40-Day Challenge: Week Three

Let’s turbo-charge our prayers this week. That’s what happens when you combine prayer with the reading of God’s Word. You probably realize by now that the point of our 40-Day Challenge is not just prayer—it’s faith.  Prayer is simply a way to stay connected to God on a daily basis.  Our technique doesn’t matter as much as our heart.  The tools and tips are ways to weave prayer into your ordinary days… to pray continually, to abide.

So how do we build our faith?  Romans 10:17 tells us that faith comes by hearing the Word of God.  Ponder that for a minute.  Faith is a gift, but we nourish it through Scripture. God’s Word also reveals His will, which in turn, helps us to pray in alignment with His purposes.  And this is a key to answered prayer.

It takes a bit of spiritual muscle to stand on God’s Word when we face seemingly impossible situations. His promises help us defeat fear and worry, but not without a struggle.  No wonder its’ called a fight of faith. As my prayer partner Beth is fond of saying: “We glance at the problem, but we gaze on the promise.”

Praying in line with God’s Word gives power and AUTHORITY.  We’ll talk more about this step in a minute, but first a quick review:  

Step One is to Be ALERT.  Listen for God’s voice and keep watch for signs of Him at work all around you. Remember John Wesley’s early followers who made the “discipline of watching” part of their daily spiritual walk.

 Step Two is to Be SPECIFIC when we pray. Morning after morning we lay our requests before you and eagerly watch for the answers.  Psalm 5:3. Being specific when we pray helps us keep watch for the answers. Did you find the Chubby Book Method to be a useful tool for specific prayer?

This week’s focus is on Step Three: Praying with Biblical AUTHORITY.  This can be done quite simply by praying in agreement with the Word of God.  My short answer on how to hear God’s voice is simply this:  Read His words.  He spent 1469 pages (in my translation) telling me the secret to life. Everything from His salvation plan to His promises is included in His book.

Assignment:  Read Chapter 5, “The 21-Day Experiment,” and Chapter 6, “Growing Deeper,” in Sometimes He Whispers, Sometimes He Roars: Learning to Hear the Voice of God.  Answer the Personal Reflection Questions on pages 190, 191.  This week, we’ll add a daily reading of John’s Gospel to our Morning Launch.  I’ve noticed that thirty six countries have visited this website over the last few weeks.  If you’re in an area where you don’t have access to my book, here’s a free download of the 21-Day Experiment  in John.

Pick any day this week to begin your 21 Day Experiment as you read through John. The goal is to develop a habit of nourishing yourself daily on God’s Word. Technically, our 40-Day Challnege ends on August 3rd.  You can begin your reading in John any day this week and still finish by that date.

Training Tip #1:  John Wesley’s advice on reading your Bible: Be sure to read…with great attention, with proper pauses and intervals so that you may allow for the enlightenings of divine grace. For more on Wesley’s method, click here.

Training Tip #2:  I find it helps to compare several translations to get a more complete understanding of your Scripture reading.  Bible Gateway has made this easy for you.  You can even look at several versions at once.  Check out  three different versions of Philippians 4:6,7, some of my favorite verses. Don’t have your own Bible? Bible Gateway has just given you God’s Word online for free!

Training Tip #3: My all time favorite Bible is the Key Word Study Bible, which you’ll read about in Chapter 6.  Here is the one my husband gave me nearly nine years ago. It costs about the same as a pair of running shoes….on sale!

                         Tattered Bible healthy soul?  The person whose Bible is falling apart isn’t.

Prayer:  Lord, help me to understand the power and mystery of your Word.  It’s Your personal guide book, operator’s manual, and love letter all rolled into one.  You remind us that Your Word is living and active…give me the strength and discipline to carve out minutes to spend reading your Word every day.  And I pray that my faith will grow and blossom in ways I never thought possible.  Empower my prayers with Your Word, and make me a vessel for your work on this broken planet.  In Jesus’s name, Amen. 


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