Fellow Sojourners,

The city was in ruins. Not just any city; his city. His fellow citizens were scattered and many were taken into captivity with him. Nehemiah found himself broken and grieved over the condition of the city and the people he loved. Although he found favor in the eyes of the king as the cupbearer, his heart to rebuild his city and to revive his people, moved him to shamelessly ask God for the unreasonable. Engaging God with prayer and fasting, Nehemiah boldly asked God to reveal Himself as the One True God amid the chaos, confusion, and uncertainty of the day.

There are several similarities between Nehemiah’s situation and where the body of Christ currently finds itself. In particular, at Berean, we see our members scattered throughout the South Metro because of COVID-19. We see the fabric of our communities being torn apart with racism and poisonous political rhetoric. Sin continues to wreak havoc in the lives of our families and the citizens of our cities. Our hope is not found in elected officials or vaccines. Our hope is not found in programs or events hosted in facilities or campuses. Our hope is in the One True God who has the power to gather His people, rebuild our communities, and heal our land.

We need to respond the same way Nehemiah did. We need to petition God through prayer and fasting. We are calling our Family of Faith to a season of prayer for forty days. During our 40 Days of Prayer, we will use this guide to prompt us for ways to pray with each other. I want to encourage you to use the space provided to write specific requests that you are lifting up and how God answers them.

Intentionally embrace this season of prayer for God to reveal Himself to us individually and collectively.

Wholeheartedly embrace this season of prayer for God to position His church for His mission.

Humbly embrace this season of prayer for God to prepare us for new opportunities in the new year.

Expectantly praying with you,


Tony Manning
Executive Pastor

Download & Print Prayer Guide

WEEK ONE

November 22-28

SUGGESTED WEEKLY READING:

Nehemiah 1, Psalm 139, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
“Grant, Lord, that I may know myself that I may know thee.” Augustine

Where do we start? There is so much change we want to see in others and in the world, that we often neglect where change really needs to start. Change begins in our own hearts. Embarking on a journey requires proper preparation and essential packing. However, this journey will require us to unpack before we get started.

· Acknowledge the supremacy and sovereignty of God the Father
· Confess the sinful bent of your heart and the fruit it produces
· Thank the Provider of all the good gifts in your life - including familyand friends by name
· Selflessly seek God for the needs in your life and the lives of those around you

May this season of prayer cause us to boldly approach the throne of our King and pray big prayers that only He can answer. May we be persistent in seeking Him as He reveals Himself, His purpose, and His ways.

 

WEEK TWO

November 29 - December 5

SUGGESTED WEEKLY READING:

Ephesians 4:11-16, Psalm 23, 1 Peter 5:1-5

“Prayer is indeed the Christian’s vital breath and native air.” J. Oswald Sanders

Sheep like to wander. They will follow the scent of the grass and go just about anywhere to eat. They rarely know their own boundaries and will consume any vegetation in their path, including the vegetable garden designed for your family or the flower garden designed for its beauty. Sheep need a “shepherd” that will guide them, guard them, and lead them to the place they need to be.

The Good Shepherd came to point us in the right direction for salvation and security. God provides elders, pastors, and staff to shepherd us, guide us, protect us, and lead us to follow the Good Shepherd.

· Pray for our elders, pastors, and staff as they continue to lead us in this season.

We also want to spend this week specifically praying for our new lead pastor. God knows who he is and where he is at this very moment. He too is leading a church through the pandemic. He too has a staff that he is leading. He too is leading a church to reach their community. He too has a family that is invested in relationships. He too wants to be where God wants him to be.

· Join our new lead pastor in praying for peace, direction, and God’s timing.

Our pastor search team has wholeheartedly embraced the calling to seek after God’s heart for the shepherd God has in store for Berean.

· Pray for the Pastoral Search Team’s patience, clarity, and unity as they walk through this process together.

To God be the glory.

 

WEEK THREE

December 6-12

SUGGESTED WEEKLY READING:

Luke 8:22-25, Ephesians 6:10-20, Romans 8:18-25

“The Christian is made strong and firmly rooted by all the trials and storms of life.” Charles Spurgeon

If there is one certain thing we’ve learned about 2020 is that nothing is certain. Through the chaos and confusion of our world, we have a country, state, and church that is hurting. We’ve seen a virus that’s infected millions and caused death become political and divide the healthy. We’ve seen the sin of partiality rise up and cause pain and suffering to those created in the image of God. We’ve seen a political process unfold that has caused more division than unity. We are hurting and we long for healing.

The healing we are longing for can only be found in Jesus. His gospel is peace. His gospel is the salve that heals all wounds. The gospel brings eternity into focus. The gospel reveals our identity in Christ. The gospel unites us. The church needs to deliver the antidote to our hurting world and deliver it on time.

· Pray for healing this week.

· Pray for conversations that help us to hear how people are hurting.

· Pray for personal agendas to be set aside.

· Pray for the calming voice of Jesus to resonate within you.

· Pray that we can be ambassadors for Christ and His ministry of reconciliation.

God doesn’t waste any circumstances or situations in our lives that He cannot use to reveal Himself.

 

WEEK FOUR

December 13-19

SUGGESTED WEEKLY READING:

Acts 2:42-47, Nehemiah 2:1-8, Psalm 127

“Prayer is the slender nerve that moves the muscle of omnipotence.” Charles Spurgeon

It started with stamped letters and correspondences. Mail was delivered by foot, then a horse, then carriages, then trains, then automobiles, then planes, and then electronically. Whether they were love letters, bills, advertisements, or invitations, the messages have generally been the same throughout history. What has changed is the delivery method.

Berean finds herself in the same situation as we prayerfully explore ways to deliver the Good News on time. The message of the gospel will never change. How we equip and encourage the church AND reach the unchurched needs to be more creative and intentional than ever. The status quo mindset of going to church needs to be replaced with the biblical mandate of being the church. As more people feel isolated in this phase of the pandemic, the church needs to adjust her methodology with discipleship and connection.

This week, let’s pray for our G-Teams (Gather, Grow, Give, Go). As we continue to minister to those who can gather publicly AND those who are taking precautions, we need to prayerfully focus on the both/and.

• Pray for our worship services happening in person and virtually, in homes.

• Pray for our Lakeville Campus as we seek when and how to build out our permanent location.

• Pray for our children’s ministry as we partner with parents to disciple children in classrooms or at the dinner table.

• Pray for our student ministry as teenagers try to find themselves and long for interaction with others.

• Pray for our small group ministry to be revived and rekindled as deeper connections are being sought.

• Pray for ministry opportunities in local communities that arise from basic needs.

• Pray for new ministries that we aren’t aware of yet.

 

WEEK FIVE

December 20-26

SUGGESTED WEEKLY READING:

2 Corinthians 9:6-15, Acts 4:32-37, Mark 6:30-44

“The task is not to get God to do something I think needs done, but to become aware of what God is doing so that I can participate in it.” Eugene Peterson

In a column in the Kansas City Star, Billy Graham wrote, “Every ministry needs financial support, and it’s not wrong to make God’s people aware of those needs and seek their help. When we give to God’s work, we are only returning to Him a portion of what He has already given to us.” Graham concluded from 2 Corinthians 9:12 that not only are we partnering with those ministries but we are also expressing our thanksgiving to God. Our generosity doesn’t begin with our pocketbooks or bank accounts, it begins with our hearts.

Berean has been in the South Metro for almost 60 years. God has provided every step of the way; the property, the buildings, the pastors, the staff, and the resources used to invest in the gospel in the community. We have remained steadfast in God being our provider through the best of economies and the worst of times. God’s faithfulness never changes even though our circumstances might.

As we pray this week, we will also be celebrating the birth of Jesus. Even though this baby would bring the greatest gift of all, we find the magi bringing Him gifts, bowing, and worshipping Him. As we are reminded of the grace upon grace that we’ve received from King Jesus, may we continue to have generous hearts to financially partner with the ministry of Berean.

• Pray we would continue to reduce our debt.

• Pray for wisdom as we restructure our fixed costs (building usage, utilities,   personnel, benefits).

• Pray for resources for our ministries and global partners.

• Pray for our year-end giving.

 

WEEK SIX

December 27-31

SUGGESTED WEEKLY READING:

Hebrews 13:1-9, Philippians 4:4-9, 2 Peter 3:14-18

“Prayer isn’t about requesting what you need to build your kingdom, but about seeking the grace you need to live for God’s kingdom.” Paul David Tripp

Admit it, you will not be sad to see 2020 in your rearview mirror! It’s been a year to remember. The 366 days of this year (we got an extra day because of the Leap Year) has revealed much about ourselves, our systems, our government, our church, and most importantly, our God. While everything else has been turned upside down and changed, God is consistent and constant. He never changes. He stays the same. Yesterday. Today. Tomorrow.

As we are on the doorstep of a new year with new opportunities, empowered with new mercies, how does God want to use you for the Kingdom? Maybe you will host and lead that small group you’ve been thinking about. Maybe your heart is drawn to helping pre-schoolers see the big picture of the Bible. Perhaps God has been impressing on you to volunteer at one of our campuses. You live in Lakeville and God is whispering for you to join the Lakeville Campus. You’ve always wanted to serve on a short-term mission team, could this be your year? This could be the year you start and complete a Bible reading plan. The possibilities are endless because God is always working and on the move.

As we end this prayer journey together, let’s continue to pray for God to position us individually and collectively for what He has in store for us in 2021. We are one day closer to having a new lead pastor. We are one day closer to worshipping eternally at the feet of King Jesus. So let’s embrace the changing of the calendar and the calling God has for us.

· Pray for God to position you specifically to do His will in 2021.

· Pray for Berean and ask God to use his church mightily for His purposes in 2021.