Sunday, February 9, 2020

EACF 40 Days of Prayer - February 9, 2020

EACF 40 Days of Prayer 2020
Day 40: Pray for Steadfastness

We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing. Therefore we ourselves boast about you in the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions that you are enduring. - 2 Thessalonians 1:3–4 ESV

Will you keep praying for one another? Will your love for God and love for others last? What about when trials come, when there are arguments and divisions and hurt feelings? What about when there is confrontation of sin and accountability?

If we are following Jesus and experiencing His goodness, then we will know that God's love for us overcomes afflictions and grows through difficulty. We can be steadfast because God is faithful to us. His purposes for us are not frustrated or negated. Trials will come, but God knows that. He works all things for good for His purposes (Romans 8:28). Do not give up praying for one another! Do not give up loving one another! The ability to remain steadfast is us experiencing God's strengthening and sustaining presence through His Spirit. Above all things, abide in Christ's love for you, and you will stand.

As we wrap up these 40 days, I am thankful for the good reports I've heard of how people have responded to the love that's been shared. This is historic; it happened and no one can deny it or change it. Believe in God' working through our relationships with one another, through our prayers for one another. Pray for two more people today, for them to have steadfast faith even in whatever trials they are facing. Send notes to those for whom you pray and encourage them with God's real, good love for them and for all of us. This is day 40 of praying for good, but it is not the end! Keep praying for good, and God will show up!

Saturday, February 8, 2020

EACF 40 Days of Prayer - February 8, 2020

EACF 40 Days of Prayer 2020
Day 39: Pray for Increasing Love

We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing. Therefore we ourselves boast about you in the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions that you are enduring. - 2 Thessalonians 1:3–4 ESV

What holds us back from loving others? Fear? Hurt? Judgment? Selfishness? Which do you identify with strongest?

Jesus said the most important commandment was loving God, and then He quickly added that loving others is just like it. Paul celebrates that the Thessalonian Christians have faith that is growing abundantly and love of everyone of you for one another in increasing measure. They are growing in love. They are growing in their capacity to love. They are growing in their expressions of love.

What a church! What allows us to grow in these ways? When we receive God's love, we have love to give. As God works in us to humble our hearts, convict us of sin, and to move us off of our sinful, judgmental perches, we are given over to love from Him, love for Him, and love for others. God wants us to be marked by love. God does not want us to hold back. This is His goodness working through or relationships. So here is the question: do you love the people in your church? Are you growing to love all of them more and more?

Pray for two others to grow in loving one another! Pray for reconciliation where there have been broken relationships - this is not to be in the family of God! Pray for healing and grace, for mended marriages and friendships. Send notes to those for whom you pray and ask them how you can pray for them beyond this as well. This is day 39 of praying for good!

Friday, February 7, 2020

EACF 40 Days of Prayer - February 7, 2020

EACF 40 Days of Prayer 2020
Day 38: Pray for Growing Faith

We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing. Therefore we ourselves boast about you in the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions that you are enduring. - 2 Thessalonians 1:3–4 ESV

As we wind down our forty days of prayer for our church, let us give thanks to God as we ask to experience His goodness. God is with you, wherever you are. God is for you, as He desires to bless us and bring us into His good, pleasing, and perfect will (Romans 12:2), for His own name's sake (Ezekiel 36:15-21). God calls us to faith (Genesis 15:6), and to grow in walking with Him. This is a blessing - to be able to grow in our faith (2 Peter 1:5-11) in God because He is faithful and trustworthy.

What does it mean to live a life of faith? It means we've tasted and seen the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8) and are willing to go where He leads (Psalm 23). He is the good shepherd (John 10) and we trust Him because we are His. Let your faith grow abundantly! Have more and more faith, learning to trust Him with everything in your life. Pray about everything - lift it ALL up to Him. Give God everything! Do not hold anything back! To trust Him and live by faith is a good thing. Putting ourselves in God's hands and stepping out in faith is the best place for us to be. This is His goodness under, over, in front of, and behind us.

Pray for two others to grow in faith! Pray that their burdens would be lifted up and that they would truly learn to trust God and live by faith. Send them a note and ask them how you can pray for them beyond this as well. This is day 38 of praying for good!


Thursday, February 6, 2020

EACF 40 Days of Prayer - February 6, 2020

EACF 40 Days of Prayer 2020
Day 37: Pray to Avoid Temptation and Sin

Matthew 6:9-13 The Lord's Prayer
"Pray then like this:
'Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.'"

Do you know what sin is? What is temptation? We break God's commands and break God's heart by our sin, when we do anything that He doesn't want and when we don't do things that He calls and commands us to do. Having a difficult relationship with someone that it causes you to wish they weren't in your life? That's sin - God put that person in your life and you're supposed to show them God's love and grace! Sometimes showing God's love means getting messy and dirty and dealing with the difficulty of growth out of sin and into godliness. Sometimes it's tough love that has tough conversations. Are you tempted to avoid such things?

God leads us not into temptation but deliver[s] us from evil! How? By grace, He exposes our sin and steers us away from sin and into His goodness. The best way to avoid temptation is to abide in Christ and enjoy His goodness. But there is still temptation and we have to be real about it, be honest about it, and be humble about it. Ask God for help! Get some accountability through friends with whom you can share your struggles. Let God teach you how to fight temptation and evil. And let God teach us what it means to walk in the victory Christ has won for us!

You do not need to flirt with sin and you do not need to give in. Thank God for setting us free! Pray for two people who are battling temptation and sin - pray for God to lead them out of it! Send them a note and ask them how you can pray for them beyond this as well. This is day 37 of praying for people to experience God's goodness.


EACF 40 Days of Prayer - February 9, 2020

EACF 40 Days of Prayer 2020 Day 40: Pray for Steadfastness We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, as is right, because y...