Overcoming Darkness: A 90-day Prayer Focus What is a prayer focus?

A prayer focus is a daily guide to Scripture reading and prayer that a group or region uses to corporately “be on the same page”.  The focus typically follows a theme.  This gives the opportunity for people to enter in to encountering and experiencing God together. Why should I participate in a prayer focus?   If God is calling you to participate, you will be richly blessed in this corporate expression of shared prayer, fellowship and experience.  It may seem at first like a burden to add something extra to your devotional life, but believe me, it will be worth it! How does it work?  Each day spend some time reading the Scriptures recommended and use it and the comments or questions provided to begin a dialog with God on the topic.  There will also be a weekly challenge where you can take what God is speaking to you and put it into action. This 90-day prayer focus is broken down into four 21-day prayer focuses, each with a different theme and a final week of celebration.  There will be an optional gathering for fellowship and prayer at the end of each 21-day focus for those who want to participate. Why this theme – Overcoming Darkness?  This year’s focus at Leading in These Times of racial reconciliation is highlighting an area that needs to be addressed.  Any kind of division in the Body of Christ is displeasing to God and contrary to His Kingdom, whether it manifests in racial, gender, denominational or any other kind of discrimination or abuse. How do we deal with this darkness? Recently I read in an article that to overcome any form of darkness corporately, we first need to be grounded in the following four areas:

  1. Receiving God’s provision of unity  through the Cross (Eph. 2:13-22)
  2. Living in the reality of love, through the power of the Spirit (Eph. 3:14-20)
  3. Embracing humility  that enables the preservation of unity (Eph. 4:1-6)
  4. Walking in purity  in life and relationships (Eph. 4:20-6:9) (Tom White, Overcoming High Level Darkness)

This is the basis for the four 21-day prayer focuses – exploring unity, love, humility and purity together.  For those warriors who might be thinking, “What? Aren’t we going to battle?” Yes.  These four things also constitute the most powerful weapons we have against the enemy. What if I miss a day?  Don’t stress about it!  That’s the beauty of doing this corporately. There’s grace if you miss a day.  Don’t feel pressured to “catch up”, just join in as God leads you. Have questions?  Contact Adena Hodges at ahodges@rockofroseville.com Overcoming Darkness: A 90-Day Prayer Focus First 21-days – Unity Day 1 – Read Genesis 1.  Meditate on how the Father, Son and Spirit worked together in creation.  Ask God to give you a fresh vision of this familiar passage.  What did it look like for the Father to say, “Let Us make man in our image…” Day 2 – Read John 1:1-5, 14; 5:19 – How does the “Word” express and reveal the glory of the Father to you?  Why did Jesus only do what the Father was doing? Day 3 – Read John 14:1-21.  What had Philip missed?  Ask the Lord to reveal anything you might have “missed” in understanding the unity of Father, Son and Spirit. Day 4 – Read Psalm 2.  If the Father was planning to give Jesus the nations as His inheritance, why did He tell Jesus to ask Him for it?  How does understanding this and applying it to my life affect the way I pray? Day 5 – Read 2 Corinthians 13:14.  Why did Paul highlight each member of the Godhead in closing this letter?  What insights do we learn about different expressions of the Trinity from this passage?  Take a moment to thank the Son for His grace, the Father for His love and Holy Spirit for fellowship (communion) Day 6 – Read Matthew 3:13-17.  Picture this scene in a fresh way.  How are the Father, Son and Spirit interacting? Day 7 – Read Revelation 1.  Take note of where each member of the Godhead is mentioned.  Ask the Lord for a renewed revelation of the Father, expressed through the Jesus by the Spirit. Day 8 – Read John 15:1-11.  What does an abiding relationship with Jesus look like to you?  Ask God to reveal a new depth of the connection He desires to have with you. Day 9 – Read John 17.  Jesus desires oneness with us in the same way that He and the Father function.  What does that mean to you?  What is Jesus’ deepest desire? Day 10 – Read Galatians 4:4-7.  What does “adoption” mean to you?  What does it mean to be an “heir” of God?  Ask the Lord to reveal a new level of meaning to you personally through these passages. Day 11 – Read Ephesians 1.  Make a list of the blessings God has given you as an heir based on this chapter. Day 12 – Read John 6:22-71 – Jesus’ most controversial sermon.  What does it mean today to “eat His flesh and drink His blood”?  Think beyond communion.  How is this part of abiding? Day 13 – Read Romans 8.  Sometimes we focus on sections of this chapter individually and forget it is part of one continuous letter.  In a few sentences, write a summary of what you feel Holy Spirit is communicating to you through this chapter. Day 14 – Read Ephesians 5:25-32; Revelation 19:7-9, 22:16.  Why did God use the marriage relationship to represent His relationship with the church?  Why did Paul call this a “great mystery”?  What’s our part as the bride in hastening His return?   Day 15 – Read Psalm 133.  In a culture that values individualism, what does God want to speak to you today about the blessing of unity?  What are you willing to let go of to receive that blessing? Day 16 – Read Ephesians 4.  Ask God for greater revelation of these phrases…”endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace”, “till we all come to the unity of the faith…” “The whole body, joined and knit together…”  What does Paul recommend as the way to this unity? (Eph 4:17-32).  Make a list of the things not to do and the things he says to do.  Ask the Lord to reveal areas you need to grow in. Day 17 – Read Colossians 2:1-19.  What does it mean to be “knit together” with other believers?  Do you feel connected in this way?  Why or why not?  If not, ask the Lord what steps He’d have you take to enter a greater level of fellowship. Day 18 – Read Ephesians 2.  Jesus, through His death, broke down the wall of division and created “one new man”, Jew and Gentile.  What does this mean to you personally?  Does it include denominational, racial, or gender “walls”?  How are you connecting and being built into “a holy temple in the Lord”? Day 19 – Read 1 Corinthians 12. How do you uniquely function in the body of Christ?  Are there any perspective “shifts” He wants you to see from reading this chapter?  How are you relating to other parts of the body? Day 20 – Read Romans 16.  We often overlook these personal greetings that Paul exchanges with believers in the body.  Take some time to note what he says to each and how he address them.  What insights can you glean from this chapter about relationships in Christ? Day 21 – Read 1 John 1.  How do we discover true fellowship with one another?  Ask the Lord to reveal any area where you aren’t “walking in the light?”     Upcoming Events

  • The Intercessor’s Workshop – Abiding and Abounding – November 8, 10-12pm at The Rock of Roseville
  • 21-day Follow-up Fellowship – November 16, 3-5pm at The Rock
  • 21-day Follow-up Fellowship – December 7, 3-5pm Location TBD
  • 21-day Follow-up Fellowship – December 28, 3-5pm Location TBD
  • 21-day Follow-up Fellowship – January 18, 3-5pm at Capital Christian Center prior to MLK Celebration

For more information, check out: www.sacprays.com

 

Overcoming Darkness: A 90-Day Prayer Focus

Second 21-days – Love

Day 1 – Read 1 John 4:7-21 – God is the embodiment of love.  How is God re-defining love for you in this season?  Ask the Lord to reveal any lies the enemy has spoken to you about God’s love.

Day 2 – Read 1 Corinthians 13 – Substitute the word “love” for “God” and read this passage out loud.  Let the expression of God as love penetrate your heart in new ways.  Think of specific ways He has shown this love to you personally.

Day 3 – Read Romans 8:31-39 – Do you feel secure in God’s love? Why or why not?  What is He speaking to you today about resting in His love?  Speak out this affirmation based on this verse:  I am secure in God’s love.  Nothing can separate me from Him.  I am more than a conqueror because of His love.

Day 4 – Read Zephaniah 3:14-17 – Ask the Lord to quiet you today in His love.  Let go of stress, anxiety, burden, worry, busyness, etc and rest in His love.

Day 5 – Read Romans 5:1-11 – How is God’s love demonstrated to us?  How do we receive it? What does this (justification) mean for you personally?  Ask Holy Spirit to “pour” into you God’s love today!

Day 6 – Read Ephesians 3:14-21 – Are you rooted and grounded in love?  Ask Jesus for a fresh revelation of the expansiveness of His love for you.

Day 7 – Read Ephesians 2:4-5;   Jeremiah 31:3;   1 John 4:9 – Ask God to fill you with His life and love today.  Let Him wash away any fear, doubt or unbelief that stands defiantly against this amazing love.

 

Day 8 – Read Jude 17-25 – What four things does Jude specifically mention in verses 20 & 21 that we as believers need to be doing?  Take a few moments and turn these verses into a personal prayer.  Ask the Lord to build your faith, how to pray in the Spirit, to keep in God’s love and experience Jesus’ mercy.

Day 9 – Read John 14:8-31; 15:4 and 1 John 5:3  In John 15:4 Where has the Lord designed for you to be filled and enabled to walk in His commandment? Lay aside your burdens and business for a few minutes. Express your love for Him by abiding, being still, in His Presence. Be willing to receive anything He wants to speak to or show you in that place.

Day 10 – Read Matthew 22:34-40 – Ask the Lord how you can love Him today with all your heart, soul and mind.

Day 11 – Read Deuteronomy 30:6 and Matthew 6:24 – What does it mean to have our hearts “circumcised”?  What is God needing to “cut away” from your heart so you can love Him fully?  Is there anything in your life that you love more than Him?

Day 12 – Read Luke 11:37-42 – The Pharisees were very precise in outer parts of their lives, but neglected heart issues.  Ask the Lord to reveal any area of your life that you overemphasize while lacking in love or justice?

Day 13 – Read 1 Corinthians 2:9, 10 – God is preparing great reward for you!  He can reveal it to you by His Spirit.  Ask Him to show you the rewards of love.

Day 14 – Ephesians 6:23, 24 – How do we love God “in faith”? (Hebrews 11:6)  Ask God for the grace to love Him with a pure heart.  Looking back at Day 1, how has your definition/or understanding of Love for God changed in the last 14 days?

Day 15 – Read Matthew 22:34-40 again – What does it mean to love your neighbor as you love yourself?  Can you agree with God’s love for you and love yourself as He does?  It’s from this place that we can then see others through His eyes and love them.  Ask Jesus for grace to love yourself as He does.

Day 16 – Read Ephesians 4:15, 16 – YOU are part of the body.  You can’t truly love the body of Christ, if you dishonor or dislike yourself.  Ask Father to show you any place that you “hate” yourself.  Repent and receive His grace to honor your body, soul and spirit as His temple (1 Corinthians 6:19)

Day 17 – Read 1 John 4 – How is God’s love perfected in us?  What does verse 18 indicate keeps us from experiencing perfect love?  Ask the Lord to reveal any place that fear has a hold on you.  How does God relate loving one another with love for Him?  Why?  (John 8:37-45)  Let Jesus reveal any person, group or race you are struggling to love.  Ask Him for grace to love.

Day 18 – Read Romans 13:8-10; 14:1-20 –   How is it that we fulfill the law when we love and yet Paul talks in other places that we are not “under law”. For example, Paul focuses on differences in eating and drinking among believers in the early church.  Can you think of any examples of “law” in our own modern day churches that could cause division and wounding in the Body?

Day 19 – Read Matthew 5:38-48 – Ask Holy Spirit to reveal anyone who is your “enemy” – someone you have difficultly loving in the natural.  How does loving your enemy relate to being “perfect” like your Father in Heaven?

Day 20 – Read Luke 6:27-36 – What additional insights does Luke add to loving your enemy?  How do we become “Sons of the Most High?” What does Luke substitute for Matthew’s “perfect” in verse 36?  How does this relate to Mark 11:26?

Day 21 – Read 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 – Insert your name in place of “love” and by faith declare this over your life.  Remember it is God manifesting this in you, not something you are striving to do.

 

Overcoming Darkness: A 90-Day Prayer Focus

Third 21-days – Humility

 

Day 1 – Read Philippians 2:1-11 – Meditate on the amazing humility it took for Jesus as God to take on humanity, becoming one with us in order to save us.  Ask God for fresh revelation into the humanity of Jesus.  Thank Him!

Day 2 – Read John 13:1-12 – What three things in verse 3 enabled Jesus to wash His disciples’ feet?  Picture yourself in the scene with the disciples.  What was this prophetic act and what was their Master teaching them?  What was said to Peter as he protested Jesus’ humbly washing his feet? (John 13:8)  As you still yourself, ponder this question as you allow Jesus to humbly kneel before you to also wash your feet.  Thank Him for showing you this act of love done in humility.  

Day 3 – Read the story of the crucifixion from one of the gospels and from a version or paraphrase you haven’t used before (suggestions: The Message or The Voice).  Ask God to show you the humility Jesus demonstrated in a whole new way.

Day 4 – Read Numbers 12:3; Exodus 18:13-27 and 32:7-14 – What is said of Moses? How do the two Exodus passages highlight Moses’ humility?  Think of other stories of his life that exhibit his humility.

Day 5 – Read 2 Samuel 6:13-23 – How does extravagant worship demonstrate humility?  Can you think of other instances in David’s life that reveal a humble spirit?

Day 6 – Read Acts 20:13-24; Philippians 3 – How does Paul’s life show humility?  Does it seem a little arrogant of him to say “Follow my example”?  What was the example he was talking about?

Day 7 – Read 1 Peter 5 – Think back over Peter’s life and the trials he experienced that taught him humility.  If Peter were sitting with you today, what would he say to you about being humble?

 

Day 8 – Read Isaiah 53:3-10 – Read this passage thoughtfully twice; once to take it in, then again imprint this heartbreaking gift of love and humility Jesus gave you personally.  Read Isaiah 49:16. What does this say about you?  Express your love back to him through adoration or worship, dancing, singing, playing music. He loves it all. 

Day 9 – Read Isaiah 14:12-17; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12 – Contrast the Lucifer/anti-Christ spirit with the humility demonstrated by Jesus.  Ask the Holy Spirit to align you with His mind and heart.

Day 10 – Read Colossians 2:8-23 – How does false humility manifest itself?  How can you avoid this?

Day 11 – Read Luke 18:9-14 – Ask Holy Spirit to reveal fresh revelation to you through this passage today.

Day 12 – Read John 13:1-17 – Look back at your responses to Day 2.  Do you know (from verse 3) what the Father has given you personally?  Do you know where you came from and where you are going?  How does this impact your ability to follow Jesus’ example?

Day 13 – Read James 3:13-18; 4:1-10 – This book was written by James, likely the brother of Jesus, who did not accept Him as Messiah until after His resurrection.  Can you imagine being Jesus’ sibling?  Always compared to Him, etc.  James knew a thing or two about envy!  In this passage, he gives practical advice to overcoming self-seeking, envy and pride.  Ask Holy Spirit to reveal any form these have taken root in your heart.

Day 14 – Read 2 Chronicles 7:14 – This is the first time in Scripture we are asked to humble ourselves instead of being humbled by God.  Ask the Lord to show you how He wants you to humble yourself in this season as part of healing our land.  What does that look like for you?

 

Day 15 – Read Romans 12 – Paul gives multiple examples of how to relate in community in this chapter.  Note how he starts the chapter and how the themes of love, unity and humility are woven through his instructions.  Ask the hard questions, how would you rate yourself in these areas? Ask Holy Spirit to reveal new ways to deal with those areas you are weaker in.

Day 16 – Read Colossians 3:1-16 – What two things do we need to do as part of putting on “tender mercies, kindness, humility…”? (hint: put off, put on)

Day 17 – Read Matthew 18 – Jesus begins a teaching on humility in response to the disciples’ question on who is the greatest and then addresses offense and forgiveness.  Why and how is humility and forgiveness connected?

Day 18 – Read Luke 22:24-30 – Despite Jesus’ teaching and example, the disciples were still arguing over who would be the greatest just before his crucifixion.  Teaching and example aren’t enough.  What changes occurred in Acts that shifted the disciples into practicing humility?

Day 19 – Read Titus 3 – Humility isn’t an ethereal concept but something that must be lived out before our spouse, family, friends and community.  How do you demonstrate humility in your daily life?

Day 20 – Read Ezra 8:21-23 – Why are humility, prayer and fasting often associated together?  What area in your life are you needing breakthrough?  Ask Holy Spirit if it’s time to fast as an act of humility for overcoming power.

Day 21 – Read Micah 6:8 – Are you fair in your interactions with others? Do you show mercy to those who treat you unkindly? Ask the Lord to open your eyes to walk in a new level of humility in your life today.

 

 

Overcoming Darkness: A 90-Day Prayer Focus

Fourth 21-day prayer focus – Purity

As we near the end our progressive prayer journey together, pray this prayer with me, Dear Ones, as you stand in the love and light and pleasure of our Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Father, today and every day, let our thoughts be Your thoughts; our ways Your ways; our prayers Your prayers.  In Your divine love, Father, make our hearts to be in unity with Your heart.  Show to us, Father, the path of humility that journeys to the very high place of purity–Your divine acceptance and kiss upon our hearts.  Amen

 

Journey of Purity

Some words in scripture defining purity                    Contrasting scriptural words of impurity

Innocent                                                                      guilty                                                   clean                                                                           unclean

refine, purify                                                               impure

blameless                                                                    corrupt

without stain of guilt                                                   stained

without blemish                                                          blemish, defect

undefiled                                                                     defiled

 

Day 1   Quickly jot down the first thing that comes into your mind as you think of what purity looks like in our present-day world.  _______________________________________________ Read — Proverbs 16:2;   Matthews 23:25-28;  1Samuel 16:7  These scriptures reveal 2 completely different sources of purity before God.   One was wrong.  The Pharisees of Jesus’ day taught that purity involved looking good on the outside by displaying a lot of “righteous” deeds or acts.  What did Jesus reveal was the birthplace of true purity? ______________________________________________________________________________

 

Day 2 — Read Job 14:4; Isaiah 64:6; Zechariah 3:1-5; Psalm 51:2, 7, 10   As hard as we might try, there is nothing we can do to be pure enough to earn the acceptance of God.  They are received as “filthy rags”, even with the best intentions. Ask the Lord to show you any area of your life you think is “pretty  good”, but is based on your own works or effort.  _____________________________________________________________________________

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Day 3 –  Read 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (emphasis on v. 11);  Ephesians 6:25-27 – Praise God that He washes you clean!  Rejoice that Jesus has freely given His purity to every believer in Him — no matter what you’ve done or thought in the past. This cannot be earned by you.  It is a gift to you.  Ask the Holy Spirit to show you any place the enemy has falsely accused you of being unclean.  Have you bought into this lie?  Repent and receive the full cleansing He has for you.

Days–4 and 5   Days 4 and 5 have been combined. The following begins to reveal the depths and heights of God’s love and provision for our purity and cleansing of sin.   Let these scriptures permeate your mind and heart over the next 2 days. This way to purity could never come from the mind or religion of man.  It shatters every idea that we can do anything to earn our purity.   He has made us clean.  Praise be to God.

Read Revelation 1:4-6; 12:11; Ephesians 2:13; Romans 3:23-26; and 5:8-9.

Take time to pause in the next 2 days to deeply ponder the cost of your cleansing. You are walking in the high place now.    Though it is a gift to you, it did not come for free.  What precious substance has cleansed us, or purified us, from our sins; gives us the enabling power to overcome; justifies us causing God to pass over our sins.

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Write, speak out, sing, dance or express in any way a sacrifice of thanksgiving to your sovereign Lord Jesus Christ for His fierce love you.  Record what your expression was. ______________________________________________________________________________

Day 6:  Read Exodus 12:12-13 and 22-23 – Are you making the connection between today’s scripture and above verses for Days 4-5.  It is all about the blood. Do you see God’s hand in His plan thousands of years ago spanning forward into time?  The blood on the door lintels and two door posts was a sign, a foreshadowing of a greater fulfillment that would lay ahead.  It is called the Pass Over.  The final plague of death of firstborns in Egypt was ready to be unleashed, the “destroyer” was poised to be released.   But a provision of protection was put in motion. It was a pure act of faith. Moses directed the people to apply the blood of a lamb on the doors 2 lintels and posts of a house.  Any first born in a house marked with the blood was saved from death.  The destroyer passed over them.

That ancient foreshadowing sign of the Passover was fulfilled by Christ as He hung on the Cross and shed His blood.  With His final breath “He said, It is finished.”  (Jn. 19:30″)  The pure blood of the Lamb of God victoriously achieved what was impossible for man.  Dear One, Christ shed His blood for you and marked you with it the moment you believed in Him as your Savior.  He has made you pure by gifting you with His purity.  Father God sees the blood of His Son on you and sees you as perfect.  You will not come into judgment.  You have passed over from death into life.  It is the Blood of the Lamb that was pleasing to our Father and met the requirements of God’s perfection and purity which He knew you could not meet.  And that He did it for you.

            Offer a song or a prayer of adoration to the Lamb who carries the imprint of you upon HIm.

Day 7:  Read Malachi 3:1-3; 1Peter 1:18-20-  What two metaphors does Malachi bring forth to describe God’s purifying process(verse 2)?    In the New Testament how does Peter reveal God’s rendering of being refined and redeemed?  How do they differ and yet how are they alike?   Are they dealing with the inner or outer aspect of the soul?  ______________________________________________________________________________

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Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.”  Revelation 5:12

 

Day 8 – Read Matthew 5:8 – What is the blessing of purity?  Is it worth it?  Do you want it?

Day 9 – Read Proverbs 22:11 – What does this verse mean to you?  Meditate on this benefit of purity.

Day 10 – Read Psalm 19:8 – Ask the Lord to enlighten your eyes today as you read His Word

Day 11 – Read Psalm 24:3-6 – Do you desire to experience God’s manifest presence?  How can you enter in?

Day 12 – Read Psalm 73 – How did Asaph almost stumble?  Where did he find answers to his questions?  Ask the Lord to show you any lack of trust that keep you from experiencing the full blessings of the goodness of God.

Day 13 – Read Daniel 12:10; James 3:17, 18 – How are purity and wisdom related?

Day 14 – Read Psalm 18:20-27; Isaiah 32:17 – Was David arrogant in proclaiming his innocence or confident in God’s provision or righteousness?  What did David see as God’s reward? (Verses 37, 38 & 50)

Day 15 – Read Psalm 51 – Contrast this Psalm with the one from Day 14.  When David stumbled, what was his part to come back to a place of purity?

Day 16 – Read James 4:7-8 – If our source of purity is God, why does James say to cleanse our hands and purify our hearts?  What part do we play?  Ask the Lord to reveal any area of your life you need to cleanse or purify.

Day 17 – Read Philippians 4:8 – How does meditation relate to being pure?  How does your thought life measure up to this verse?  Ask the Lord to help you focus on what is pure and lovely, instead of straying into complaints, grumbling, worry or fear.

Day 18 – Read James 1:27 – How does James define pure religion? What does caring for orphans and widows have to do with purity?  Ask Jesus what this looks like for you.

Day 19 – Read 1 Peter 1:13-23 – How is obedience and purity related?  Ask Holy Spirit to show you any area in your life that you aren’t walking in full obedience to Him.  Call on Him and His strength. Thank Him, that as you turn to Him and seek Him, He reveals truth and His Spirit indwelling in you gives you the transforming power to follow Him and His ways.

Day 20 – Read 1 John 3:1-3 – What hope does John talk about that spurs us on to purity?

Day 21 – Read Revelation 19:1-9 – The wedding day is soon!  Are you, as His bride, making yourself ready?  Oh, how He loves you!  Looking forward to that day!

 

Father, we humbly, surrender and turn to You. We throw off the distractions, offenses and lies and fix our gaze on You and who You are, the One True God, Pure, Loving, Humble and full of Unity. Papa, it is by looking to You, spending time with You starring into Your eyes, resisting the enemy, hearing Your truth, standing and declaring Your nature that You with Your transforming power make us more like You. We thank you that as a result we are filled with You, Your true joy and friendship that does not fade away, but lasts forever. 

              In Jesus Name Amen

 

To download the prayer focuses, click here.

 

 

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