40 Days of Prayer – the Names of God


Starting this past Tuesday, Antioch21 has entered into our annual "40 Days of Prayer" that we tend to do during the Lenten season. In past years we've gone through Mark Batterson's Draw the Circle book, which stirred us up to be fervent in prayer until God answers our prayers. This year we have a prayer guide put together by a few church members (particularly Karen T., Michelle Beckman, Erin Radomsky & Justin Yeats), its focus is on the various names that the Biblical authors regularly refer to God by. This week Wayne will start with a talk on "El Roi" - the God who Sees Me.

Next week, I'll get the privilege of preaching on "The Lord, Our Righteousness" which is exciting to me. I dwell a lot in the reality that none of my good works are good apart from the Holy Spirit's empowering. I'll be talking about filthy rags and "skubalon."

Yet another new aspect of our 40 Days is the artwork. For each week, we've commissioned members of the church to create art pieces representing one of the names. Justin assigned "The Lord, Our Righteousness" to me! So, I thought I'd share a tiny sneak-peak into what I'm working on. (No, it's not a scary, bearded face.)

I'm looking forward to seeing what the Lord does during this focused season of prayer, and I'm excited to see the other art that people are putting together as well!

Honest and Bold

I love what I learn about prayer from the leper in Mark 1:40-41: "A leper came to him, begging on his knees, 'If you want to, you can cleanse me.' Deeply moved, Jesus put out his hand, touched him, and said, 'I want to. Be clean.'" The leper came to Jesus. He was desperate. He knew his need. He had heard or seen what Jesus had said and done around town and stepped out in faith to trust Jesus with his own need. He boldly and authentically asked for what he wanted based on what he believed Jesus could give.

Jesus was deeply moved. He noticed the leper and took time to listen to him. He touched the leper who was so unclean. He wanted to help him and he granted the leper his request.

Reading this story motivates me to come to Jesus in my need, be honest, and boldly ask for what I need.

Stress Ball

I don't know about you, but these first couple weeks back into the school year have been brutal with an overwhelming amount of work, with conflict between people, with feelings of anxiety and inadequacy. All of this drives me to pray.
The enemy of our faith is out to steal, kill, divide, and destroy, but I can bring all of my burdens and the burdens of our church, our neighbors, our schools, and our country to the Lord and leave them at His feet and rest in His presence. I can leave the results to Him and rest in my relationship with Him.

Pray for change - it will change you!

"I believe all of you somewhere within your heart want to be the instruments of God's power, and therefore, even if you don't feel like it now, there is buried somewhere in your subconscious the longing to be a man or a woman of fervent and effective prayer." (Taken from John Piper's blog).
Did you know that the more you pray, the more you want to pray and the more you know how to pray just by doing it?  Try it sometime.  Like the next time you drive past or drive to a school—Pray for that school, pray for the administration, pray for the students, pray for the school to be a place of peace, pray for Christ to reign there, pray for open doors to the gospel.  Or the next time you see one of the political commercials or road signs—pray!
Pray that our country and our next leader would align with the ways of God, pray for God to remove the corruption out of every aspect of our government, pray God's people and our country would turn back to Him, pray for God's solution to the health care and budget crisis.
- Michelle Beckman