Are the 40 Days of Prayer a radical call or a routine custom? Yes! They are both!
A CBC Tradition
They are a routine custom in that every year at this time we set aside 40 days as a church to pray in a focused way. We dovetail with the lenten season in anticipation of the Easter Season and we pray for our city, for our country and for the nations. What a great tradition!
A Timely Call for Prayer
They are a radical call also because the need for focused and fervent prayer is great and urgent. Even if it were not a custom for us to do so at Calvary every year, we are compelled to do it this year! We have a student center project that requires wisdom and resources from above. We are engaged in a multiplication vision that is larger than ourselves. We live in a place where there is great lostness and great potential. Our country is in turmoil. The border brings challenges and opportunities. The culture around us follows a different moral direction. Our families and our children are vulnerable. The enemy seeks to attack the church, her leaders and the individual Christ followers! We must "watch and pray" as Jesus tells his disciples.
Jesus' Example and Command of Focused Prayer
Jesus fasted and prayed in a focused way for 40 days before beginning his ministry (Luke 4:1-2). At the end of his ministry as he prepared to go to the cross he asked his disciples to join him in prayerful preparation (Matthew 26:36-46). The disciples failed to do so and the results were disappointing. As we anticipate the celebration of Jesus' redemptive work on the cross and his victorious resurrection, we are called to pray (if not fast) in a focused way for 40 days. Our 40 days of prayer will begin on Ash Wednesday (March 6) and end on Palm Sunday (April 14).
CBC's Observance 2019
This year here at Calvary, we will observe 40 Days of Prayer in the following way:
- Dates: March 6 through April 14
- Times: 6:00 AM; 12:00 PM; 6:00 PM (three times a day)
- Place: The church parlor will be open at 6:00 AM every week for those who are able and desire to come and pray here. Others can choose a place of their own for the 6:00 AM prayer. The 12:00 PM and 6:00 PM prayer times can happen at the place of choice.
- People: Individuals can do this by themselves, of course. However, we encourage families to pray together; we encourage huddles and home groups to pray together; we ask ABFs, music & worship groups, classes and the various ministries to make this focused prayer a part of their time together during the next six weeks.
- Tool: We will again use the "Seek God for the City" guide. We encourage each person/family to download the app on their smart phone or tablet. The app has a cost of $0.99. (It is not required that you get the app in order to participate in the 40 days of prayer).
The SGFC 2019 guide's emphases are as follows:
Week 1 (Mar 6-16) Seeking His Life to Revive the Church
(The Americas and the Caribbean)
Week 2 (Mar 17-23) Seeking His Light to Awaken the Lost
(Asia and the Pacific)
Week 3 (Mar 24-30) Seeking His Glory in Evangelizing All
Week 4 (Mar 31-Apr 6) Seeking His Righteousness in Our
Communities (Europe and Central Asia)
Week 5 (Apr 7-13) Seeking His Peace Among All Peoples
(The Middle East)
Week 6 (April 14) Welcoming Christ Our King (Jerusalem)
In addition to the prayer guide, we will invite you to pray according to the following emphases each week:
Week 1 (Mar 6-16) Student Center Project
Week 2 (Mar 17-23) Republic of Georgia
Week 3 (Mar 24-30) CBC Vision 2020
Week 4 (Mar 31-Apr 6) Moral Issues in Our Culture
Week 5 (Apr 7-13) The Next Generation
Week 6 (April 14) Calvary's Leaders
Get ready! Decide how you will participate and prepare yourself for God's work in our lives, our church and our world! There is power when God's people pray together! It won't change God but it will change us!