Fall 2021 Season of Prayer

In Joel 2:28, God promises to pour out His Spirit on His people.  In Acts 1:8, Jesus told the disciples that they would receive power when the Holy Spirit arrived—a promise that was fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost.  And N. T. Wright wrote that, “The Kingdom will come as the church, energized by the Spirit, goes out into the world.”  All of those point to the fact that God’s people must be people of prayer if we are indeed going to see what Jesus himself taught us to pray for:  God’s Kingdom to come and His will to be done on earth.


In keeping with that, Fall 2021 at Maple Grove Covenant will be a season of prayer.  It will begin with a Day of Prayer, and continue with specific prayer foci for each week up to Thanksgiving, with the emphases for each of these outlined below.  Please use this guide as just that a guide—but don’t feel limited to it.  We want to be praying in agreement with each other, but we also want the Holy Spirit to be free to guide each of us in our own individual or family prayers.  Although the first section of this guide is given specifically for our Kick-Off Weekend Day of Prayer, feel free to use it throughout the fall in conjunction with the specific focus for each week.


Thank you for praying!


Saturday, September 11—Kick-Off Weekend Day of Prayer

As part of our preparation for Fall ministry, we encourage you to spend at least fifteen minutes (more if possible) during the day on Saturday, September 11, in prayer.  In order to provide some balance to our prayers, the following prayer “prompts” are organized using the ACTS pattern.  If you’re not familiar with that already, we trust the outlined will be self-explanatory.  The focus of these prompts is primarily on the life of our congregation as a whole, and the prayers of supplication are tied to the four emphases for our “Year of Renewal.”  However, you may have other ways you feel led to pray, so please don’t feel limited by what’s here—allow God’s Spirit to shape and direct your time with Him.

 

Prayers of ADORATION

  • Praise God for His attributes:  Holiness, Righteousness, Love, Sovereignty, Knowledge, Wisdom, Faithfulness, Perfection,          Generosity, Compassion, and Glory.  (Psalm 113)
  • Praise God for His active presence in the world and in our lives.  (Psalm 139:7-10)
  • Praise God for His ongoing favor toward us as individuals, as families, and as a congregation (Jer. 29:11)

 

Prayers of CONFESSION

  • Ask God’s forgiveness for ways in which we as individuals or we as a church may have, at times, failed to exemplify the fruit of the Spirit.  (Galatians 5:22-23)
  • Ask God’s forgiveness for ways or times we may have gotten “out of step” with him in some way—even though we may not have realized it.  (Proverbs 19:21)

 

Prayers of THANKSGIVING

  • Thank God for the gift of New Life in Christ and the blessings that come with it for us and others.  (Ephesians 2:8-9)
  • Thank God for the ways he has used Maple Grove over the years to impact individuals, families, and the community to follow Christ and to serve others. (Ephesians 2:10)
  • Thank God for his faithful provision of people, finances, and other resources through many seasons, changes, successes, and even disappointments. (Psalm 100:5)

 

Prayers of SUPPLICATION

  • Pray that we would indeed be refreshed in our relationship with Christ—individually and as a congregation.  Pray that our individual devotional lives, Sunday worship, and other activities would be life-giving for all of us.  (John 10:10b)
  • Pray that God would provide and bless many opportunities for us to reconnect with each other through the year ahead—not only in our “official” gatherings on Sundays, in our community groups, in youth and children’s ministries, but also through personal friendships and informal opportunities to share life together.
  • Pray that revisioning our ministry will be thoughtful, careful, collaborative, and prayerful.  Pray that God will help us wisely discern what to carry forward from our history, and how to identify and pursue new opportunities for the future.
  • Pray for God to help rebuild out leadership capacity.  Pray for unified collaboration among staff members as they learn to serve in new ways.  Pray for wisdom for our leadership team.  Pray for God’s provision of worship, youth, children’s, and other volunteers as we continue to move into the Fall and beyond.
  • Pray for God’s physical protection during the ongoing fight against COVID.  Pray that the necessary work of keeping each other safe will not distract us from other ministry.
  • Pray for protection for leaders, parishioners, and the church against spiritual attack.
  • Pray for successful “launches” of Fall ministries:  Youth Ministry, Children’s Ministry, Women’s and Men’s ministries, community groups, and others you think of.
  • Pray for those who may be looking for a new church and visit Maple Grove Covenant.  Pray that they would have clarity about whether this is a good “home” for them.
  • Pray that we would, in all things, put Christ and his purposes ahead of all other considerations

 

 

Weekly Prayer Emphases.

As we go through the Fall, we ask you to spend at least some time each day in prayer.  Each week will have a specific focus on some aspect of our mission to Go, Love, Live.  The first four weeks will reflect our mission to Go.  Weeks five through eight will focus on Love.  And the final four weeks will emphasize Live.  The emphases for the first four weeks are as follows:

  • Week of September 12: Pray for people in the community, in your circle of family or friends, or in our church who are living with physical, emotional, financial, or other hurts or struggles.  Pray for ministry partners like C.R.O.S.S., and other individuals or organizations that seek to serve people in practical ways.
  • Week of September 19:  Pray for the unchurched.  Pray that those are searching for a church home would find the right one for them.  Pray that those who may feel estranged from the Church for any reason would find the openings and welcome that they need.  Pray that Maple Grove Covenant would be a place where strangers feel welcome and loved, no matter what their background.
  • Week of September 26:  Pray for people who are distant from God.  Pray for those who have not heard the good news of Jesus to hear it in a way that is inviting.  Pray that God would open their hearts to receive the gospel message.  Pray that those who are hostile to God or the gospel would have softened hearts and minds.
  • Week of October 3.  Pray for opportunities to share your own faith with someone who needs to hear what God has done in your life.  Pray that when the opportunity comes, that would be able to share openly, naturally, and lovingly.