40-Day Challenge: Week One

Welcome to the 40-Day Prayer Challenge!  So glad you jumped on board during our “warm-up lap” last week.  Your marching orders were to remain ALERT to God’s whispers and to carve out a time and a place to listen to God on a daily basis…your morning launch.

So what are we listening for exactly?  For the still, small voice of God .  Like Elijah, we want to train our heart to hear God’s voice–not always easy in our busy, noisy world.  As part of your Morning Launch, click on the following link to read more about Elijah: 1 Kings 19:1-12. Why do you think Elijah was able to discern God’s voice? What can you learn from Elijah about listening to God?

John Wesley used to encourage his early followers (these were the first Methodists!) to practice the “discipline of watching.”  This week, we’ll add watching to our practice of listening. These two disciplines are part of being ALERT.  

Verse to meditate on or memorize: 

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.

—Colossians 4:2

Your Tools:  A Bible, a notebook or journal,  some 3×5 cards (I like the wirebound version), and a copy of  Sometimes He Whispers, Sometimes He Roars: Learning to Hear the Voice of God.

Training Tips:

Tip #1:  Pick out a prayer trigger as a reminder to “keep watch.”  This is simply an object that will serve as a reminder to pray. It’s fun to have a prayer trigger for yourself and for each family member. If you are in a Lifegroup, share your prayer triggers with each other. Then watch throughout your day and see how many times you are reminded to pray. During a long battle with infertility, bunnies became my prayer trigger.  You can see what happened as friends caught on and got a bit carried away with the encouragement.  Our kids now find all these bunnies a bit amusing!

Tip #2:  Pray the “BLESS” prayer when you come across someone’s prayer trigger:  “B- Bless their Body; L-Bless their Labor; E-Bless their Emotional health; S-Bless their Social health; B-Bless their Spiritual health.”

Tip #3:  One morning this week, take time to make a Thank You List. In your notebook or journal, write down everything you are thankful for. Time yourself and keep writing for five minutes.  Did you know that simply doing this exercise raises your disease fighting antibodies for several hours.  Plus, it’s a great perspective builder.

Reading assignment: Read Chapter 2 in Sometimes He Whispers... “Keep Watch.” Answer the Personal Reflection Questions on page 189.  Click here for a free download of the Introduction and Chapter One.

Each Monday for Six Weeks, I’ll add a new blog post.  Throughout the week, I’d love to hear your comments:  What did you select as your prayer trigger? Did you see God at work this week?  And be sure to sign up at the bottom of this page if you want the weekly blogs in your email inbox.

Prayer: Lord, I agree with the the prayer of David when he wrote Psalm 5.   Verse 3 reminds me that “morning by morning, I order my prayers to you and eagerly watch.” May we be sensitive to your whispers this week.  May our eyes be watching for your work all around us.  Above all, may we begin to train our heart to hear your voice. 


7 responses to “40-Day Challenge: Week One

  • kronkster1

    I hope this is where to comment on the 40 Day Challenge

  • Yolanda

    Elijah heard God because he was very zealous! He pressed in to God. I follow this blog http://www.aholyexperience.com/, it is a great blog written by Ann Voskamp. She wrote One Thousand Gifts and encourages us to find our daily gifts. Write them down.

  • Robin P

    My prayer trigger has always been if the person or place was put on my my mind. I immediately start praying for “whatever they’re going through” or specific if I happen to know. I LOVE the “BLESS” prayer, thank you. I can think of 2 examples right now. One was for a great friend from high school that was stationed with her husband in China. I started praying for her and called her to let her know that God had put her on my heart and I was praying for her and asked her if there was anything specific that I could pray for. She had just found out that her husband was cheating on her. Love those God moments!!! He is so faithful!!!

    I think the main reason that Elijah was able to hear God was because he was still. His place to hear Him was away from the hustle and bustle deep into the forest.

    I’m loving this so far, thank you.

  • marilynnchadwick

    Hi Yolanda,
    Great recommendation about Ann Voskamp! Thanks so much. And yes, Elijah was very zealous…what a great passion for God. I bet you are learning how to “press in” as you say. Hope you’ll share how God works as you seek Him.
    Glad you are part of the 40-Day Challenge!
    Marilynn

  • marilynnchadwick

    Hi Robin,
    Thanks for your great examples of how you feel nudged to pray. Sounds like you are already familiar with His voice and how to follow His leading to pray. I like your example about the friend in China. It will be so fun to see what God does as we are all seeking HIm.
    Marilynn

  • myfamilyreflections

    I meant to comment last Monday after I read this post, but the boys woke up from their naps just as I began to type 🙂 One of my favorite things to do when I am pregnant is pick out a special “lovey” or stuffed animal for my baby. Whatever animal I choose, that kind of later has become the animal I associate them with. For Noah, it was a giraffe lovey, and because I had bought him a few giraffes to go in his room, he has always had a love for giraffes. THe same was with Eli and elephants. For Abigail, it’s butterflies. Last week as I thought about prayer triggers I realized that I should just use what I already associate my kids with- their “animal”!

  • marilynnchadwick

    That is a great idea, Ashley.I love the idea of having prayer triggers for your children now when they are young. It will be neat to see how these “grow” along with the children. And it’s so neat to have them develop a special attachment to their “lovely” that can later be associated with prayer. Powerful! Thanks for sharing.
    Marilynn

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