21 Days of Prayer

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On Sunday, Jan. 15, our church will launch together in a 21-Day Prayer Journey. During these weeks, we will pray for our nation, our world, the advance of the gospel, and for First Baptist Norfolk. Please commit to joining us in our intercession. Feel free to join the conversation on social media using #firstnorfolkprayer. We look forward to walking this road together!

DAILY PRAYER GUIDES

Begin each session of prayer with adoration and confession.

7 am – Prayer for the peace of Hampton Roads, the United States, and our world.

  • Hampton Roads: Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Newport News, Hampton, and Suffolk.

10 am – Prayer for government officials, the armed forces, and first responders.

  • Norfolk Mayor: Kenneth Cooper Alexander
  • Virginia Beach Mayor: Will Sessoms
  • Chesapeake Mayor: Alan P. Krasnoff
  • Portsmouth Mayor: John L. Rowe. Jr.
  • Newport News Mayor: McKinley L. Price
  • Hampton Mayor: Donnie Tuck
  • Suffolk Mayor: Linda T. Johnson
  • Hampton Roads is home to the world’s largest naval base. The Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, and Marines also have a presence in the area.
  • First responders are the police officers, deputy sheriffs, firefighters, paramedics, rescuers, and more who arrive first during an emergency.

Noon – Prayer for the advance of the gospel in Hampton Roads, Virginia, our nation, and the world.

3 pm – Prayer for God to open the hearts of those around us as we share the gospel with them.

5 pm – Prayer for the First Baptist Norfolk staff and families. Prayer for God to open the door to the right location for a new campus.

  • Our staff are: Eric Thomas, Curt Breland, Jan Frost, Steve Harper, Phillip Herring, Julie Hunt, Darryl Meincke, Gail Motley, Claude Parent, Gary Sanders, Vernig Suárez, Jason Waters, and Brent Wilson. For more information on our staff, visit this page.
  • Church leadership has not yet decided on the location for the new campus, however, they are considering Virginia Beach or Chesapeake, since this is where the majority of church members currently reside.

9 pm – Prayer for the evangelization of the seven cities of Hampton Roads. Prayer for God to use our new campus to reach the lost and encourage the saved.

  • For more information on the our new campus (including our One-Year Goal and 90-Day Objectives), read this blog post.

WEEKLY PRAYER GUIDES

Take an hour each week to reflect and pray specifically:

Week 1 – Lord, draw us to Yourself that we might have the fullness of joy. Teach us to fear You and to trust You completely. Help our church be humble before You so that we might be consumed with Your presence and shine Your glory. Make us and our church what You want us to be to honor You.

Week 2 – Lord, be near to us as we cry out to You. Embitter our soul to sin, that we may hunger more for You. Swell our hearts to seek Your purposes above all else. Empower us by Your spirit to radiate your rescuing light into the world. Show us the part You would have us play in fulfilling Your mission for the church.

Week 3 – Lord, continue to open doors of opportunity for our church to make disciples of all people. Capture us with Your love so that we might offer refuge in Jesus to those captured in the menacing waves of misery. Grant us faith to obey what You are calling us to do as a church, and individually as followers of Jesus at First Baptist Norfolk.

Download a copy of the 21 Days of Prayer guide here: 21-days-of-prayer-card-combined

Another prayer for us

A father was talking to his 5 year old daughter and her friend. They were talking about birthdays. The friend’s birthday was on March 30 and the father’s was on March 27. He said, “Our birthdays are only 3 days apart.” She said, “Yeah, but you grew a lot faster than I did.”

This morning, following the apostle Paul, I pray that we might grow.

For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might” (Ephesians 1:15–19, ESV)

1. I pray that we might grow to know God more each day.

Paul prayed for his friends in Ephesus. He asked the Father of glory to give them the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him. Now what does that mean? It is a prayer for followers of Christ to experience the fullest measure of the Holy Spirit’s ministry in their lives. He prayed that the Spirit would unveil before them the will of God and the ways of God so that they might know God more and more each day.

I pray that we might know God more and more each day. That we would be saturated by His Spirit so completely that we would know God’s will and ways. That we would surrender our hearts to Him so that His purpose and plan might cover us and consume us. That our heart might beat in concert with the Father of glory.

2. I pray that we might grow to know God’s work in our lives.

Paul prayed that the believers in Ephesus might have their eyes opened to God’s work in their lives.  He uses three phrases to describe this work: the hope of His calling, the glorious riches of His inheritance, and the exceeding greatness of His power.

The Rope of Hope. On any expedition, the rope is what connects us to that which is stable and secure. Hope is our rope! Hope is the certainty of our present reality as the chosen, adopted, accepted, forgiven, and sealed children of God. Hope is the ultimate unity and confident expectation of our future blessings as His people. It is the present and the future wrapped up in the blessings of God’s grace and mercy.

I pray that God would open our eyes to our hope for today and in eternity. God has called us to Himself in salvation. He is working in the details of our day because He has committed to us the glorious riches of heaven. God’s hand is working in the details of our day, not letting us go but holding on to us through thick and thin, good and bad, joy and sorrow, victory and failure.

The Family Photo. I love to take pictures of my family. A family photo reminds us of our lineage, encouraging us to press on. Paul prayed that their eyes might be opened to see their infinite value to God. As His people, He has given us an inheritance through Jesus Christ and the seal of His Spirit, but that is not what Paul has in mind here. Paul asks that God’s Spirit would open their eyes to see the “riches of the glory of His inheritance.” This is a description of God’s people who are His inheritance.

I pray that God would open our eyes to know how precious we are to God. We are His inheritance. His heritage. His treasure. We are the living, breathing, walking, talking trophies of His grace alive in the world reflecting His glory. God calls us His treasured possession.

The Reservoir of Power. We are in need of power in the face of the testing and trying storms that rage against us. We are in need of power for we are weak and feeble. We need power, and God provides this power for those who are His.

Paul prayed that believers might know the magnificent greatness of God’s power. The terms that Paul used point to something beyond our ability to contain, control, or concoct. He prayed that the believers in Ephesus would know the power that is beyond the ordinary directed by God toward believers.

I pray that we might know the exceeding greatness of that power and strength. It is fully displayed through the resurrection of Christ from the dead. That same power and strength is positioned for all who are Christ’s. We need not fear the storm, for God has conquered the greatest storm. We need not fear the enemy, for God has crushed the enemy. We need not fear the darkness, for God has pierced the darkness through the glorious light of the resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ.

Growth. I pray that we might grow to know God more each day. I pray that we might grow to know God’s work of hope, love, and power in our lives each day.

My prayer for us

Communion with God is oxygen for our souls. Prayer becomes the surround sound of fellowship with God who nourishes us with His presence. Prayer is not merely ritualistic words to speak in a particular time or place. Prayer is communion with God who changes our lives.

“Our lives must be as holy as our prayers. Our prayers are to prove their reality by the fruit they bear in the holiness of our life. True devotion in prayer will assuredly be rewarded, by God’s grace, with the power to live a life of true devotion to Him and His service.” ~ Andrew Murray

Paul and Timothy heard of the faith and “love in the Spirit” of the believers in the church at Colossae, and they thanked God for the progress of the gospel and the changed lives in the region. Beginning with verse 9, Paul and Timothy expand their prayer and pray for specific blessings for the believers in the church.

And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.” (Colossians 1:9–12, ESV)

Paul’s prayer for the believers in Colossae helps us know how to pray for each other. I am praying daily for my family, friends, and our church.

1. I pray that we would be saturated with the knowledge of God’s will.

When I fill a glass with water, the glass may be overflowing with water but the glass isn’t affected. The picture of this text is different. To “be filled” is like sinking a sponge into a basin of water so that every pore of the sponge is saturated with water and the sponge grows to its greatest length and width and breadth.

The knowledge of God that we need is not some intellectual, informational growth. That’s not what Paul meant. The knowledge we need is relational; a knowledge founded in a proper attitude toward God (Prov 1:7) which leads to right behavior (Phil 1:9-10). We need God to fill us with Himself so that we grow in relationship with Him.

I am praying that God would soak our lives in Himself so that every pore of our saturated souls grows to its greatest depths and heights as followers of Jesus. When we are immersed in relationship with God, our hearts beat in time with His. Our minds move along the track of His desire. We gain wisdom (living life according to what God wants) and understanding (the application of what God wants to the details of our day).

2. I pray that God’s pleasure would be our highest priority.

It has been said, “The trouble with good advice is that it usually interferes with your plans.” We may see God’s path, but we have difficulty taking it. Paul’s prayer highlights the battle that rages within every believer. It is a war of pleasure. Whose pleasure is our greatest priority: my pleasure or God’s pleasure?

Paul prayed “that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him.” We know that we are pleasing God when we are fruitful in our work for Him and growing daily in our fellowship with Him. Pleasing God is an experience with God that does the good work that He has given us to do.

3. I pray that God would strengthen us by His power.

In the process of pursuing God’s pleasure, we need the strength of God’s grace to endure with joy. God in His grace empowers us with all might measured by the reservoir of His power.

“When by grace God’s power and compassion invade your life the result is that you have everything that you need.” ~ Paul David Tripp

This strength isn’t merely for our pleasure, but to bring pleasure to God with our lives. God gives us patience and longsuffering to complete the mission that He has given us with joy-fueled purpose.

4. I pray that God would grant us gratitude for His work of love.

Something amazing happens in us when we gain a greater gratitude for what God has done for us through Jesus. God has given us an inheritance, delivered us from the power of darkness, moved us into citizenship of His kingdom, and rescued us from our sins. When our minds are consumed with thoughts of God’s love for us, our hearts swell with songs of satisfaction in service to our King.

I pray that God would overwhelm us with His presence. God desires to make us fruitful for His pleasure. I pray that we grow in Him so that we live each day in true devotion to Him and His service.