21 Days of Prayer Guide

The Lord’s Prayer

Do as Christ Did.

When we pray

Christ was arguably the most provocative teacher of all time. Not only did he embody the prophetic gifts of “calling people out on their stuff,” but he opened the eyes and the hearts to the truth of the personality of God. Matthew 5-7 is a collection of teachings by Christ known as “The Sermon on the Mount.” In this section of scripture Christ touches on every aspect of human life and the things we deal with on a daily basis.

In Matthew 6, Jesus instructs his listeners (and now the readers of the Gospel) in how we should pray. He gives general instruction to pray without fanfare and drawing attention to yourself. Instead he gives us a simple prayer to follow in verses 9-13.

“This, then, is how you should pray:

‘Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts,

as we also have forgiven our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from the evil one.’” When we pray this as a corporate body we add the ending “For yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever and ever, Amen!” (Some versions of the Gospel have added this to the end but it is not original to the words spoken…it’s good regardless)

In this short and very simple prayer, Christ gives us the basics of both a prayer format and an idea of what to include in a prayer.

Let’s look at this for a minute. 1) Our Father in Heaven, Holy is your name. This is the Initial declaration or Blessing. Placing the attention and focusing our minds on God right from the start.

2) Your Kingdom Come and Will be done. Continuing the shift in our mindset during prayer. It is really easy for prayer to become all about us. “Lord give me…” “Help me….” “will you do this for me….” By framing our prayers around the will of God we allow ourselves to become submissive to that divine will. When we become submissive to the will of God then we move closer to His Kingdom being revealed through us in the here and now.

3) Daily Bread. On the surface it is about food. Right? But this phrase, “Give us our daily bread” is so much more than simple sustenance. What this section is truly saying is to give us this “divine bread.” In the Exodus story, God assisted in the sustenance of the wandering Israelites by “raining down bread from Heaven” (Exodus 16). This image that Christ teaches in this prayer is about being filled fully with the substance of the Holy Spirit. Yes, feed us daily, but give us something greater. Let your Holy Spirit fill us daily, sustaining our faith and lifting us up.

4) Forgiveness. Forgive us of our sin and lead us to have an attitude of forgiveness in interpersonal sins (somebody did something bad to you). Forgiveness in the Spiritual sense is not about forgetting. Instead it’s about relieving the other from the burden of guilt and shame for what they have done to you. Think of the person who did something wrong to you as carrying a heavy chain around their neck and by forgiving them, or relieving them of that weight, you take off those chains and choose to carry those chains around yourself. It is similar to the weight of forgiveness of sin that Christ experienced on the Cross.

5) Temptation. This is one of the most confusing sections in this prayer. Why would God “lead us into temptation” in the first place? This could easily be explained away by language differences between English and Ancient Greek. A better understanding of this can be “keep us from temptation” which is followed by “deliver us from evil.” Through the sustaining presence of God in our lives, please keep us on the path toward Him. This is a statement of following. Helping our minds stay focused on who we should be following.

6) Amen. The final statement, the one we say at church (For yours is the kingdom, power, and Glory, forever and ever, Amen!), while not found in Scripture directly, gives us a truly focused and final blessing to God. Showing our full understanding and reverence to Him. Amen is a common phrase meaning “let it be.” There are few Hebrew words that come from the original Hebrew word “amen.” These are all words that encompass meaning in the simple word, Amen.

  • Emunah – Faith, faithfulness, steadfastness

  • Amanah – Indeed, correct, for sure, contract

  • Oman – Artist

  • Omen – Foster parent

  • Ne’eman – Faithful

These are great pictures into what we mean when we utter the word “amen” at the end of all prayers. We are declaring the will of God to be done (a second time), we are declaring God as faithful, correct, a Father, the artist of all things. It brings a bit more meaning to the word doesn’t it?

So as we begin this journey of prayer and sacrifice over the next few weeks, let’s look back on how Christ instructed us to pray and how we can infuse these 6 simple ideas into our daily prayers and meditations.


P.R.A.Y.

Daily Rhythms of Prayer

Human beings are naturally rhythmic creatures. We have routines that we go through when we wake up and before we go to bed. Some routines are simple, some are more complex. Nothing disrupts a day like a ruined routine. Like the normal routines and rhythms of life, there is a rhythm to prayer, or a routine to prayer that many people follow. The above section detailed the rhythm that Christ taught. What the below routine or rhythm of prayer is about not simply the words uttered or thought, but the moment in and of itself.

Below is a simple rhythm using the word “PRAY” to help us remember the elements to include in our times of prayer and meditation.

Note: Prayer doesn’t have to be some long early morning “thing.” It can be 5-10 minutes daily. Begin there and increase the time dedicated to prayer as the days move on.

Pause to be still (Psalm 46:10) -Take two minutes or so to be quiet, still, and allow yourself to focus on the presence of the Holy Spirit in our midst.

Reflect on the Scriptures (Hebrews 4:12) - Read through a passage for the day and reflect on what it means for you as someone looking to practice the way of Jesus.

Ask for God’s help (Matthew 7:7-8) - Ask God for his help in light of our reading, trusting that God is good and encourages us to come to Him and ask, seek, and knock.

Yield to God’s Will (Luke 22:42) - Yielding to God’s will means committing to join God in our world by echoing Jesus prayer, Not my will, but your will be done. This could include yielding ourselves, our time, our opinions, our sense of entitlement or control, our possessions, our mistakes, and more in prayer.

Family

The 21 Days of Prayer is not simply for adults. Include your whole family in these moments and teach and train our children in the same rhythms of daily prayer. Below are some helpful discussion questions to begin helping you and your family engage together in prayer.

Family Discussion Questions for kids 4 years old through 4th grade:

  • What did we learn about in our prayer time today?

  • Do we have any questions about what we learned?

  • Is there anything we should stop doing, start doing, or keep doing because of what we’ve learned?

  • What is one next step we can take in light of this conversation?

Additional Family Discussion Questions for students in 5th grade and above:

  • What did we learn about in our prayer time today?

  • After today’s prayer time, is there anything we need to ask, research more, pray about, or discuss together?

  • What is one thing you sense God is saying to you?

  • Is there a word, question, or theme that we believe God is saying to us?

  • Is there any word, phrase, or idea you think God might be speaking to our church or our community?

  • Is there anything we should stop doing, start doing, or keep doing because of what we’ve learned?

  • What is one next step we can take in light of this conversation?

Daily Prayer Guide

Below is a daily guide to prayer. Each day will have a specific topic and some helpful tips in praying for those topics. Below each day is the “PRAY” rhythm. Use that space to write down thoughts, scriptures, and what God is speaking to you in these moments. It will be helpful to have the Bible with you and open during your time and to help guide you in your prayer.

Week 1—The Church

MondayPeople—Spend some time asking the Lord to send people our way that we need for present and future ministry. Who do we have? Who do we need?

  • Ask the Lord to send us people who are willing to be discipled.

  • Ask the Lord for people willing to use their spiritual gifts and who are hungry to be developed and released to do so.

  • Ask the Lord for people with specific desires to be sent into specific neighborhoods or networks in our city.

P

R Acts 2:47

A

Y

Tuesday—People (Same as Monday)


P

R Acts 9:31

A

Y

Wednesday— Wisdom - Spend some time asking the Lord for his wisdom in these strategic areas of ministry. How can we be faithful in these areas of ministry in 2021? Pray for the Leaders and those who serve. Ask God to reveal to you areas in which you could serve if you are not already serving. Pastor-Evan Savage

Elders-Kyle Stedman, Margo Stedman, Jim McMahon, Janet McMahon, Heather Camacho

Leaders- Jesse Fox, Jen Gorman, Heather Savage, Heather Camacho, Penny Cash

Pray for Future Leaders as well

  • Kids Ministry - How can we equip parents to disciple their own children? Who can we add to our serving teams that would impact this ministry for the good of the kids? How can we reach kids in Rockford who will never walk into our church? How can we serve kids in Rockford?

  • Student Ministry - How can we equip parents to disciple their students? Who can we add to our volunteer roles that would impact this ministry for the good of the students of our city? How can we reach students in Rockford who will never walk into our church? How can we equip students to handle life at their age? How can we equip them for the future?

  • Disciple Making - Who should we invest our discipleship energy into? What are the best ways for us to make disciples at Grassroots?

  • Communities (Small Groups) - Where should we launch communities first? Who do we have who has a specific call and heart for a people in Rockford and the surrounding area?

  • Worship Gatherings - Who do we have? Who are we missing? How can we create accessible opportunities for people to discover the way of Jesus through Grassroots?

P

R Ephesians 4:11-13

A

Y

Thursday—Wisdom (Same as Wednesday)


P

R 2 Corinthians 4:1-18

A

Y

Friday—Opportunities Spend some time asking the Lord to grant us opportunities to join Him in his work. How can we join Jesus in his mission in Rockford?

  • Ask the Lord to open doors for his church to announce and demonstrate the good news in our neighborhoods, our workplaces, and other spaces in our city.

  • Ask the Lord to do miraculous things that display his power and goodness to our city.

  • Ask the Lord to bring us people of peace that open doors to people and networks that will never come to church.

  • Ask the Lord to awaken us to the harvest around us.

  • Ask the Lord to make our next steps of obedience clear.

P

R

A

Y


Saturday—Opportunities (Same as Friday)


P

R Psalm 96

A

Y

Sunday—Stewardship Spend some time asking the Lord how we can best be fully given to Christ and his mission in 2021. Who do we need to be this year? What does my life need to look like to join Jesus on mission in 2021? How do I live For the Gospel?

  • Lordship - Pray that our people will yield to the Lordship of Jesus in every area of their lives.

  • Heart - Pray that God would deepen our love for his presence through worship, prayer, Scripture, and community.

  • Humility - Pray that God would humble us and teach us to empty ourselves in service of Jesus and our neighbors.

  • Faith - Pray that God would increase our faith and give us opportunities to step out and trust in his goodness and provision.

  • Courage - Pray that God would give us boldness and courage to join him in every circle of relationship we have.


  • Generosity - Pray that God would give us the courage to be free with our time, energy, and resources for the good of our city.

P

R 1 Peter 4

A

Y

Week 2—Our neighborhoods.


Where you live matters and who lives near you matters to God. This week we are going to spend time together praying for those who live closest to us.

Monday—The Neighbor to the Right. What are their names? Maybe you need to ask God to give you the courage to introduce yourself. Maybe you have a rough relationship with that neighbor and need God to give you wisdom and grace in reconciling that relationship. Are they struggling with something? How are their relationship? Ask God to allow you to be the Gospel in their lives.

P

R James 2:8

A

Y


Tuesday—The Neighbor to the left

P

R Romans 15:2

A

Y

Wednesday—The children on your street. That they may be safe, loved, and experience all of the things that makes childhood wonderful.


P

R Matthew 19:13-15

A

Y

Thursday—The Parents on your street. Parenting is hard. Pray for the Parents on your street.

P

R James 1:27

A

Y

Friday—Revelation of ways to bring the neighborhood together. Neighborhoods can be wonderful places, but their can also be a lot of angst among neighbors. How can God use you and your family to bring your neighbors together?

P

R Ephesians 1:15-23

A

Y

Saturday—The Schools in your neighborhood.

  • Teachers

  • Students

  • Administrators

P

R Deuteronomy 11:19

A

Y

Sunday—Transforming the neighborhood for the Gospel

P

R Mark 12:31

A

Y



Week 3-Our City


Monday—Government

  • Mayor

  • Rockford - Tom McNamara

  • Loves Park - Greg Jury

  • Machesney Park - Steve Johnson (Village President)

  • Byron - John Rickard

  • Stillman Valley - Becky Waltrip (Village President)

  • Rockton - Dale Adams (Village President)

  • Roscoe - Mark Szula (Village President)

  • City Council

  • Your Alderman

  • Courts

  • Judges

  • Prosecutors

  • Defense Attorney’s

  • Juries

  • Bailiffs

P

R Jeremiah 29

A

Y

Tuesday—Hospitals/Police/First Responders

  • Doctors

  • Nurses

  • Patients

  • Police Officers

  • Fire Fighters

  • EMTs

P

R Matthew 25:31-46

A

Y

Wednesday—Crime and Violence


P

R Proverbs 28:1-28

A

Y

Thursday—Churches in our City

Pray that God will use the churches in our city to expand the reach of the Gospel. That the churches here would experience revival, renewal, and an awakening to the mission of God like never before experienced in our city. Pray for the pastors, staff members, lay leaders, and the congregations. That God will renew their hearts, minds, and souls for the Gospel.

P

R Colossians 3:14-16

A

Y

Friday—What would Rockford look like if the Gospel truly transformed this city?

P

R Romans 12

A

Y

Saturday—Justice—Pray for justice to ring true in our community. That reconciliation and restoration among different races, faiths, world-views, socio-economic statuses, and genders may truly begin to take hold in this city.

P

R Micah 6

A

Y

Sunday—Where is our place in our City? What is God speaking to you about where Grassroots can go to truly practice the presence of God in our City?

P

R 1 Thessalonians 3:6-13

A

Y