Thanks for joining us for Woodlands in Prayer in 2019!
Woodlands in Prayer is a prayer tool designed to provide inspiration and information for prayer.
Below, you will find the following:
an inspirational or informational quote on prayer each day. Currently, we’re gleaning wisdom from the book “The Praying Life” by Paul E. Miller,
3-5 key prayer requests for each week,
a Scripture each week to help guide you as you pray,
and a new missionary family each day to support.
Thanks for using this tool to engage with our Heavenly Father!
We’re closing in on the end of this book. We are in the final part, Part 5: Praying in Real Life.
Part 5: Praying in Real Life
Chapter 30: Prayer Journaling: Become Aware of the Interior Journey
Communion or conversation with God breaks down into two questions:
1. How am I doing? What is coming at me? Am I happy, sad, thankful, discouraged, angry, frustrated?
2. What is God saying to me? What does the Word say?
When I reflection these two questions in my prayer journal, the Living God removes the fog, and I see my true self. This leads to repentance. Not surprisingly, repentance has a prominent place in the Lord’s Prayer. As we’ve seen, “Your kingdom come, your will be done” (Matthew 6:10) strikes at the heart of our kingdoms and our self-will; “lead us not into temptation” (Matthew 6:13) tries to keep us from sinning; and “forgive us our debts” (Matthew 6:12) picks up the pieces.
You can’t walk with the Shepherd and not begin to change. His presence allows us to take an honest, interior look. Let me show you from two different perspectives what this looks like in my life. The first is using a journal over the course of a year; the second is using my journal during a day of prayer.
Using a Journal Over the Course of a Year
The year following my December prayer retreat was an interior journey. In February when things started getting difficult, I wrote in my journal, Help me not to shrink from any cup of suffering you might have prepared for me. I remembered the list of seven character qualities I’d written in my journal two months before, and decided to turn each of them into a prayer. I was keenly aware that God wanted to develop my character through suffering.
In late March I wrote the following reflection about myself:
When I think I am right, I tend to be quick to defend and slow to incarnate [understand]. I can be intense, judgmental, and proud. Jesus, make me quiet, prudent, and humble, and until you do – helm me to shut up!
In December God had sown me parts of my character that I needed to submit to him; now my prayer journal allowed me to track what he was doing in the larger story of his determination to make me like his Son. Month by month he worked on me.
By June, I realized that God didn’t seem particularly interested in saving me from the difficult situation. He just wanted to change me. I wrote, “For the first time in the last four months the idea of primarily focusing on my repentance is appealing to me.” It was a relief to realize God had boxed me in. It took off some of the pressure. I stopped hunting for ways to improve my situation and focused on my own repentance.
Later that month I realized God wanted to teach me how to listen to those who had a problem with me. …The following month I felt I hadn’t made much progress. I wrote this about a recent situation: I wasn’t slow to anger. I wasn’t quick to listen. I wasn’t slow to speech. But by the end of the year I was writing entries like this one: I am a different person than I was before all this started. I pray that will last. Give me an obedient heart.
When we keep our eyes on the Shepherd, we become aware of ourselves. The valley of the shadow of death becomes a valley of vision. As you can see, journaling allows us to discover the story that God is writing in our lives. Instead of rushing through life, it allows us to pause and reflect.
WEEKLY PRAYER PROMPTS:
Each week we will provide 3 -5 different prompts to aid you in praying for the people and ministries of Woodlands Church as well as the people within our community. This week, pray for the following five prompts:
Easter: Easter week is just one week away! Last week we prayed for the many people that will come from the community to attend our Easter services who do not normally attend here. This week let’s pray for the gospel message that will go out. Pray for the Spirit to be moving even now, in the hearts of those who will hear the gospel this Easter, whether at Woodlands, or another Bible based, Christ focused church. Pray that many would come to know Christ and accept Him as their Lord and Savior this Easter season!
Volunteers: As we continue to move into a season of ministry wrap up, let’s remember the army of volunteers that support all of the ministries at Woodlands Church. Pray for perseverance for all of our volunteers to finish out the year well. Praise God for the good work and jobs well done by these servants! Pray that the fruit of their labor would be lasting!
Life Groups: Pray for life groups as they, too, finish up the ministry year. Pray for groups to continue through strong to the end. Praise God for the meeting, supporting, and praying for one another, and also pray that these groups would encourage spiritual growth and maturity in those involved.
Wisdom: As we continue in the series Forks and Fences, let’s pray for wisdom. Pray that God would pour out His wisdom on us as individuals and also as a church body, that He would convict and move us to obedience through the power of His Holy Spirit.
SCRIPTURE TO PRAY:
Each week we encourage you to use one new Biblical prayer as a guideline to pray for family, friends, small group members, our missionaries, pastors and staff.
The verse for this week is 2 Corinthians 5:20-21 in the CSB translation.
Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf: “Be reconciled to God.” He made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
MISSIONARY TO SUPPORT:
Each day, we’ll highlight a missionary/country/region/movement for whom to be praying. Remember, several of our missionaries are serving in sensitive areas so we will not always be able to share full names, locations, or their ministry. If you are interested in learning more specifics, please contact Whitney Swenson.
Over the last few weeks, we have worked through our list of missionaries via their countries or regions. Would you lift each of them up individually, and as a collective group of disciples and disciple-makers!
Zak & Becky, Dave & Sarah, Oscar & Karla, Bala & Carol, Erick & Courtney, Zach & Aliya, Art & Genda, Tammy, Logan & Lauren, Doug & Rachel, Randy & Debbie, Al & Steph, Dave & Heidi, Neil & Sue, Gordon & Sara, our team in India, Jim & Kelly, Rich & Rachel, Quique & Becky, Jerry & Diana, Ryan & Colleen, Jordan, Jim & Kay, Jay & Melissa, Andy & Joanna, John & Judy, Darrell & Sondra, Andy & Barb, Tim & Tracy, Howard & Marilynn, John & Kelley, our Indonesia team, Marty & Pat, Tim & Sarah, and Kristina!