WEEK THREE PRAYER FOCUS: Contending (2 Chronicles 7:14)
Day Fifteen: Praying from Relationship
Today we begin our final week of 21 Days of Prayer. This week we’re focusing on what it means to contend in prayer. This kind of prayer is different to prayers that focus on worship, or getting to know God, or sharing what’s on our hearts. This is the kind of prayer we employ when we’re asking for God to change things in our world, and when we are standing firm against the enemy. These are the battle-cry types of prayer that beckon God to intervene in our hearts, in our families, in our circumstances, in our cities and in our world.
So as we shift into this kind of prayer this week, make sure you take some time to pray big, bold prayers. Ask God to move in specific ways. Ask him to intervene in ways that would be impossible without him. This kind of prayer can feel like work, and it is. This is one of the primary ways we engage in spiritual battles and push back darkness, so don’t be alarmed if you feel a bit tired after contending, or if it feels like it cost you something. You are joining God in changing the world - and that is serious work.
Today's First Passage: 2 Chronicles 7:14a “if My people who are called by My name.”
One of the most important things we must understand if we are going to contend in prayer is our place before God. It is the basis of our relationship that makes intercession or contending prayer different than begging or throwing hopes wildly into the air.
This passage starts with the key words, “if My people, who are called by My Name…” This kind of prayer must come from a place of relationship. We are not strangers banging on the door of heaven asking for a favor, we are sons and daughters, running to our Father’s arms, asking him to help us in our place of need. We can contend in prayer with confidence when we know that we are loved, that we are accepted, and that we are His. We don’t have to bargain, or make sure we are “all cleaned up” to be heard. Jesus has made the way for us to become “God’s People.” We are the “called” ones. We are His family. When we realize this, we are not striving against God, trying to talk him into our desires. Instead, like children, we are running to Him for help and are joining Him in fighting against the enemy of this world.
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER
- Does my prayer life feel more like begging or contending?
- How would my prayers change if I believed that I was joining with God to see His good will overcome evil, instead of trying to convince God to do what I’m asking?
PRAYING THE SCRIPTURES:
Work through these scriptures, letting them sink into your heart, and wrapping your own words around them for yourself, your family, our church and for our city.
For yourself/your family: Hebrews 4:14-16
For Commonwealth: 1 Peter 2:9-10
For the City: Hebrews 11:10
DAY FIFTEEN PRAYER CHALLENGE:
Make a list of things that you are contending for this week. If God could break through in your life, in your family, in our church, in our city - what would you long for Him to do? Be as bold and specific as you can, then take time each day for the next week and contend for these things.
*A great resource to grow in intercession and contending in prayer is the book Circle Maker by Mark Batterson.