Prayer Challenge

The Prayer Challenge

Prayer is natural for the believer. It is like breathing out, or a child that cries out for his mother.  Simply put, a healthy believer will pray.  There is no wrong time to pray, and certainly no prescribed forms for prayer.  We can pray using our own words or using the words of another.  We can pray extemporaneously or pray with a script.  This seven-day plan is designed to challenge you to spend some focused time with the Lord.  Each day follows a similar structure:

Opening Verse

Time of Confession

A Psalm of Praise

A Brief Scripture Reading

Direction for Prayer

Closing Verse

May this experience bless you and lead you deeper into your relationship with Jesus Christ. 

Some suggestions:

            Pray Kneeling – if you can.  Our bodies are part of who the Lord made us to be, and thus whatever position the body takes can have great spiritual impact.  Kneeling is a way to show outwardly what we know to be the case spiritually that we are totally humble before God and reliant upon Him.

            Pray Aloud – If it is possible to pray and read these prayers aloud the impact will be noticed.  We have a personal, internal faith, but it is not ONLY internal and private.  Praying aloud is a powerful way to remember that God hears, and our relationship with Him is the core of our reality.

            Pray Together – If you can find time to use this resource with your family, with a friend, or with a group you will find the time richly rewarding.  This is the heart of Christian Fellowship – when we gather around and worship Jesus Christ together.

Please note that all scripture is taken from the New King James Version and the confession prayer is quoted from The Book of Common Prayer.

Day 1

Christ has entered, not into a sanctuary made with hands, a 
copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in 
the presence of God on our behalf.    Hebrews 9:24

Take a moment to confess your sins to God

Prayer:

Most merciful God, 
we confess that we have sinned against you 
in thought, word, and deed, 
by what we have done, 
and by what we have left undone. 
We have not loved you with our whole heart; 
we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. 
We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. 
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, 
have mercy on us and forgive us; 
that we may delight in your will, 
and walk in your ways, 
to the glory of your Name. Amen.

Having been confirmed in fellowship with the Lord we pray this Psalm of Praise:

Psalm 63

O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water.
So I have looked for You in the sanctuary,
To see Your power and Your glory.

Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips shall praise You.
Thus I will bless You while I live;
I will lift up my hands in Your name.
My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness,
And my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips.

When I remember You on my bed,
I meditate on You in the night watches.
Because You have been my help,
Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice.
My soul follows close behind You;
Your right hand upholds me.

But those who seek my life, to destroy it,
Shall go into the lower parts of the earth.
10 They shall fall by the sword;
They shall be a portion for jackals.

11 But the king shall rejoice in God;
Everyone who swears by Him shall glory;
But the mouth of those who speak lies shall be stopped.

Amen.

Now, a reading from The Book of Ephesians.  Chapter 1 Verses 3-14:

3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, 5having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, 6to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.

7In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace 8which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, 9having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, 10that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him. 11In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, 12that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.

13In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.

Thank you, Lord, for your Holy Word.  Amen.

Prayer Prompt:

On this day we think of our family, those whom God has given us by natural familial bonds.  Take some time to pray for the needs of your family Members…

20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him beglory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Ephesians 3:20-21

Amen.

Day 2

You are no longer strangers and sojourners, but fellow 
citizens with the saints and members of the household of 
God.    Ephesians 2:19

Take a moment to confess your sins to God

Prayer:

Most merciful God, 
we confess that we have sinned against you 
in thought, word, and deed, 
by what we have done, 
and by what we have left undone. 
We have not loved you with our whole heart; 
we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. 
We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. 
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, 
have mercy on us and forgive us; 
that we may delight in your will, 
and walk in your ways, 
to the glory of your Name. Amen.

Having been confirmed in Fellowship with the Lord we pray this Psalm of Praise:

Psalm 100

Make a joyful shout to the Lord, [a]all you lands!
Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before His presence with singing.
Know that the Lord, He is God;
It is He who has made us, and [b]not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
For the Lord is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations.

Amen.

Now, a reading from the Book of John.  Chapter 15, verses 1-8

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He [a]takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you[b] will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

Thank you, Lord, for your Holy Word.  Amen.

Prayer Prompt:

On this day we think of our local churches.  Take these moments to pray for your church and church leaders, those persons who we know in the church and the corporate needs of the body…

20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him beglory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Ephesians 3:20-21

Amen.

Day 3

O give thanks to the Lord, and call upon his Name; make 
known his deeds among the peoples.    Psalm 105:1

Take a moment to confess your sins to God

Prayer:

Most merciful God, 
we confess that we have sinned against you 
in thought, word, and deed, 
by what we have done, 
and by what we have left undone. 
We have not loved you with our whole heart; 
we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. 
We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. 
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, 
have mercy on us and forgive us; 
that we may delight in your will, 
and walk in your ways, 
to the glory of your Name. Amen.

Having been confirmed in Fellowship with the Lord we pray this Psalm of Praise:

Psalm 98

Oh, sing to the Lord a new song!
For He has done marvelous things;
His right hand and His holy arm have gained Him the victory.
The Lord has made known His salvation;
His righteousness He has revealed in the sight of the [a]nations.
He has remembered His mercy and His faithfulness to the house of Israel;
All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth;
Break forth in song, rejoice, and sing praises.
Sing to the Lord with the harp,
With the harp and the sound of a psalm,
With trumpets and the sound of a horn;
Shout joyfully before the Lord, the King.

Let the sea roar, and all its fullness,
The world and those who dwell in it;
Let the rivers clap their hands;
Let the hills be joyful together
    before the Lord,
For He is coming to judge the earth.
With righteousness He shall judge the world,
And the peoples with equity.

Amen.

Now, a reading from the book of Philippians chapter 2, verses 1-11:

Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Thank you, Lord, for your Holy Word.  Amen.

Prayer Prompt:

On this day we remember that are commanded to pray for civil governors and those in authority over us.  Take time now to pray for the leaders of your local federal government and your political leaders…

20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him beglory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Ephesians 3:20-21

Amen.

Day 4

The Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence 
before him.    Habakkuk 2:20

As we come to God in prayer it is most appropriate to confess our sins please take a moment to confess your sins to God

Prayer:

Most merciful God, 
we confess that we have sinned against you 
in thought, word, and deed, 
by what we have done, 
and by what we have left undone. 
We have not loved you with our whole heart; 
we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. 
We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. 
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, 
have mercy on us and forgive us; 
that we may delight in your will, 
and walk in your ways, 
to the glory of your Name. Amen.

Having been confirmed in Fellowship with the Lord we pray this Psalm of Praise:

Psalm 66

Make a joyful shout to God, all the earth!
Sing out the honor of His name;
Make His praise glorious.
Say to God,
“How awesome are Your works!
Through the greatness of Your power
Your enemies shall submit themselves to You.
All the earth shall worship You
And sing praises to You;
They shall sing praises to Your name.” Selah

Come and see the works of God;
He is awesome in His doing toward the sons of men.
He turned the sea into dry land;
They went through the river on foot.
There we will rejoice in Him.
He rules by His power forever;
His eyes observe the nations;
Do not let the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah

Oh, bless our God, you peoples!
And make the voice of His praise to be heard,
Who keeps our soul among the living,
And does not allow our feet to [a]be moved.
10 For You, O God, have tested us;
You have refined us as silver is refined.
11 You brought us into the net;
You laid affliction on our backs.
12 You have caused men to ride over our heads;
We went through fire and through water;
But You brought us out to [b]rich fulfillment.

13 I will go into Your house with burnt offerings;
I will pay You my [c]vows,
14 Which my lips have uttered
And my mouth has spoken when I was in trouble.
15 I will offer You burnt sacrifices of fat animals,
With the sweet aroma of rams;
I will offer bulls with goats. Selah

16 Come and hear, all you who fear God,
And I will declare what He has done for my soul.
17 I cried to Him with my mouth,
And He was extolled with my tongue.
18 If I regard iniquity in my heart,
The Lord will not hear.
19 But certainly God has heard me;
He has attended to the voice of my prayer.

20 Blessed be God,
Who has not turned away my prayer,
Nor His mercy from me!

Amen.

Now, a reading from 1 Thessalonians chapter 4, verses 13-18.

13But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.

15For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18Therefore comfort one another with these words.

Thank you, Lord, for your Holy Word.  Amen.

Prayer Prompt:

On this day we take time to pray for missionaries and world missions.  Take the following moments to pray for the missionaries you know and support, by name and by need.  Pray for those who are taking the gospel to the farthest reaches of the earth, and for the Lord to raise laborers for the Harvest until He returns for us…

20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him beglory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Ephesians 3:20-21

Amen.

Day 5

The hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers 
will worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for such the 
Father seeks to worship him.    John 4:23

Take a moment to confess your sins to God

Prayer:

Most merciful God, 
we confess that we have sinned against you 
in thought, word, and deed, 
by what we have done, 
and by what we have left undone. 
We have not loved you with our whole heart; 
we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. 
We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. 
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, 
have mercy on us and forgive us; 
that we may delight in your will, 
and walk in your ways, 
to the glory of your Name. Amen.

Having been confirmed in Fellowship with the Lord we pray this Psalm of Praise:

Amen.

Now, a reading from 1 John chapter 2, verses 15-29:

13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.

15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.

Thank you, Lord, for your Holy Word.  Amen.

Prayer Prompt:

On this day we pray for those who serve and protect.  For soldiers, for police officers, for firefighters, and public servants.  Take this time to pray for those who risk their safety, health, rest, and lives for the protection and care of others…

20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him beglory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Ephesians 3:20-21

Amen.

Day 6

Thus says the high and lofty One who inhabits eternity, 
whose name is Holy, “I dwell in the high and holy place and 
also with the one who has a contrite and humble spirit, to
revive the spirit of the humble and to revive the heart of the 
contrite.”    Isaiah 57:15

Take a moment to confess your sins to God

Prayer:

Most merciful God, 
we confess that we have sinned against you 
in thought, word, and deed, 
by what we have done, 
and by what we have left undone. 
We have not loved you with our whole heart; 
we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. 
We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. 
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, 
have mercy on us and forgive us; 
that we may delight in your will, 
and walk in your ways, 
to the glory of your Name. Amen.

Having been confirmed in Fellowship with the Lord we pray this Psalm of Praise:

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Forever.

Amen.

Now, a reading from the book of Romans chapter 8, verses 31-39.

31What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? 33Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36As it is written:

“For Your sake we are killed all day long;
We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”

37Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Thank you, Lord, for your Holy Word.  Amen.

Prayer Prompt:

On this day we pray for the lost in our lives.  Those friends, neighbors and family members who do not know Christ and His saving work on the Cross.  Take a moment and pray for those in your home, neighborhood, and workplace who don’t know Jesus by grace through faith.  Pray for opportunity, courage, and wisdom to share Christ with them.

20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him beglory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Ephesians 3:20-21

Amen.

Day 7

I will give you as a light to the nations, that my salvation may 
reach to the end of the earth.    Isaiah 49:6b

Take a moment to confess your sins to God

Prayer:

Most merciful God, 
we confess that we have sinned against you 
in thought, word, and deed, 
by what we have done, 
and by what we have left undone. 
We have not loved you with our whole heart; 
we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. 
We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. 
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, 
have mercy on us and forgive us; 
that we may delight in your will, 
and walk in your ways, 
to the glory of your Name. Amen.

Having been confirmed in Fellowship with the Lord we pray this Psalm of Praise:

Psalm 139

O Lord, You have searched me and known me.
You know my sitting down and my rising up;
You understand my thought afar off.
You comprehend my path and my lying down,
And are acquainted with all my ways.
For there is not a word on my tongue,
But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.
You have hedged me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is high, I cannot attain it.

Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall on me,”
Even the night shall be light about me;
12 Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You,
But the night shines as the day;
The darkness and the light are both alike to You.

13 For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.

17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them!
18 If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;
When I awake, I am still with You.

19 Oh, that You would slay the wicked, O God!
Depart from me, therefore, you bloodthirsty men.
20 For they speak against You wickedly;
Your enemies take Your name in vain.
21 Do I not hate them, O Lord, who hate You?
And do I not loathe those who rise up against You?
22 I hate them with perfect hatred;
I count them my enemies.

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
24 And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.

Amen.

Now, a reading from the Book of Revelation Chapter 22, verses 12-21

12“And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. 13I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.”

14Blessed are those who do is commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. 15But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.

16“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.”

17And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.

18For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; 19and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

20He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.”

Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

21The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

Thank you, Lord, for your Holy Word.  Amen.

Prayer Prompt:

On this day we think of those who suffer with sickness, disease, hunger, and unhealth.  Whether because of issues of economics, of age, of politics, or of health we pray for their comfort and wellbeing.  Take a moment and pray for those whom you know who are currently suffering.

20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him beglory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Ephesians 3:20-21

Amen.