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The 4 Week Prayer Challenge

  • Why Pray?According to Gallup polls, more Americans will pray in any given week than will exercise, drive a car or go to work. Nine in ten of those polled say that they pray regularly, and three out of four claim to pray every day. Yet when asked if they find prayer satisfying, many respond, "Not really." Many experience prayer more as a burden than as a pleasure. Why does prayer rank so high on importance yet so low on satisfaction?

    Prayer – communicating with God – is as necessary to the spiritual life as air to the natural life. We pray, not only because God commands us to, but because we love God. Just as a man and woman in love desire to be together and communicate, so we – if we love God – will desire to be with Him and to spend time talking to Him. We pray because we depend on God as our source and our life (Colossians 3:4). Through prayer we receive the comfort, the strength and all the other resources that we need in life – both physically and spiritually. We need to pray in order to resist temptation. “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation.” (Mt. 26:41). We need to pray because it is necessary for us to invite God to work in our lives.

    Through prayer we actually experience relationship with God. The quality of our prayer life then determines the quality of our relationship with God. Prayer is talking with God. Prayer is listening to God. Prayer is enjoying the presence of God. It can take many forms – for example: worship, confession, thanksgiving, praise, petition (asking for things), and waiting (silent, listening and sensing of God). Prayer is not simply saying words. It is not repeating formulas. God is looking for heartfelt relationship.
  • How To BeginIf you are not sure how to pray, don’t despair! Everyone had to begin sometime. Just talk with God respectfully but openly. Talk with Him as your Father. Jesus taught us to pray, “Our Father …”. Recognize God as a loving Father. Recognize Jesus as a Friend and a Brother. Recognize the Holy Spirit as your Comforter and Guide. Here is a general outline of how the Bible teaches us to pray:

    • Praise: Begin your prayer with praise, acknowledging who God is and thanking Him for forgiving your sins, for coming into your life, for making you His child. “Enter his gates with thanksgiving…” (Psalm 100:4).

    • Repent: Repent by confessing your unconfessed sins. In this way the blood of Jesus cleanses us and prepares us to really relate to God.

    • Ask: Then just talk with God, asking Him for whatever you need. Thank Him and praise Him for His answer. Spend time also asking for His Spirit to help you to pray. Talk to the Holy Spirit. Tell Him you want to know Him. “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us…” (Romans 8:26). The Holy Spirit will guide you into all the truth (John 16:13) and He will teach you to pray.

    • Yield: Conclude by yielding your requests and desires to God's will. Submit to God's control. Come to the Father in Jesus’ name (John 14:6; Hebrews 10:19).
  • Week 1: PraiseHonor the God to Whom We Pray

    Sunday: God is LORD (Psalm 96)

    Monday: God is LOVE (1 John 4:7-21)

    Tuesday: God is POWERFUL (Job 26)

    Wednesday: God is HOPE & PEACE (Psalm 62; Romans 5:1-5)

    Thursday: God is our SAVIOR (Romans 5:6-21)

    Friday: God is our REFUGE (Psalm 91)

    Saturday: God is our ADVOCATE (John 14:15-31; Romans 8:26-27)
  • Week 2: RepentPrepare Your Heart for God

    Sunday: God is LORD (Psalm 96)

    Monday: God is LOVE (1 John 4:7-21)

    Tuesday: God is POWERFUL (Job 26)

    Wednesday: God is HOPE & PEACE (Psalm 62; Romans 5:1-5)

    Thursday: God is our SAVIOR (Romans 5:6-21)

    Friday: God is our REFUGE (Psalm 91)

    Saturday: God is our ADVOCATE (John 14:15-31; Romans 8:26-27)
  • Week 3: AskSeek God's Guidance & Blessings

    Sunday: Pray for a renewed, steadfast spirit (Psalm 51:10-12; 2 Corinthians 4:7-18)

    Monday: Pray for a desire to grow (Matthew 5:6; 1 Peter 2:1-2; James 1:19-25)

    Tuesday: Pray for God's Word & truth (Luke 8:1-15; John 4:23-24; 16:13-15)

    Wednesday: Pray for guidance (Psalm 25:1-11)

    Thursday: Pray for wisdom (1 Kings 3:1-15; Proverbs 2:1-11; Philippians 1:9-11)

    Friday: Pray for love (John 13:34-35; Romans 12:9-21)

    Saturday: Pray for encouragement (Romans 15:4-6,13; 2 Thessalonians 2:13-17)
  • Week 4: YieldSubmit to God's Will in Faith

    Sunday: Pray for faithfulness (Proverbs 3:3-6; Luke 17:1-6; 1 Corinthians 10:12-13)

    Monday: Give up whatever you're holding back (Matthew 19:16-30)

    Tuesday: Recognize God's authority (Deuteronomy 4:32-40)

    Wednesday: Submit to God's Will (Matthew 6:9-10; James 4)

    Thursday: Pray for perseverance (Hebrews 10:19-39)

    Friday: Commit to the Lord (Proverbs 16:1-4; 1 Kings 8:56-61)

    Saturday: Trust the Lord (Psalm 111; Proverbs 3:5-6; Jeremiah 29:11-13)
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Recommended Books

  • "The Grace Of God" by Andy Stanley"Grace. It's what we crave most when our guilt is exposed. It's the very thing we are hesitant to extend when we are confronted with the guilt of others-especially when their guilt has robbed us of something we consider valuable.”

    Purchase From:  Amazon |  Barnes and Noble |  Christian Book Online
  • "The Great Omission" by Dallas WillardThe last command Jesus gave the church before he ascended to heaven was the Great Commission, the call for Christians to "make disciples of all the nations." But Christians have responded by making "Christians," not "disciples." This, according to brilliant scholar and renowned Christian thinker Dallas Willard, has been the church's Great Omission.

    Purchase From:  Amazon |  Barnes and Noble |  Dallas Willard Online |  Christian Book Online
  • "The Me I Want To Be" by John OrtbergThis book will help you discover spiritual vitality like never before as you learn to 'live in the flow of the spirit.'

    Purchase From:  Amazon |  Barnes and Noble |  John Ortberg Online |  Christian Book Online
  • "The Prodigal God" by Timothy KellerIn The Prodigal God, Keller takes his trademark intellectual approach to understanding Christianity and uses the parable of the Prodigal Son to reveal an unexpected message of hope and salvation. Within that parable, Jesus reveals God's prodigal grace toward both the irreligious and the moralistic. This book will challenge both the devout and skeptics to see Christianity in a whole new way.

    Purchase From:  Amazon |  Barnes and Noble |  Timothy Keller Online |  Christian Book Online
  • "Forgotten God" by Frances ChanThe author pleads passionately for the church to live by the power of the forgotten God: the Holy Spirit. Calling Christians to more than just a better life, Chan says he wants to live a life unexplainable without the Holy Spirit, so dependent on the Spirit that, he says, if he doesn't come through, I'm screwed.

    Purchase From:  Amazon |  Barnes and Noble |  Frances Chan Online |  Christian Book Online
  • "The Cost of Discipleship" by Dietrich BonhoefferBonhoeffer was a German born theologian during the WWII era.  Some of his writings are my most inspirational books.  Cost of Discipleship looks at the Sermon on the Mount and Bonhoeffer discusses the difference between "cheap grace" and "costly grace." It's an intellectually deep book.

    Purchase From:  Amazon |  Barnes And Noble |  Christian Book Online
  • "Counterfeit Gods" by Timothy KellerIs an incredibly easy read with some extremely powerful conviction and life lessons packed into it.  He challenges American culture on some of the things that we have turned into false idols, such as money, power, sex, etc.  

    Purchase From:  Amazon |  Barnes and Noble |  Timothy Keller Online |  Christian Book Online
  • "The Circle Maker" by Mark Batterson'Drawing prayer circles around our dreams isn't just a mechanism whereby we accomplish great things for God. It's a mechanism whereby God accomplishes great things in us.' Do you ever sense that there's far more to prayer, and to God's vision for your life, than what you're experiencing? It's time you learned from the legend of Honi the Circle Maker.

    Purchase From:  Amazon |  Barnes and Noble |  The Circle Maker Online |  Christian Book Online
  • Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God by Francis ChanGod is love. Crazy, relentless, all-powerful love. Have you ever wondered if we’re missing it? It’s crazy, if you think about it. The God of the universe--the Creator of nitrogen and pine needles, galaxies and E-minor--loves us with a radical, unconditional, self-sacrificing love. And what is our typical response? We go to church, sing songs, and try not to cuss. Whether you’ve verbalized it yet or not...we all know somethings wrong. Does something deep inside your heart long to break free from the status quo? Are you hungry for an authentic faith that addresses the problems of our world with tangible, even radical, solutions? God is calling you to a passionate love relationship with Himself. Because the answer to religious complacency isn’t working harder at a list of do’s and don’ts--it’s falling in love with God. And once you encounter His love, as Francis Chan describes it, you will never be the same. Because when you’re wildly in love with someone, it changes everything.

    Purchase From:  Amazon
  • The Principle of the Path: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be by Andy StanleyNot where you want to be?
    Wondering how to get there?

    Why is it that smart people with admirable life goals often end up far from where they intended to be? Why is it that so many people start out with a clear mental picture of where they want to be relationally, financially, and professionally and yet years later
    find themselves far from their desired destination? Why do our expectations about our own future often go unmet?

    What if you knew the answer to those questions? What if there was one simple idea that explained why so many people get lost along the way?

    There is. It's called the principle of the path. And not only does it explain the disappointment and regret that characterize the lives of so many, it provides a way for you to be the exception.

    As you are about to discover, the principle of the path is at work in your life every single day. Once embraced, this compelling principle will empower you to identify and follow the path that leads to your desired destination. And this same principle will enable you to avoid life-wasting detours along the way.

    Purchase From:  Amazon
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  • The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? by Rick WarrenThe Purpose Driven Life will help you understand why you are alive and reveal God's amazing plan for you--both here and now, and for eternity. Rick Warren will guide you through a personal forty-day spiritual journey that will transform your answer to life's most important question: What on earth am I here for? Knowing God's purpose for creating you will reduce your stress, focus your energy, simplify your decisions, give meaning to your life, and most important, prepare you for eternity.

    Purchase From:  Amazon
  • Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference? by Philip YanceyIn his most powerful book since What's So Amazing About Grace? and The Jesus I Never Knew, Philip Yancey explores the intimate place where God and humans meet in Prayer. Polls reveal that 90 percent of people pray. Yet prayer, which should be the most nourishing and uplifting time of the believer's day, can also be frustrating, confusing, and fraught with mystery. Writing as a fellow pilgrim, Yancey probes such questions as: *Is God listening? *Why should God care about me? *If God knows everything, what's the point of prayer? *Why do answers to prayer seem so inconsistent? *Why does God sometimes seem close and sometimes seem far away? *How can I make prayer more satisfying? Yancey tackles the tough questions and in the process comes up with a fresh new approach to this timeless topic. 'I have learned to pray as a privilege, not a duty,' he says, and he invites you to join him on this all-important journey.

    Purchase From:  Amazon
  • How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth by Gordon D. FeeUnderstanding the Bible isn't for the few, the gifted, the scholarly. The Bible is accessible. It's meant to be read and comprehended by everyone from armchair readers to seminary students. A few essential insights into the Bible can clear up a lot of misconceptions and help you grasp the meaning of Scripture and its application to your 21st-century life.

    Purchase From:  Amazon
  • His Needs, Her Needs: Building an Affair-Proof Marriage by Willard F. Jr. HarleyIn the classic bestseller His Needs, Her Needs, Willard F. Harley, Jr., identifies the ten most vital needs of men and women and shows husbands and wives how to satisfy those needs in their spouses. He provides guidance for becoming irresistible to your spouse and for loving more creatively and sensitively, thereby eliminating the problems that often lead to extramarital affairs.

    Purchase From:  Amazon
  • The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness by Dave RamseyThe success stories speak for themselves in this book from money maestro Dave Ramsey. Instead of promising the normal dose of quick fixes, Ramsey offers a bold, no-nonsense approach to money matters, providing not only the how-to but also a grounded and uplifting hope for getting out of debt and achieving total financial health.

    Ramsey debunks the many myths of money (exposing the dangers of cash advance, rent-to-own, debt consolidation) and attacks the illusions and downright deceptions of the American dream, which encourages nothing but overspending and massive amounts of debt. "Don't even consider keeping up with the Joneses," Ramsey declares in his typically candid style. "They're broke!"

    The Total Money Makeover isn't theory. It works every single time. It works because it is simple. It works because it gets to the heart of the money problems: you.

    Purchase From:  Amazon
  • Smart Stepfamily, The Seven Steps to a Healthy Family by Ron L. DealRon Deal explodes the myth of the "blended" family as he provides practical, realistic solutions to the issues that stepfamilies face. He helps remarried and soon-to-be married couples

    Recognize the unique personality and place of each family member
    Solve the everyday puzzles of step-parenting and stepchildren relationships
    Learn communication skills to deal with ex-spouses
    Honor families of origin while developing new traditions
    Invest the time to grow their stepfamily slowly rather than look for instant results

    Purchase From:  Amazon
  • Running the Rapids by Kevin LemanEver been white-water rafting? That sudden rush of adrenaline, exhilaration, and white-knuckle terror and that overwhelming sense of foreboding that leaves you gasping for breath and hoping against all hope you'll live to see another day? If so, then you know the thrill, the terror, the risks, and, yes, the rewards of raising adolescents! So strap on your life preserver and join Dr. Kevin Leman as he guides you through the turbulent waters of adolescence. Peer pressure, self-image, dating, sex—Leman covers them all in his trademark “no-holds-barred” style that will bring a smile to the faces and hope to the hearts of even the most beleaguered parents.

    Purchase From:  Amazon
  • Praying the Scriptures for Your Children by Jodie BerndtJodie Berndt shows you how to make the Bible a book of prayers that can powerfully influence your children's lives. You'll discover how to pray specifically and expectantly for their faith, character, safety, relationships, and future. You'll gain new, biblical perspectives on God's purposes for your children. And through the encouragement of the Scriptures and true-life stories, you'll find out what a huge difference your prayers really make in the lives of those you love most. Discover How to Pray God's Will for Your Children's Lives There's no place like God's Word to turn to when you want to pray confidently and effectively for your kids. 'Prayers permeated with the Word of God bring about changes in our children and keep us in touch with God's priorities. This is a wonderful resource that you will want to refer to over and over.' Fern Nichols, founder and president of Moms in Touch International If I could choose only one book to help me pray for my children, this is it! Not only has Jodie given us a rich treasure of true stories, practical prayers, and relevant Scriptures for our children, but a surprise awaits! In reading this I found my own confidence if God growing. RUN and get this book for moms and grandmas. Susan Alexander Yates, author of How to Like the Ones You Love I know of no one who can speak more authoritatively than Jodie Berndt on praying for your children. Every parent who wants their children to grow into godly men and women should read this book.

    Purchase From:  Amazon
  • Praying the Scriptures for Your Teenagers: Discover How to Pray God's Will for Their Lives by Jodie BerndtIt's never been tougher to be a teenager - or the parent of one. Thankfully, from your teen's first date to the next time he or she borrows the car keys, you can take your concerns to God through prayer. Drawing on God's Word, Praying the Scriptures for Your Teenager offers palpable help to pray about the stormy issues your teen faces: Relationships Depression Rejection Sexuality Eating disorders... and much more. This book also guides you in praying about everything from your teen's character and safety to the purposes and plans that God has for his or her life. Filled with historical, biblical, and contemporary illustrations, Praying the Scriptures for Your Teenager shows how to make the Bible your source for prayers that can powerfully influence your teen's life. With humor and a warm, personal style, author Jodie Berndt encourages you that, in this sometimes daunting new world, 'when you pray the Scriptures, you tap into the same power that has kept teenagers safe for generations.

    Purchase From:  Amazon
  • Soul Detox: Clean Living in a Contaminated World by Craig GroeschelAs standards of conduct continue to erode in our shock-proof world, we must fight the soul pollution threatening our health, our faith, and our witness to others. Without even knowing it, people willingly inhale second-hand toxins poisoning their relationship with God and stunting their spiritual growth.Soul Detox examines the toxins that assault us daily including: toxic influences, toxic emotions, and toxic behaviors.By examining the toxins that assault us daily, this book offers the ultimate spiritual intervention with ways to remain clean, pure, and focused on the standard of God's holiness.

    Purchase From:  Amazon
  • Mere Christianity by C.S. LewisA forceful and accessible discussion of Christian belief that has become one of the most popular introductions to Christianity and one of the most popular of Lewis's books. Uncovers common ground upon which all Christians can stand together.

    Purchase From:  Amazon
  • The Reason For God by Timothy KellerTimothy Keller, the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, addresses the frequent doubts that skeptics and non-believers bring to religion. Using literature, philosophy, anthropology, pop culture, and intellectual reasoning, Keller explains how the belief in a Christian God is, in fact, a sound and rational one. To true believers he offers a solid platform on which to stand against the backlash toward religion spawned by the Age of Skepticism. And to skeptics, atheists, and agnostics he provides a challenging argument for pursuing the reason for God.

    Purchase From:  Amazon
  • Know Doubt by John OrtbergWithout a doubt Ever 'stumbled' in your faith? Wrestled with uncertainty? Wondered if you're a true believer? If the answer is yes to any of these questions---and it probably is---you have reason to celebrate. In this candid book based on his own struggle with doubt, John Ortberg traces the line between belief and unbelief and finds that it's less a dividing line between hostile camps than a razor's edge that runs through every soul. His findings point toward the relief of being totally honest. Doubt ... Questions ... Honest faith ... Outrageous hope ... It's a chain reaction that can actually strengthen our relationship with God, and that, says Ortberg, is cause for celebration.

    Purchase From:  Amazon
  • What's So Great About Christianity by Dinesh D'SouzaIs it reasonable to have faith in God? Can intelligent, educated people really believe what the Bible says? Or do the atheists have it right—has Christianity been disproven by science and discredited as a guide to morality? Best-selling author Dinesh D'Souza (The Enemy at Home; What's So Great about America) responds head-on to the anti-God arguments of prominent atheists such as Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens and defeats them on their own terms. What's So Great about Christianity provides believers with a straightforward tool kit for meeting the challenge of modern atheism and secularism; for nonbelievers, it offers a compelling apologetic that will challenge their assumptions and affirm that there really is something great about Christianity.

    Purchase From:  Amazon
  • Knowing Christ Today by Dallas WIllardAt a time when popular atheism books are talking about the irrationality of believing in God, Willard makes a rigorous intellectual case for why it makes sense to believe in God and in Jesus, the Son.

    Purchase From:  Amazon
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Worship CD's
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40 Day Bible Reading Challenge

  • The ChallengeBe challenged to get a grip on your faith by committing to read the Bible for the next 40 days!

    "The church can provide a community for growth, create an environment for growth, and even lay out the 'next steps' for growth – but each person must take their own steps. Spiritual growth and maturity is every person's responsibility."

    This overview is structured to help you get a glimpse of God's big picture and see where you fit in it.
  • The StrategyFollow these tips below for reading your Bible:
  • Read Slowly With A Pen And Paper NearbyRead the Bible for the sake of learning, not simply to accomplish your next reading. Take time to think about what you're reading. Be prepared to write down the thoughts and questions that come up. When God speaks to you through His Word, record what you have discovered. Writing it down will help you both to remember what God revealed to you and to check up on your biblical discoveries. Recording what God has shown you is a way of applying what you see in the Scripture to your life.
  • Pray About ItSay a short prayer to God before you begin, asking the Holy Spirit to give you wisdom and understanding. When you're finished reading – after God has spoken to you through His Word – respond to Him in prayer. This is your part of the conversation with the Lord. Ask questions and tell Him what you think about the Scripture.
  • What If You Miss A Day?Don't worry about it if it only happens occasionally. Don't go on a guilt trip. "There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1, NIV) Just jump back in!
  • Rely On The Power Of GodWhen it is all said and done, you must realize that you are only human. You can only succeed in this challenge by the power of the Holy Spirit of God. So pray that God will strengthen your commitment and depend on Him to help you develop this habit for His glory.

    "Lord, I commit myself to spending a definite time with You every day, no matter what the cost. I am depending on Your strength to help me to be consistent."
  • The Plan
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 Day 1 - Genesis 1-2
 Day 2 - Genesis 3
 Day 3 - Genesis 15; 17:15-27
 Day 4 - Genesis 21:1-7; 22
 Day 5 - Exodus 3-4
 Day 6 - Exodus 20
 Day 7 - Joshua 1
 Day 8 - 1 Samuel 16-17
 Day 9 - 1 Kings 3; 8:1-9:9
 Day 10 - 1 Kings 18
 Day 11 - 2 Kings 25
 Day 12 - Daniel 2-3
 Day 13 - Ezra 3
 Day 14 - Isaiah 9, 53, 61
 Day 15 - Luke 1-2
 Day 16 - John 1:1-18
 Day 17 - Luke 4:14-44
 Day 18 - Matthew 5-7
 Day 19 - John 3
 Day 20 - John 5
 Day 31 - Romans 3
 Day 32 - Romans 7-8
 Day 33 - 1 Corinthians 13
 Day 34 - 1 Corinthians 15
 Day 35 - Galatians 5
 Day 36 - Ephesians 4-6
 Day 37 - Philippians 1:18-2:18
 Day 38 - Colossians 3:1-17
 Day 39 - James 1
 Day 40 - Revelation 21-22
 Day 21 - John 11
 Day 22 - John 15
 Day 23 - John 17
 Day 24 - Matthew 26-27
 Day 25 - John 20
 Day 26 - Luke 24
 Day 27 - Acts 2
 Day 28 - Acts 9
 Day 29 - Acts 16
 Day 30 - Acts 26

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