Prayer Week
by Derek Gentle


Looking through John Piper's sermons, I came across the fact that his church, the Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, observes Prayer Week each year in January. It was such a helpful way of emphasizing prayer, we started having Prayer Week at First Baptist in Tallassee. Below is information gleaned from our informational brochure.

Prayer Week is a time for us as a church family to begin our year with vigorous prayer, asking God to mature us spiritually, to lead us in ministry, and to empower our witness.

There are several ways you can participate in prayer week. Numerous options are provided in order to fit people's different schedules. Please do what works with your weekly schedule and what you feel comfortable doing. You are urged to stretch your comfort level and to give the Lord your very best.

Select from these ways in which you can participate:

  • Lunch Break Prayer Time - One day or every week day, as you are led - spending your lunch break in prayer.

  • Personal Day of Prayer and Fasting - Members (who are able) are encouraged to fast on one day during the week. See information in this guide.
  • Prayer Trail - Take a PrayerWalk through the woods on the new property. Commune with God in His creation. Pray about the future of His church.
  • Morning Prayer Meeting at SuperFoods: Monday through Friday, 6:30 am
  • Discipleship Training: Prayer Edition, Sunday, January 21
  • Why not host a small group evangelistic Prayer Meeting in your home? Perhaps dessert and prayer after church. Pray with trusted friends about the salvation of those for whom you are concerned.

  • Getting Ready for Prayer Week

  • "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him" -- John Piper

    1. Remember that we are created for God's pleasure and to display His power. Prayer is about getting in touch with God and about receiving His power.

    2. Prepare your heart by spending time in the Word. Meditate on (think about) the Scriptures you read.

    3. Confess any sin in your life; be honest with God.

    4. Invite the Holy Spirit to fill you.

    5. Be prepared to obey the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

    6. As you read the Scriptures and pray, listen for the voice of God.


    PrayerTimer and Prayer Requests
    Prayer Pages are Available in the Education Building


    PrayerWalking PrayerWalking is intentionally walking through a community or neighborhood and praying for its residents. It is a form of intercessory prayer used by Southern Baptist Missionaries and missions volunteers around the world. It is "praying on site with insight."

    As you are PrayerWalking. . . Move slowly to give yourself time to hear God and to pray. . . Keep your eyes and ears open. . . Be alert and pray about what you notice. . . Pray as you go, aloud (not loudly, but aloud). . . Drive-by Praying can be substituted if walking is not an option physically or if you are in a scattered rural area. A brochure is available in the education building with more about PrayerWalking.


    Fasting

    Fasting is doing without food for one or more meals in order to give time to prayer and to focus on seeking God. Fasting is not just denying yourself food. Give the extra time left from food preparation and eating to spending longer times in prayer and reading God's Word "While fasting, if you dissipate your energy on numerous errands or busy-work to the neglect of spending special time with God, you will starve both physically and spiritually."

    "Fasting is a means of humbling ourselves before God, letting Him know that we are willing to exchange physical comforts to seek Him for a spiritual feast! As a spiritual discipline, fasting is the act of abstaining from feeding the body in order to focus more fully on seeking God's face and feeding the spirit. This is a powerful discipline where God's Spirit is poured out upon us as we earnestly seek Him."

    Make certain that you are in good health. If there is any question as to whether fasting is right for you, consult your physician. Some may substitute a television fast.

    Resist the urge to have that "last big feast" before the fast. Wean yourself off caffeine and sugar products to ease your initial hunger or discomfort at the early stages of your fast. Buy some breath spray; mints or gum will make you hungry.

    In your prayers, confess not only obvious sins, but less obvious ones as well, the sins of omission as well as sins of commission.

    Many people are reluctant to tell others that they are fasting so they will avoid the sin of the Pharisees: fasting just to gain recognition for themselves, but it is OK to tell family members who have a need to know.

    Sources:
    http://www.fastingprayer.com/whatisfasting/index.html
    http://www.www.ccci.org/howtofast/schedule.html



    Church Ministries & People For Whom You Can Pray
    All members are being asked to make a prayer list and to pray for the ongoing ministry of First Baptist Church. You can pray for:

  • People you know without a vital relationship with Christ
  • Making new disciples of the lost - Evangelism
  • Spiritual growth
  • Mission Trip planning
  • Building Council / Building Program
  • Upward Basketball
  • Children Ministry
  • Youth Ministry
  • Music Ministry
  • Your Sunday School Class
  • Sunday Evening Services
  • Homebound, members in Nursing Homes
  • New Members joining by letter
  • Ministerial Staff
  • Deacons


    Discipleship Training: Prayer Edition
    Sunday, January 21 5:30 pm
    A special time of prayer for church ministries and committees

    The people to be nominated to serve on these committees for 2001 are asked to meet and pray together in preparation for the year's ministry. If you are not serving on one of these committees, please select an area in which you have an interest and join that group. Your participation will be welcomed.

    Online Resources:
    http://www.sbcpray.net/
    http://www.namb.com/root/beonmission/prayer
    http://www.namb.com/root/beonmission/devotions
    http://www.desiringgod.org/
    Piper's Prayer Week Sermons: A BSP Index
    Prayer Week Informational Brochure in WordPerfect format



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