get connected in classes, groups, and ministries at Village Church. Pray that the people who are already connected in these places will, more and more, fi nd ways to extend invitations to those in our church that are not yet connected anyplace. Pray in particular for the several new small groups which hope to launch in the weeks ahead - as well as for ongoing efforts to place additional people in existing small groups. May we be a church where people can do life together, enjoying friendships and caring for each other during the tough times! [Galatians 6:2, Hebrews 10:24-25] Pray very specifi cally for healing to take place in the fractured, wounded relationships which exist in people s lives. Many marriages and family relationships represented within our congregation are in a place of turmoil and crisis - while other people are experiencing the pain and frustration of strained, broken friendships. May we be a church where humility and forgiveness would win the day in each of these situations; may God bring about true reconciliation in every one of these relationships. [Ephesians 4:31-32, Colossians 3:12-14] Pray that God would help you - and everyone at Village Church - to help guests and newcomers at Village Church feel welcomed and accepted. Yes, pray for the work of our Welcome Ministries teams, as they give leadership in these areas - but also pray that everyone who is a part of the Village Church family would embrace the opportunities (and responsibility) we all have to build relationships with new people. May we be the type of church where newcomers stick - rather than sliding off the surface! [1 Peter 4:9] Pray that God would give wisdom to the search committee for our church s new Connect Ministries Pastor. Our search committee is trying to narrow in on the candidates who will be the fi nalists for this strategic position. Pray that God would bring to Village Church the exact person he has in mind for us; pray that God would make it evident to everyone involved that he is leading us to extend a ministry call to our eventual candidate. [James 1:5-8]

5 DAY 4 SERVE serve the Lord in specifi c ways by serving in our congregation. Every Christian has gifts, strengths, and life experiences that can be used to build up our church family in specifi c ways - pray that we would faithfully invest all those things in the life of Village Church. May we be a congregation of people who use our strengths to strengthen our church! [1 Corinthians 12:4-11, 1 Peter 4:10-11] Pray that God would guide and strengthen our staff members at Village Church of Gurnee. Every member of our staff, regardless of what specifi c role they play on our team, has unique opportunities to serve our church family - pray that God would provide these people with wisdom and sensitivity on a daily basis. Pray as well that the Lord would give each of our staff members a rich, deep relationship with himself - and that he would watch over the marriages and families represented within our staff. [Ephesians 4:11-13, Hebrews 13:17] Pray very specifi cally that God would guide our church s pastors and ministry directors as they consider how to help the people of Village Church identify their strengths (including spiritual gifts) which can be used in ministry. We sense there may be a need to emphasize this within our church family - in some way or another, at some point in time in the foreseeable future! Pray that God would direct us in this process - and pray that, whatever approach may eventually be taken, the end result would enrich our people. [Romans 12:4-8] Pray that God would provide volunteers for the ongoing ministries of our church. We ve struggled somewhat this year with identifying people who would be willing to serve with both one-time projects and with week-to-week ministries! While there are some things we need to do differently as church leadership for recruiting and equipping people, we don t want to put our ultimate hope in the plans which we develop. Ultimately, we need the Lord! Pray that God would move in the hearts of our congregation, and would provide for our ministry needs. [1 Corinthians 12:21-31] Pray that God would guide all those who have teaching ministries within our church. It s a weighty thing to be entrusted with the responsibility of communicating the Word of God to people, regardless of the ministry setting! Pray that those who write sermons, lessons, and curriculum would be guided by God; pray that those who facilitate groups and teach classes would be empowered by the Lord in the work that they do. [1 Corinthians 2:1-5, James 3:1]

6 DAY 5 REACH reach other people with the love and truth of Jesus Christ. Each one of us knows people who need to be restored into a right relationship with a holy and loving God - pray that we would all be active in sharing our faith with the people we know. May we be a congregation of people who build bridges to build the Kingdom! [Matthew 28:18-20] represent him well in the relationships we have with people who aren t yet Christians. Pray that God would open doors for us to share Christ with others; pray as well that we would be full of grace and truth in our conversations with others. Pray that God would give us great wisdom as we interact with people - but pray as well that we wouldn t feel like we have to know it all before we share Christ with others! [Colossians 4:2-6, John 1:14] Pray very specifi cally that God would raise the evangelistic temperature of the people of Village Church. Our hope is that many more people in Village Church would turn their good intentions about sharing their faith into a lifestyle of faithful action, which intentionally reaches out to those they know. Pray that God would give each of us a deep love for lost people; pray we would better understand that people s eternal destinies are at stake; and pray that, more and more, we would become a people who are Gospel-sharing, soul-winning, and disciple-making. [2 Corinthians 5:18-21] Pray that God would bless the work of our missionaries and ministry partners, who reach out with the Gospel in different parts of the United States and throughout the world. Pray that God would empower each of them to make Christ known as they proclaim the Gospel, equip leaders, feed the hungry, and participate in additional types of ministry. Pray that God would provide for each of their unique and specifi c needs; pray specifi cally for those who have fi nancial needs, that God would generously provide for them through his people. [Acts 1:8, 2 Corinthians 9:7-8] Pray that God would bless the other Go! Together congregations in the Gurnee area: Bethel Lutheran, Calvary Harvest, First Christian, Gages Lake Bible, Grace Community Bible, Gurnee Community, Immanuel, Joy! Lutheran, Lakeland, and Life. Pray that God would use us as one Church to reach our community with the Gospel. Pray as well for the development of similar collaborative ventures among evangelical congregations in neighboring communities! [John 13:34-35, John 17:20-24]

7 DAY 6 PRAYING THE BIBLE The Bible is foundational to our prayer lives! The Bible guides us in prayer by giving us specifi c instructions about what we should pray for - and also by providing model prayers for us as examples for us to follow. Use the following to guide your prayers today: Pray that God would bless Christians around the world that are experiencing persecution because of their faith in Jesus. Pray that God would strengthen and encourage these Christians; pray that God would keep them from harm, yet give them boldness in their faith, even if it would cost them their earthly lives. [Hebrews 13:3] Pray that God would bless government leaders at the national, state, and local levels. Pray that God would give them wisdom as they try to address the many challenging issues that affect our lives today. Also, pray very specifi cally for Christ-followers who serve in different levels of government, that they would be effective witnesses for Christ. [2 Timothy 2:1-4] Pray that God would bless the diffi cult people in your life. Pray that God would work in their lives in ways that would draw them closer to himself; pray for yourself as well, that you would show these people the persevering love that Christ calls us to show to these diffi cult people and even to our enemies. [Matthew 5:43-48, Romans 12:17-21] Pray that God would give you - and everyone at Village Church - a deeper understanding of the hope and power of Christ: the hope to which we ve been called, and his power which is at work in our lives. Pray that these spiritual realities would transform us; pray that God gives us the wisdom as we come to know Christ more fully and deeply. Pray that we would live lives which are worthy of the Lord, and please him in every way! [Ephesians 1:15-23, Colossians 1:9-14] Pray that God would give you - and everyone at Village Church - the ability to discern God s will for the different situations we encounter in our everyday lives. Pray that this discernment would be rooted in Christlike love - and that the fruit of this discernment would be lives that are increasingly pure and blameless before the Lord, and before a watching world. [Philippians 1:9-11]

8 DAY 7 WORSHIP Worship God as the Holy One who is set apart from all else! He is infi nite in all his attributes, and he is perfect in all His ways - truly, there is no one and nothing like him. May we show God the reverence and fear which is rightly due him! [Exodus 15:11, 1 Samuel 2:2] Worship God as the Creator of all that there is! He is the cause of the beauty, vastness, and intricacy of everything that exists, and is also the One who sustains everything he has created. May we have a renewed sense of awe and wonder of our great God, as we behold his creation! [Psalm 8, Colossians 1:16-17] Worship God as the all-powerful King of the universe! God rules over all he has made, and will see to it that his perfect plan for history is accomplished. May we properly submit to his Lordship in all that we say and do! [1 Timothy 1:17, Revelation 4:11] Worship God as the all-wise, all-knowing Author of history. God knows all events - past, present, and future - and he knows all possible events as well. May we trust his good and sovereign plan for history, and for our lives as well! [Romans 11:33-36] Worship God as the Giver of mercy and grace. Through Jesus, God has spared us from the judgment that we deserve because of our sin, and he has also made it possible for us to have undeserved access to his presence and blessings. May we humbly approach him on a daily basis, asking that his mercy and grace would be poured out in our lives! [Romans 3:23-26, Hebrews 4:16] 1319 N. Hunt Club Road l Gurnee, IL l l vcgurnee.org

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