Canton First Family,

Prayer is not the only thing that the church does, but it should be the first thing we do!
 
But how should we pray in this strange time in which we find ourselves?
 
God said through the prophet Isaiah that we should pray unrelentingly... I have posted watchmen on your walls, Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the Lord, give yourselves no rest, and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth). (Isaiah 62.6-7)
 
And God promises healing and forgiveness when we pray with humble and repentant hearts...If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7.14)

I have been praying for revival at Canton First and believe that this is a defining moment for our church. We don't know the future but we do know the One who holds the future. NOW is the time to pray! Will you join me for 42 days of Prayer for Healing and Awakening?
 
From April 19 through Pentecost, May 31, I invite you to pray particular prayers each morning. The prayers will be written by our retired clergy - Dr. Jim Kilgore, Dr. Coy Hinton, Rev. Sandra Henry, Rev. Larry Dettner, Rev. Mike Roper - and me.

Let's do the best we can do and watch what God is going to do. Stay calm and pray on!

Sincerely,
Pastor Kenny

Day 41, May 29

Prayer for Awakening

Come Holy Spirit, come! Come and fill the hearts of Your people who are called by Your Name. Kindle in us a Pentecostal fire that we may hunger and thirst for You.

Come Holy Spirit, come and renew a right spirit in us. Restore to us the joy of Your life-giving salvation.

Come Holy Spirit, come to heal the hurts, brokenness and sickness in our land. Bring wholeness and newness of faith.

Come Holy Spirit, come. Break our hearts for what breaks Yours O God. Give us eyes to see others as You see them. Give us ears to hear their joys and their pain. Give us hands to bring healing. Give us voices to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Come Holy Spirit, come.

In the powerful name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Day 40, May 28

Prayer for Those Who Do Not Know Christ

Before you pray this prayer today, take a moment to think about a friend, loved one, neighbor, classmate, or coworker whom you know that does not have a life-giving relationship with Jesus Christ. Imagine their face and say their name aloud. As you pray this prayer insert this person’s name where appropriate.

Heavenly Father, today I remember that Jesus prayed, “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent” and find comfort in knowing that the Savior of the world was praying that (my friend) would come to know You. Today I pray as Jesus did and ask that You touch (my friend’s) life that (she/he) would come to surrender (his/her) life to Christ. Lord, I ask that whatever walls (my friend) has built around (his/her) heart are broken down so they have the ability to see You! Father, help (my friend) see (his/her) need for a Savior, to know (she/he) must confess (his/her) sins and choose Your gifts of mercy and grace.

Out of the abundance of Your love, show (my friend) (his/her) need for repentance and lead them to the way of salvation. I ask that You break whatever it is that has control over (my friend’s) heart and let them come to know the mercy of the cross and experience the joy of resurrection.

I pray this prayer in the only name that can save, the name of Jesus! Amen.

Day 39, May 27

Our Father and our God, we give thanks today that You have compassion and comfort us in all our trials. We feel overwhelmed at times in the face of our world being turned upside down, but we are grateful that it has not been a surprise for You.

When we think of the suffering of Jesus and His death on the cross for us, our inconveniences and problems seem so small. Forgive us that we lose perspective on the things that matter most and complain about the things that matters little by comparison.

Help us to remember the homeless, the orphan, the widow, the broken, the troubled and those who do not know Christ. Give us grace to reach out to them and to meet their physical needs while we share the truth of Your love and grace.

Hear our prayer for our church as we seek ways to reopen our facility to worshiping together. Help us not to be afraid but to act wisely. Because You “have not given us a spirit of fear but of love and a sound mind.” Help us to use that gift now. We give thanks for Your blessings and Your forgiveness. Teach us to be Your people in a time we don’t always understand.

In the strong name of Jesus our Lord we pray. Amen.

Day 38, May 26

A Prayer for all Health Care Workers:

“Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved; for Thou art my praise.” Jeremiah 17:14
“And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.” I John 3:22

Our Father and our God, we thank You because we know our needs are beyond human capacity. Coronavirus is a new enemy to us but You have not only cleansed us from sin in Christ but also allowed him to take all our griefs and sorrows on the cross in our place. You are the great Physician Who has promised us healing and the merciful God Who forgives our sins.

“Ask and you shall receive” is still Your invitation to us. Grant us the boldness of the prophets of the Old Testament who believed in prayer and watched Your marvelous power brings about miracles. By faith, we like they did, come to You.

Teach us to pray like Jesus taught us, “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” We know that Your word says we wrestle not against flesh and blood …” This evil infection can only be defeated by Your power. Keep us praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit…”

Now we pray for strength for all those who fight this viral enemy each day. For renewal of energy in the long hours of handling one crisis after another; For patience, not only in dealing with the patients who are suffering, but for each co-worker and partner in the battle; and save all our medical teams from errors. Give them great satisfaction when they see healing instead of death.

Draw our hearts as one nation on our knees before Your throne today. We are grateful for those You have healed that we know. We pray that their number may increase.

We lift up all physicians and nurses who reach out in tender care for the afflicted and sick in hospital across our land. May your healing Spirit hover over each bed and patient with strength and positive energy! Let Your angels of mercy bring Your renewing power in ways beyond human wisdom. Give daily energy to these caregivers and to the support staff and administrators – all those who deal with the public who are stressed and sometimes ungrateful.

Thank you, Lord, for hearing our prayers as we join together.

In the strong name of Jesus, our Lord. Amen.

Day 37, May 25

Our Father and our God, we say we are one nation under God and in God we trust, but our confession today is that we have strayed from those phrases we so easily repeat.

We are grateful for those who founded our country, seeking a new life and the freedom to worship without oppression. Although You have blessed us and kept the flame of faith alive in some of our hearts, we acknowledge we have strayed far from those truths we declare to be self-evident and rights we proclaim as unalienable. We give thanks for Your mercy because we know we have fallen into disobedience, indifference and darkness

We ask Your forgiveness for calling evil good, for dishonoring Your word and for abandoning so many of the things You have used to bless our nation. We have sinned; forgive us.

Forgive us for calling those who betray Your name our leaders and following them in unrighteousness. Grant that in these times we may see how weak we are without Your grace and how we have failed at the tests of our times.

Call us back to revival in our churches. Inspire those who proclaim Your word, whether in the pulpit or in other ways to call for us to turn back to repentance and righteousness. Break our hearts for the tolerance of evil and the sacrifice of thousands of unborn children.

Lift us up from the pit of unrighteousness and set our feet on holy ground that we may walk with You in the ways of righteousness.

By Your grace may Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Deliver us from evil and guide again to Your truth. In the strong name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.

Day 36, May 24

A Prayer Especially for our Church, 2020

Our Father and our God, we come again in prayer to ask forgiveness for our sins – individually and as a congregation.  You have blessed us more than we could ask or think.  Particularly in these times where we cannot gather in close social contact, we have felt Your presence in our electronic opportunities for worship.

We pray for our pastoral leadership.  May Kenny and Kelly not only experience new blessings and spiritual growth but be very effective in leading us through these unusual times.  We give thanks for all our specialized ministries and ask Your guidance and grace for their responsibilities too.

May our lay leaders, Sunday School teachers, those with administrative responsibilities be renewed and encourage those that work with them.

Bless all the outreach opportunities and mission concerns in which we are involved.  Use our Preschool to support families in need and strengthen our ties of ministry there.

May we draw close to You, Father and discover your resources for living.

Touch those who are sick or facing surgery who have asked us to pray for them.  Meet their needs as only You can, Great Physician.

We surrender ourselves to Your will.  May it be done in our lives as it is in heaven! In the strong name of Jesus we pray.  Amen.

Day 35, May 23

Pause at His feet for a moment of prayer.
Honor the dear, blessed name that we bear. 
Pause in your hurry, worry and care. 
Pause at His feet for a moment of prayer.

ETERNAL GOD and OUR HEAVENLY FATHER, we bow in worship before Thee again.  Only when we turn to Thee can we hear the words of eternal life.  There is no other Source to which we may go.  From our confused and random living, unite our hearts and souls that we may discover afresh the meaning of worship.

We confess our sins before Thy holiness.  Forgive us that we so often wander like sheep and bring us home to the fold today that our hearts may hear the sounds of sandaled feet walking with us along life’s road.  Touching each of us at our point of need.  Revive each of us individually and all of us as a church.

Speak the call to share the truth of Thy love with those around us.  We pray particularly for those who are outside Thy kingdom.  

We live in such a cynical world.  Save us from skepticism and vanity and from all the maladies of the minds and moods that spoil our lives. Help us to see this day Thy will for our lives, excellent and clear, beautiful and elevated that we may believe and be unified in our humble following of Thy way.   We pray for our nation and all who have some position of leadership that a new humility and civility may be born.  Grant us a renewal of all that has made us a godly nation in the past and give us leaders whose hearts and minds are guided by Thy spirit.

What we pray for our nation, we pray for ourselves individually and we plead for our congregation.  Against all that can divide us and scatter our focus to serve Thy will, forgive us and unite us with single-minded devotion. 

Comfort hearts grieving over lost loved ones. Energize bodies that need healing.  Give vision to those in economic stress and direction to those in a personal wilderness.  Continue to strengthen all those suffering the loss of homes and support from this pandemic and other life-changing disasters.

We pray for our Pastors as they speak Thy word to us.  May our minds be attentive and our hearts touched by the message.  We join our voices now in the prayer Jesus taught, Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever.  Amen. 

Day 34, May 22

Jehovah Jira, You are the God who provides for all our needs, even before we ask and You take delight when Your children to ask.  We thank you today for all the many, many ways in which you provide for us, whether materially, financially or relationally.

Today we pray that we who are merely inconvenienced by this pandemic remember those whose lives are at stake.  May we who have few risk factors remember those who are most vulnerable. May we who have the luxury of working from home remember those who must choose between their health and earning an income.  May we who have all we need remember those who have lost jobs and are in great need. May we who cannot take our vacations remember those who have no safe place to go. May we who are sheltering in place remember those who have not shelter or place. 

As fear and anxiety continue to spread and people offer their opinions about what is best, may we choose love, compassion and understanding. During this time when our arms ache to hug our loved ones be wrapped in your loving arms of peace. Show us O Lord ways that we may lovingly embrace our neighbors and friends who do not know Your love.  Amen.

Day 33, May 21

God who is our Refuge, today we thank You that You always hear the cries of Your people and we ask Your forgiveness when we, in our stubbornness, do not come to You. You, O God, have been our Shelter and Strength in the midst of this pandemic and provided for our needs, giving us the hope that we need for each day.

We pray again today for those who are on the front lines of this war against COVID-19. We pray that You will give them all the provisions they need and all the support they need. Even though it seems the numbers are dropping, and the curve is flattening, we pray especially for those who even now are contracting this virus. We pray for Your healing and wholeness for each of them.

We pray also for those who are being affected by this virus in other ways because of the loneliness of sheltering in place and the isolation of social distancing. We pray for those who are living in fear, that they would not be anxious or fearful but to bring all their cares to You through prayers and petitions, with thanksgiving in their hearts, that they may know the peace of Christ that passes all understanding.

And Lord, we pray today that You will redeem this time, to awaken Your Church and bring close to You those who are far away. In this time when we the church are outside the walls of the sanctuary, we pray that You will show us what it means to BE the church. Renew our souls O God and let us be Your hands and feet to those who do not know Christ. For it is in His name we pray, Amen.

Day 32, May 20

Father God, today we remember that You so loved the world that You gave Your one and only Son so that all who repent of their sins and believe in the salvation offered through Christ will have not just life eternal, but life to the fullest here and now. That promise is all that sustains us when we see friends and loved ones suffering from all of the effects of this pandemic. So today we pray that You will provide for every need – healing for those who are sick, provision for those who have lost jobs, comfort for those who have lost loved ones, assurance and peace for those who are anxious and afraid. But today we also pray for revival and awakening of the people who claim Christ as Lord and Savior.Your revival brings life and nourishment, preservation and restoration.

Lord, start a new revival in me. Give me a hunger for Your Word and a thirst for Your Spirit. Give me eyes to see and ears to hear and a heart that is open to Your leading. Break my heart O God for what breaks Yours and renew a right spirit in me. Restore to me O Lord the joy of Your salvation that I will be so renewed in my faith that I cannot help but share the Good News of Jesus Christ with those around me. Let my life be a beacon of hope and assurance in this world of uncertainty and fear.

Bring revival into Your Church, even right here at Canton First. I pray today for all my brothers and sisters in Christ who need a renewal in their spirit. Holy Spirit, awaken us from the slumber of complacency and vanity. Give us that same fire in our souls that ignited at Pentecost and set us ablaze with a passion that everyone would know Christ. We pray for divine appointments in the days ahead that would provide opportunities for us to grow in our love for you and our neighbors.

Come, Holy Spirit, Come! In the powerful, life-changing name of Jesus we pray, Amen!

Day 31, May 19

Almighty and Ever-loving God, we thank You today, when it seems every new day brings new changes and challenges, that You are the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. You are the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the One who was, is and is yet to come. Your Word is steadfast and Your promises are true.

As our society begins to “open up” and attempt to return to some sort of normalcy, we pray for our elected servants and others who must make difficult decisions. Give them Your wisdom and may they hear Your voice. We also pray that Your Church and all Christian believers are anything but “normal.” Your Word tell us that we should be “salt” that infuses and seasons the culture and a “light” that shines in the darkness. We pray that Your Holy Spirit continues to work in our hearts to transform us into the likeness of Christ.

As we approach the remembrance of the Day of Pentecost when Your Church was born, we pray for a revival fire that will awaken Your people so that the whole world will know the Good News of Jesus Christ. And it is in His name that we pray, Amen.

Day 30, May 17

“And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom you will serve…but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD!” Joshua 24:15
 
Lord, I pray in Jesus name that You would restore a social consciousness to our nation. Let us not be afraid to call evil what it is and to teach our children the virtue of being good citizens. Forgive us when we have failed to stand for what is right and have fallen for much that is wrong. Restore to us a sense of direction and trust in You.
 
Keep us from short-sighted vision today which limits our actions in service to You tomorrow. Grant us courage for the living of these hours. Pour Your grace on our staff and congregation that we may share a true witness with our community.
 
May we be faithful to the truth to which we have been called and walk in the ways of righteousness rather than compromise with evil. Without Your direction we have no hope. Lead us in Your way, we pray in the strong name of Christ our Lord.
 
Amen.

Day 29, May 17

Today let us pray in the spirit of Abraham Lincoln’s call to prayer:

“We have been recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation has ever grown; but we have forgotten God.

We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.

It behooves us, then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.”
-Abraham Lincoln

Father, we pray for a sense of civility, humility and thankfulness to be made in the hearts of those who seek leadership in our nation that we may pray as our 16th President did.

Cause us to know Your healing and Your call to holiness. In the strong name of Jesus our Lord. Amen.

Day 28, May 16

Our Father and our God, we are grateful for Your mercy. Your great love for us is shown at the cross where Jesus died for our sins. We stand amazed at the empty tomb and your promise of eternal life because he defeated death. Thank you for such amazing assurance. Forgive us for taking such love for granted and draw us afresh to that cross and empty tomb to have your love renewed and our commitment strengthened.

Teach us how to guard our hearts against fear in times like these. We stumble in the darkness of our own plans and so often miss the light which You use to guide us to Your eternal truth. Teach us to see the eternal and not to concentrate on the material.

We pray for renewed faith in Your grace and goodness. We lean on Your care. Keep us faithful.

We ask for Your continued blessing on our congregation and our lay and pastoral leadership. Give us a burning desire to do Your will in Your way that we might be revived and renewed in your service.

In the strong name of Jesus, our Lord. Amen.

Day 27, May 15

Day 26 Prayer, May 14

Eternal God, we thank you that your truth, hope, and love are eternal, never changing. When circumstances shift, you remain in place. When death takes a loved one or friend, your eternal promise is secure. When material wealth and security are depleted, your sustenance is sure. When our faith falters, you are at our side. For all your generosity when our resources are limited, we give our thanks to you.

This day we pray for all who have been harmed by the presence of the coronavirus. It has changed our lives in ways that we don’t yet completely understand. We have become residents of a new world that seems very strange and unfamiliar. We are adjusting very, very slowly. Give us patience with ourselves and others. Help us to know that we will not always live as we are living, in isolation from our family and friends. Show us afresh your love and care. Remind us of those who have gone before us who lived a life of faith and trust, sometimes under conditions much more demanding than what we face.

We ask special blessings upon those who go the second mile today. Factory workers on long shifts, making much needed medical equipment. We pray for medical workers, food producers and sellers, first responders, police officers, and fire fighters. We pray for the President of the United States, the Vice-President, the governors, and health administrators who guide us. Give them peace and courage to face each day. And we pray for many others, perhaps unknown, who make our lives safer and more secure.

Now, Lord, we ask that you come into our presence in a new way. Help us to put our complete trust and faith in you. Help us to learn from our loss, finding what is even greater than anything we knew before the coronavirus invaded our world. May we use these days to receive a blessing from you and be a blessing to others. Show us now how rich we are with riches that will never be destroyed.

You are our rock, our hope, and our strength. For all your blessings, we give you thanks. In the wonderful name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

Day 26, May 14

Eternal God, we thank you that your truth, hope, and love are eternal, never changing. When circumstances shift, you remain in place. When death takes a loved one or friend, your eternal promise is secure. When material wealth and security are depleted, your sustenance is sure. When our faith falters, you are at our side. For all your generosity when our resources are limited, we give our thanks to you.

This day we pray for all who have been harmed by the presence of the coronavirus. It has changed our lives in ways that we don’t yet completely understand. We have become residents of a new world that seems very strange and unfamiliar. We are adjusting very, very slowly. Give us patience with ourselves and others. Help us to know that we will not always live as we are living, in isolation from our family and friends. Show us afresh your love and care. Remind us of those who have gone before us who lived a life of faith and trust, sometimes under conditions much more demanding than what we face.

We ask special blessings upon those who go the second mile today. Factory workers on long shifts, making much needed medical equipment. We pray for medical workers, food producers and sellers, first responders, police officers, and fire fighters. We pray for the President of the United States, the Vice-President, the governors, and health administrators who guide us. Give them peace and courage to face each day. And we pray for many others, perhaps unknown, who make our lives safer and more secure.

Now, Lord, we ask that you come into our presence in a new way. Help us to put our complete trust and faith in you. Help us to learn from our loss, finding what is even greater than anything we knew before the coronavirus invaded our world. May we use these days to receive a blessing from you and be a blessing to others. Show us now how rich we are with riches that will never be destroyed.

You are our rock, our hope, and our strength. For all your blessings, we give you thanks. In the wonderful name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

Day 25, May 13

Merciful Lord, we come with thanksgiving for the many blessings you give each day. We are grateful for the comforts of home, family, friends, a supportive church family, and enough to eat. As we remember our blessings, remind us to reach out to those who may not have these basic things. Make us be the body and blood of Christ for our world.

We ask your special blessings, provision, and protection upon those who continue working so hard to keep our world safe. We are ashamed for our nation and our involvement in evildoing, and ask for forgiveness. We pray for your cleansing power on us and for your grace that our leaders and people might unify to work together for the common good.

We lift to you those who continue to be jeopardized by this pandemic, whether in the medical field, food supply, “non-essential” jobs, or the guardians of our safety. We pray their provisions will be met by the generosity of your people, and their faith increased by the signs of your love.

In the name of Jesus Christ our Lord we give you praise. Amen.

Day 24, May 12

Redeemer God, today we give thanks that you brought your people from a land of slavery to the promised land. When they faced challenges, you provided a way. When they were hungry you provided manna, enough for every day. When the enemy was about to overwhelm them, you saved them. When they turned their back on you, you waited for them to turn their faces to you. Lord, how thankful we are that you never gave up on your wandering people.

Today, Lord, as we wander in a different kind of wilderness we call upon you to guide us. Some of us feel weak. Give us strength. Some of us are fearful for loved ones in hospitals and nursing homes. Give us peace, knowing you are with them. Some of us are discouraged, fearing the loss of our health, jobs, financial security, and homes. Give us courage, taking one day at a time, to continue, believing that we live in your providential care. Let your love surround us. Wrap us in your spiritual arms of love. Secure in our minds and hearts the blessings you give us. Teach us that these blessings are sufficient for each day we face, now and forever more.

Accept our thanks for bringing us to this time and place. Help us to go forward in faith and confidence. In the redeeming name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

Day 23, May 11

O God, we come before your presence with hearts of praise and thanksgiving, We unite in prayer as a worship to you who makes the sun and moon to rise and set and who brings the rain upon the just and unjust. All majesty and glory be yours.

But sometimes we rebel or neglect you, Lord. Sometimes we stray. Sometimes we neglect our worship of you and refuse to serve you and humanity. Forgive us and bring us back to you.

We thank you for new days and new beginnings. Every day is resurrection day for Christians. We give thanks for abundant and new life in Christ. Make us new creatures. Lead us in the ways of love, peace, patience, and justice. Enable us to live out the gospel message in our daily lives. Help us to make our lives living prayers and living sermons. Help us prepare the way of the Lord and make us more willing to serve and reconcile your world and our world. Move your Spirit among us to heal and empower us.

We still need your healing and guiding hand. We pray that you will give comfort for all those who are ill. May you heal them according to your will. We pray for your comfort for those whose loved ones and friends have died.

We are thankful for medical personnel, disaster workers and volunteers and their families. We pray for community responders and politicians and civic leaders that they might have wisdom, courage, strength and integrity as they seek to help the world’s populations continue to deal with the disruptions caused by the coronavirus.

We pray especially for our church pastors, church leaders, church family, and those touched by our church ministry. Help us all we pray. Thanks be to God. Amen.

Day 22, May 10

Almighty God, we know that even in your greatness and majesty, you still love us. Your love for us seen through the scriptures and the sacrifice of your Son leads us to repent of our sin and be reconciled to you.

We give thanks for your redeeming power in our lives. Revive us and restore us in our fellowship with you. Then send us out in your power to be your church at work in the world for the good of the world. Our nation and world need you more than ever during this battle with the coronavirus.

We pray for wisdom, guidance and strength for our pastors, our church leaders, our family, and for all political leaders around the world that they will be faithful and honest servants carrying out their legal duties and service for citizens.

We pray for strength for all medical workers and disaster-related workers. We give thanks for their service and pray for them and their families. We pray your healing power for all those inflicted with illness during this world-wide disaster. Comfort those who are ill and those have lost loved ones.

We pray for the needs of your church family as circumstances force us into stages of social isolation. We pray for victory over this disaster. May we find strength in you to continue to love and serve our family, friends, neighbors, and church.

May our church family emerge from this time rededicated to the work and ministry of the Body of Christ and be inspired to grow in our Christian maturity through prayer, service, worship, and ministry. We pray for the continued financial support of our church ministry. May an important part of our personal witness be our own giving. O God, since you are love, may we love better as your people. Amen.

Day 21, May 9

Holy and gracious Lord, we gather in spirit to give you ourselves through this time of prayer.  Thank you for our church staff who continues to work hard to keep us connected.  Bless and strengthen them with wisdom, grace, and the energy needed for their tasks.

Open our hearts, Lord.  Forgive us our sins and help us to continue to listen to you as we learn to live in a new way.  Remind us to be content in whatever circumstances we find ourselves, for you are with us. 

We ask that you open the hearts and minds of our government leaders and pour into them your wisdom. We believe you are using this time to change us all into the people we need to be. Help us to live as resurrection people through this time by giving ourselves to your Kingdom through prayer, service, money, and other ways you show us.  Give us ears to hear, eyes to see, and courage to respond in gratitude.

Thank you most of all for our Savior Jesus Christ who died and lives again in each of us.  We make our prayer in his holy and precious name. Amen.

Day 20, May 8

Almighty and always loving God, today we are mindful of the foundation of our faith and life, Jesus Christ, our Lord. He told us that we are to build our lives on the solid rock where neither winds nor floods can prevail. He has shown us how to do that by trusting in you, even in His darkest hour. He overcame temptation by turning His back on fame, power, and riches, choosing your way as the better way. Jesus, himself, gave His life to a power greater than himself, giving up this world, while making this world better. For this strong example, we give you thanks.

Hear us, Lord, as we pray for strength to follow the way Jesus has shown us. When we are tempted to follow our own way, guide us in the way of Jesus. When we become fearful and selfish, remind us of what we gain when we lose our life in you. If we become weary doing your bidding, help us to find strength that never ends.

Lord, today we pray for those who suffer on the front line of this health care crisis. Their task is great and sometimes their physical, emotional, and spiritual resources are challenged. Give them the peace that they need to fight on when they had rather give up. Help the rest of us to love and support them in this great battle. And never let any of us forget that your Holy Spirit is with us, providing your tender mercies for all who call upon you.

We ask our prayer in the name of Jesus, Amen.

 

Day 19, May 7

Almighty God, great is your faithfulness unto us. Holy, holy, holy are you in all your ways and our lips and hearts sing your praise and glory. Wonder and praise is our response to your great acts and love toward us.

Yet the light of your glory calls to mind our sin and unworthiness. We come to you now in repentance to receive the forgiveness we need. Our ways need mending and new life.

We have much for which to be thankful. For the gift of life itself and the richness of our life we give thanks. Friends and family, children and grandchildren and relatives are a source of our gratitude and thanksgiving. In loss and in gain, in the good times and in the hard times we are thankful for your presence and care with us. Your Spirit has guided us and comforted us.

Thanks be to you, O God. Comfort those who are alone or lonely. We pray your ministry on all who are separated from loved ones by distance or death. Prepare us as your church to better live and proclaim your message for the world in Christ. May your presence comfort all those who are sick and heal where it is your will. Move our world closer to peace and make us all peacemakers and ministers to the world, so we might better live as Christ taught us. Amen.

Day 18, May 6

Gracious, living God of creation, our hearts are full of praise for your glory shown in these days of spring. Your glory is also being called forth in the hearts of your people by putting others first through sheltering in place and the isolation of a pandemic that is new to this generation. Help us respond to your generosity through the giving of ourselves, time and money, for your Kingdom to come.

Lord, we ask your protection on all who are putting their lives on the line to keep us all safe. Bless them with wisdom and faith in you. Our prayers include the families impacted by this virus. Give comfort to those who mourn, strength to those who have more to do than ever, joy to parents as they help their children finish school and trying to work from home, provision to the many who are trying to make ends meet, and grace for all the other needs of which we may not be aware. We ask your special blessings upon our national leaders that they might listen to you and heed your wisdom.

Above all, Lord, we ask that you continue to bring good out of this troubled time. Bless all who seek you and help us in our unbelief. We ask in the powerful name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Day 17, May 5

Scripture: Matthew 26:36-39

Gracious God,

It is so comforting to know that You not only hear my prayers, but You answer them in my best interest. Sometimes I feel as though I know what is best for my life, but I confess that only You truly know me. You know me even better than I know myself.

I confess during the COVID-19 pandemic and other times, I worry and struggle with trivial matters and over major decisions, when what I really need to do is surrender to You and listen to Your still small voice for direction and guidance. Help me to remember that when Jesus struggled in the Garden of Gethsemane, His ultimate decision was to surrender to Your will. Help me to follow His example in all things I face.

Thank You, Dear Father for always being there to listen. Thank You for understanding me and for taking the time to care for me. I love You, Lord. Forgive me for the things I have done this past week to hurt You and others. Cleanse my heart from the desire to go my own way rather than seeking Your way. Fill me afresh with the presence of Your Holy Spirit. Give me strength and renew my faith.

Comfort those who are stricken with COVID-19, struggling with difficult decisions, with other illnesses or with grief. Remind them that You are the Great Physician, and that our strength comes from You. Remind me daily what Jesus DID and help me to go and do likewise. I offer this prayer in the name of Christ our Hope.

Amen.

Day 16, May 4

Creator God,
 
Today we pray that you will teach us to gain strength and hope as we face suffering caused by the coronavirus. As we pray this, we admit that this is hard to understand. We really would rather avoid suffering. We wish the problem would go away. Suffering hurts. It reminds us that we are mortal, ultimately not in control of this world and our time in it. We had rather live our lives without pain and disappointment. But that is not to be.
 
We thank you for those mighty examples of those who have gone before us, living through the pain of suffering, finding strength and hope. Paul was in prison, beaten and abused, but he never turned his back on the hope of life made possible by you. John was on Patmos, fearing for his life, and he wrote the truth that you revealed. And Jesus, hanging on a cross, gave his spirit to you for your care in the hour of his greatest need. And you blessed them. Lord bless us as we turn our circumstances over to you.
 
Help us today, Lord, to follow the path that has been placed before us. Show us that strength can be found in weakness and eternal truth can be revealed in places where we do not wish to find that truth. Forgive us when we run and hide in fear, for fear can diminish and even defeat us.
 
Hear us today as we give thanks for the countless people around us, most we do not know, who help us. Workers who grow our food are in the field. Grocery store clerks are in place every day. EMTs, Police, and Fire Fighters remain on the job. As many of us stay home in safety, others continue in the work to care for and protect us. Such grace, strength, and love reminds us of you.
 
Open our eyes to new capacities. Help us transform suffering into hope and blessings. Teach us what we need to know today to grow in our faith and live our witness for Jesus who loves us as much today as he did yesterday.
 
In His name we pray, Amen.

Day 15, May 3

Almighty God hear our prayers. You know our needs better than we, but we especially petition you for help during these unusual times when COVID-19 afflicts people around the world. We ask these prayers for our church, our families, friends, and neighbors and your whole world. May your healing power help those in need according to your will. We especially ask for your help for all who work in the medical field, whether doctors and nurses, technicians and specialists, clergy and custodians. We give thanks for them and for all public servants and volunteers who are helping to respond to this disaster. May they all experience your love, comfort, protection, and guidance during this time.

We also pray for your comfort for those who have suffered or lost loved ones to this illness. May we as your church continually pray for the needs of all the peoples of the earth. May we continue your mission of redemption and love in every place. May people see Christ in our lives and our work of the church. In gratitude may we continue to give of ourselves, and our prayers, and our financial support of your church.

Oh God, help us to be better hearers and doers of your Word. May we grow more as new creatures in Christ and become better witnesses of our faith. May our whole church lift up our pastors, staff and leadership in prayer. May our church learn more about being the body of Christ in ministry to the world since every Christian is given the ministry of reconciling the world to God in Christ.

With the Holy Spirit poured into us, let us live lives full of gratitude and appreciation to you. God, help us to be joyful and grateful witnesses to you in our lives. May our lives be a prayer to you. Teach us to better love you and to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. All in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Day 14, May 2

O Lord Our God, how majestic is your name in all the earth! When we see the moon and stars suspended in space, the beauty of your earth in springtime, we are reminded that you consider mankind to be the utmost creation of all.  How humbling it is to know of your love for our fallen race, how shameful we are in our unbelief, how unresponsive we are to your love poured out on the cross.  O Lord, forgive us, we pray!
 
You are calling us through this troubled time to humble our hearts and be different than before. Jesus has come to earth as a man, died on a cruel cross, was raised from the dead, and now sits at your right hand to intercede for us when we pray.  Now you call us to action, Lord. May we think of nothing but your wondrous love and goodness, and how to share it with the world.
 
Father, we lift those who are struggling in so many ways. Take away the fear, anxiety, and despair that all will rest in your promise never to leave us. Strengthen us all through your power that we will be filled with hope for a bright future with you.
 
Our prayer is made through the living Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer, in whose name we ask. Amen.

Day 13, May 1

Almighty God, great is your faithfulness. You have called and invited us to join in faithfulness to you by living for you and repenting of our sinful ways so that we might love you more dearly and love our neighbors as ourselves. 
 
While unusual illness inhabits our nation and most of the earth, we pray for your healing power where it is needed and pray you comfort those who have lost loved ones due to illness.  We give thanks for all those medical servers and community-need responders who are laboring so ardently.  Give them strength and assurance in their service. 
 
May we, as your church in the world, be generous in our prayers, service, and giving so that our ministry and mission might reach our church, our community, and other parts of the world.  Thank you for entrusting to us your ministry of reconciling the world to Christ.  Continually strengthen us and guide us in this ministry in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.

Day 12, April 30

O God, work in us to both will and work for your good pleasure. We are your people open to your teaching so that we might learn to be lights in the world for you so that we might shine like stars showing your love and salvation for all people. May we trust in you for healing and for assurance that nothing can separate us, our loved ones, and our friends from your love. 

We pray for and give thanks for all the medical teams and community responders who work to help people survive these illness-inflicted disasters and disruptions in our lives. 

Give our church staff and leaders strength and guidance in these unusual times. We pray for your healing ministry for those who are sick. Help us to be doers of your word and not hearers only. We repent of our sins and seek to live lives of appreciation and thanksgiving. We give thanks for all good things in life and in gratitude seek to live more faithfully through our giving, our prayers, and our service. Amen.

Day 11, April 29

Scripture: Joshua 1:9
 
Dear Lord, I come to You today giving thanks that You are a loving and healing God. In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, help me to put my trust in You and You alone.
 
I give You thanks for the healthcare workers and First Responders that put their lives on the line to care for us every day. Please protect them and keep them safe from the virus. Sustain them with Your presence as they serve tirelessly and faithfully those that are affected by the virus.
 
Help me to reflect the love of Christ wherever I am so that others may be drawn to Jesus through me. Father, help me to remember that You call me to live responsibly and to do all I can to avoid contracting or potentially spreading the virus.
 
During the pandemic and always, help me to give of my best to You, O God, in all of life. Guide me into a greater understanding of what Your priorities are for my life. Like God reminded Joshua, help me to be strong and courageous and not be terrified or discouraged because You are with me and my family wherever we go.

I pray for those who are unemployed. Strengthen them during this difficult time and remind them that You will never leave them or forsake them. Uplift their spirits and grant them a place among Your laborers. As the pandemic subsides, open up opportunities so that they may receive a job through which they can glorify You and honor You. I lift my heart to You in the precious name of Jesus. Amen.

Day 10, April 28

Holy Father, as we step into the prayer stream that continuously goes up to you from all your saints, we add our praise and thanksgiving for your mercy in our lives and world.

Despite this time of isolation, we are finding great joy in spending time with you. Please forgive us for times when we don’t put you first, Lord, and enable us to forgive ourselves. Keep reminding us so we will set the habit to listen to you, study the Bible, and reach out to those around us. You call us to be faithful to you by acting responsibly in these tasks.

Lord, have mercy on those who do not know you. We pray that their attention can be captured and set afire for you. Remind us of the time when we were on fire for your Kingdom and renew that spirit within us. We pray for revival as we approach Pentecost, to see the flame of your spirit burning brighter than ever in our hearts and in our world. Give us passion to share you with others, to spark the desire to know you in other hearts as we know you in our own.

Our hearts burst with joy at the opportunity we have to bring your Kingdom to fullness. Fill us with your Spirit that we may be your instruments of salvation for others. In Jesus’ powerful resurrection name we pray. Amen.

Day 9, April 27

Dear God, we are in uncharted waters in our lives at this moment in dealing with the global Covid-19 virus.  Many of us are struggling with day to day decisions for ourselves, no less how to reach out to others. 
 
Please Lord, give us the words of HOPE and LOVE that will cut through the Evil Veil that covers our earth around the globe.  Please give us the WISDOM to turn to YOU as our CREATOR.  YOU are our STRENGTH in times of struggle, sadness, and the evil that exists in humankind.
 
Today we pray for CARETAKERS, who wear many uniforms in their jobs, as doctors, nurses, police, fire, military, first responders as well as last responders.  They are constantly putting their lives at risk for others and that is why these WARRIORS need special blessings from YOU, GOD.  Only YOU have that ability as our Heavenly Father.
 
Jesus told us that when two or more gather together in HIS name that HE will hear our PRAYERS.  And Almighty God, we need YOU now, maybe more than ever before.  Today as our church shares in our daily PRAYER,  please bless ALL of our CAREGIVERS, enabling them to bring forth your LOVE and COMPASSION to others as well as to themselves, and to all who pray for them.
 
We ask this in the name of JESUS CHRIST, YOUR Son, our SAVIOR. Amen.

Day 8, April 26

Almighty God, we praise you today because you are our source for life, health, and hope.  Without you we are lost.  You formed us from the earth, breathed into our bodies the breath of life, and showed the truth that sustains us in this life and in the life to come.  For this we are thankful. 
 
But we admit that we have strayed from that certainty.  We have become anxious because we have learned to trust the things of this world, forgetting that which you have provided.  We believed that we could create our own world and sustain it.  While going our own way, we have turned our backs on your way.  Forgive us.
 
And as we accept your forgiveness give us new hearts and minds.  Help us to see in this challenging world of death and disease brought on by the Coronavirus, a chance for new birth from above.   
 
Hear us as we pray for those who have lost loved ones.  Comfort those who are working in our hospitals and nursing homes.  Give them supernatural strength to care for the sick ones and for themselves as well.  Care for the spouses and children of these workers, anxious for their loved ones.  While many persons are separated from family, may each of us find in you a presence that overcomes our loses. 
 
And Lord, bring to each of us your peace that goes beyond all understanding that we may remain calm and sure in your never ending presence.  In the name of Jesus we offer this prayer, Amen. 

Day 7, April 25

Loving God, You have made this day and given it to us. As you brought order out of chaos at creation, you bring order out of chaos today.  You are the one who has created us in your image, giving us loving hearts and keen minds. You have set us in a land of hope and beauty to be good stewards of your blessings, using those gifts wisely and sharing them generously.  Without you, we are nothing. Accept our thanks for all this and remind us daily of the blessings that are ours. 
 
But today Lord we live in a time that is different from anything we have ever known. Just a few weeks ago we had never heard of this deadly coronavirus. Now it has taken over the world.  There seems to be no place that is safe. And we might easily turn to despair, forsaking the truth of your blessings that remain close by our side. Forgive us Lord. Help us to turn to you for help and hope. Come to our side just as a loving father rushes to the side of his son, returning home from a wasted life. And help us to accept and embrace your love now in ways we never thought possible. 
 
Today, Loving God, we particularly pray for our staff and laity at Canton First United Methodist Church. These loving people have been your caring presence in a world that knows sickness. Our staff has learned new ways to communicate with the church. Worship has continued even when the sanctuary is empty. These servants of the kingdom have made hundreds of phone calls to check on us. They have provided ways the church can support and love our health care workers, the hungry, and children who live in group homes. And we thank you for the laity who has helped a neighbor, going the extra mile in many cases. We thank you for our Sunday school classes, their teachers and leaders, who have checked to make sure that everyone is well. We are blessed by Bible studies online and those who work so hard to make these classes possible. And we marvel at the financial generosity of all who support your church and worthy causes in our community and around the world, even as their own funds might be limited. 
 
Truly, Lord, we are blessed and loved, by you and our Christian friends. And we know that nothing, absolutely nothing, can overcome this. We offer our prayer in the name of Jesus, Amen.

Day 6 Prayer, April 24

Dear Lord and Father of mankind, forgive our foolish ways. When we see the needs of others, we feel so blessed. You have given us a staff of dedicated servants in our church. We pray today for our pastors and all who join them in the call to service and devotion to Christ. We ask your blessings on those who lead in worship and teach in Sunday School classes. Encourage and empower those who use their management skills and wisdom to share essential knowledge with our members.
 
Use those who clean and prepare the facilities for fellowship and worship through video or personal gathering.
 
Let us always remember whom we serve and what we do to the honor and glory of our Lord Jesus, in whose name we pray. Amen.

Day 5 Prayer, April 23

Spirit of God, descend upon my heart. Wean it from earth, through all its pulses move. Kindle my love for you afresh today. Help me to grow in your grace and joy in your love for me.
 
May your love overflow through me today that those around me will see Jesus in me but also feel your call to them to become part of your family through faith in Christ!
 
Take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee. Take all that I have and bless us for useful service to your kingdom. May your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. I pray in the strong name of Jesus. Amen

Day 4 Prayer, April 22

Our heavenly Father, we join our hearts together today on behalf of our brothers and sisters at Canton First United Methodist Church. We are so grateful you have brought us together to be your people here! May the witness of our congregation always be that we love you and because we do, we have learned to love others for you. Let us always reach out to those in need of salvation and share your love with them. May we ever reach those in need emotionally, financially, and physically as well as those who have not yet come to Christ.
 
Teach us that to do these things for the needs of others is to do them to you. With gratitude for being called to be the church we pray, in the strong name of Jesus. Amen.

Day 3 Prayer, April 21

Father God, we bow together in gratitude for your mercy. You have showed your great love for us at the cross where Jesus died for our sins. We stand amazed at the empty tomb and your promise of eternal life because he defeated death. Thank you for such assurance.
 
Forgive us for taking such love for granted and draw us afresh to that cross and empty tomb to have your love renewed and our commitment strengthened. 
 
May we live today in gratitude and grace as your children. In the strong name of Jesus.  Amen.

Day 2 Prayer, April 20

Our Father and our God, we have failed to be the church you called us to be. But we give thanks that you invite us to repent and to seek your face. Forgive our sins and help us deep in our hearts to see your face.

May we as a nation learn afresh to depend on you and trust you for the healing only you can give. Guide our national, state and local leaders to seek your guidance and presence in every action.

We give thanks for your grace and ask for your continued mercy on our church. Guide us, especially in these unpredictable days to be the light of Christ to all who seek you. In the strong name of Jesus our Lord. Amen.

Day 1 Prayer, April 19

Almighty God, today I praise your name and thank you again for your love and grace that you most fully expressed as your Son gave His life on the cross. And I am even more thankful for His resurrection!
 
Heavenly Father I know that COVID-19 did not take you by surprise and that you will work even this for your glory and our good. I give you this time of social isolation that you will reveal to me more of who I am and more of who you are so that I might love you more. Forgive me of my selfishness and sin and help me to more fully surrender myself to you. I pray also that you will use this time to call ALL people to you.
 
God, I pray that you will heal our world of this virus and believe that you can do it. Help me in my unbelief. Heal those who are sick and receive into your arms those who this disease has taken from us. Comfort those who have lost loved ones and protect our medical teams and first responders.
 
Father, use this time to bring an awakening and revival to your church. Break our hearts for what breaks yours and let us be the Body of Christ for our hurting world. Let the revival begin with me, in my home and family and may it spread throughout the land.
 
I offer this prayer for your glory in the name of Jesus our Savior.

Amen.

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