The yearly 21 days of prayer is starting on Sunday. I know several who are participating because their church is running corporate gatherings each morning throughout the 21 days. I do not attend a church that does this, but I am still participating. So if you, like me either don’t have the availability to go to a church to participate corporately (my hubby works too early in the morning for me to make it there and back before he leaves), or you are not near a local church that holds meetings, you can participate at home! I find that it’s a great way to recharge your faith and put God first in your morning and in your year. 2018 is barely beginning and God has so much He can do in your life, but how much better will that be if you spend time purging the gunk that has distracted you from time with Him as well as things that have kept you from hearing His leading in your life? Or maybe you just want to go after the MORE. I use this phrase a lot with deeper believers because I firmly believe there is always more to be had with God. He is ever-increasing and we will never reach the end of Him on this side of Heaven. The promise of more is so fun!! If you are new to 21 days of prayer, I hope these tips will give you a glimpse into how it can be done (not a rule of thumb, just suggestions). If you have been doing it for a while, it will be fun to see how someone else goes about the hour of prayer. I would love to hear about your process and tips as I am always looking to shake things up.
1. Make a List
This past week, I have spent time reflecting on my previous year’s growth and where I’d like to be in a year. This is in regards to all aspects of my life: in my faith, in my church, as a wife and mother, and in my career. I start jotting down desires of my heart and people who I want to cover in prayer. I get specific in my list to help guide me during the time of prayer as I have “Mental Squirrel Syndrome” and I need points to pray through. This will also help me to connect my prayers with God’s provision. This also serves as a vision board of sorts. You don’t have to stop praying through this after the 21 days. Heck, you can add to it and cross things off all year long!
2. Choose a Spot and Prepare the Space
I think this is one of my biggest pieces of advice for those who are starting a morning prayer routine for the first time. I liken this to setting your workout clothes out the night before. You have to do the little prep work to make you mornin go easier. Nothing steals your joy and frustrates more quickly than hitting obstacles before you even begin. So find your headphones, blanket, journal, devotional or bible and put it my the chair you plan to sit in before you go to bed. This makes getting up and being present a short task (and that means you get that extra 10 minutes of sleep).
3. Choose a Time
I don’t have to explain why this is important. Anything that we want to make a priority needs to be scheduled. Whether you put it in your calendar or not, you need to plan to be up at a certain time. If you are choosing to participate with a church, they do live stream, but you have to be up and ready at 6 or 7 (depending which church you choose). One is not holier than the other, so choose what you think you can stick with–or the one you feel called to. I am doing 6 because I know I will not be bothered (for the most part) between 6-7.
4. Put Together a Worship Set
If this is not your thing, you can livestream with one of the churches (listed below) and they will take care of that for you. You can also use a spotify list that someone else put together. If you, like me, connect heavily with music, you may want a soundtrack of sorts that you create yourself. Put it together ahead of time.
5. Come Expecting BIG Things
One of the greater obstacles that I believe we as believers struggle with is doubt. Sure we believe in our eternal salvation in Christ, but somewhere along the line we started believing that going after the extraordinary and the supernatural was beyond the realm of possibility for the average Christian. Like it was reserved for Super Christians or something (a mythical realm of people by the way). You can go after more of Him no matter who you are. And ultimately, at the end of this 21 days I hope you have a greater sense of Him above all else. Above any and all prayers that He will answer, I hope you get overwhelmed by HIS Presence. He is Emmanuel, God with us. Letting Him occupy more of your life will ALWAYS be good–answered prayers aside.
Some of you may choose to fast something from your life during the 21 days. This can be a great way of re-calibrating your life in areas of food, shopping, social media, TV watching, coffee consumption, or really anything that has gotten out of hand. I am not your Holy Spirit so I won’t tell you if you need to fast or what you need to fast, but it does ramp up the intensity of this time of prayer. I won’t go into detail with all the ins and outs of fasting but there are great resources out there if this is one area you want to pair with the prayer time.