Rejoicing in Overflow
The following is a suggested prayer structure. Each section should take approximately 10 minutes. However, be flexible, and enjoy going off-piste by adding any prayer points you would like! Spend longer on the sections that are meaningful for you, and feel free to leave out others as time permits. Whatever you do, however, please pray – and in particular pray through today’s specific prayer points so we seek God’s Kingdom with others as a united, praying church.
Praise and Worship
Spend some time praising God. Use songs, listen to music, speak out words of praise. You can find some worship songs to sing, or reflect upon by clicking here.
Pray in tongues
If you have the gift of tongues, use this now and allow the Holy Spirit to build you up (1 Corinthians 14:4). If you have never spoken in tongues, you can spend time asking the Holy Spirit to receive this specific gift, or alternatively seek God’s blessing for your time of prayer. If you have the gift of tongues, pray for a full 10 minutes, and consider the following: what has changed in my thinking, how have my emotions shifted, what do I want to pray for now that may be different from, how has my view of Jesus changed?
Waiting on the Lord
Take some time to still your thoughts and sit before the Lord in silence. Ask him to reveal to you anything that is coming between you and Him. Confess anything that comes to mind. This will enable you to pray without anything coming between you and God. If God highlights anyone He wants you to forgive, muster up the courage and strength to forgive them from your heart (Mark 11:25).
Reading and Praying Scripture
Read today’s passage. What is God showing you or talking to you about from that passage: for instance, what strikes you as unusual, interesting, provocative, or puzzling? Ask God and pray about those things.
Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Hope: it’s a precious quality. One definition of hope puts it this way: ‘to expect with confidence’. God is full of hope, Paul is telling us here. In fact, He is the ‘God of hope’, which means He is its very originator, its creator, its giver, its sustainer. Hope radiates out of God’s very being. Hope is a rightful response to Jesus: He was born, died and then rose again – victorious over sin, sickness and death. And He is coming again, of that we can be certain. Why? Because He’s told us, we can trust Him, He always keeps His promises and He is pretty confident of His victory over the powers of darkness – and rightly so.
The remarkable and influential South African Bishop Desmond Tutu, who died on Boxing Day last year, said: ‘Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.’
We live in uncertain times: lockdowns, restrictions, masks, tests, shielding. In fact, we have probably learnt a whole new set of vocabulary in the last two years! Yet, of one thing we can be certain: God is a God of hope. It was Paul’s prayer for the church to be filled with hope. It can be ours too, confident that when we ask, we will receive. Before you pray, thank God that He is full of hope and loves to give it to those who follow Him.
Pray and reflect at that start of this prayer week that:
- You will be filled with eternal hope: not just your own, but God’s own hope delivered to you from the Throne Room of Heaven
- Where you have become despondent or despairing, pray that God will displace such thoughts with truthful hope
- You would see light in any areas of darkness in your life: the light of God’s activity and kindness towards you
- We, the Church, God’s people, would overflow and radiate God’s hope to an anxious and uncertain world. In fact, we would be known as people filled with hope that is more infectious than any virus or sickness.
- Get out your BLESS list – or start one if you don’t have one yet. A BLESS list is a list of people you know who don’t know Jesus. Pray for each person on your BLESS list – for a new openness to Jesus and His Gospel, and for opportunities for you to pray for them, listen to them, eat with them, serve them and share your story of Jesus with them. Pray for more opportunities to invite them to church – to a small group or a Sunday morning meeting.
Write down anything that God has spoken to you. You can send in your reflections, thoughts, words of encouragement, prophetic words to email@example.com.