Prayer: Joining Hearts with God's

By: By Ruthie Jacobsen, NAD prayer ministries coordina
Date: 12/30/11
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At the beginning of each New Year, the North American Division church family joins together, setting aside the first Sabbath in January as the NAD Day of Prayer (January 7). Some begin on Friday night, and finish with a Prayer Breakfast on Sunday morning. In many places it has become a power-packed weekend of fellowship and intercessory prayer setting the tone for a new year.

As God's people join their hearts with His all across this vast Division on the first Sabbath (in some cases, it may be the second or third Sabbath) to pray together for our countries, our communities, our churches, our families, and our own needy hearts, He responds. Whether your fellowship decides on the full weekend, or a special prayer emphasis on Sabbath, join with your family all across this Division at this crucial time in our history. Is there a better way to begin the New Year, than to come together seeking harmony with the heart of God?( (

The format for the Sabbath or weekend may vary  according to the needs and purposes in your communities, but one component that is always appreciated is a time of prayer and blessing for our pastors, and conference, union, and Division leadership. Pray for those in your area by name, asking God for specific help and blessing. Let's stand on His Word and claim promises for the needs of our own hearts and those of others.( (Recently I was impressed with an amazing quote from the beautiful book, Desire of Ages, which says, God is well pleased when His children make the very highest demands of Him, that we may glorify His name. We may expect large things if we have faith in His promises. p. 668( (As you look ahead, what great prayers would God lead you to pray? Why not ask Him to help you pray really big prayers?

Ask Him what is on His heart. How would He like to expand your horizon to include some of the people and needs you may not be praying for?( (Your prayers profoundly affect the dark and hopeless places of the world  because prayer is a life-changer: The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results. James 5:16 Touchpoint Bible( (So how can we break through the darkness in the least-evangelized nations  and the dark places in our nations of North America? The answer is prayer. Supernatural battles are only won with supernatural weapons.(

(Here are some ideas you may want to discuss with your prayer leadership committee. Incidentally, you'll want to have a planning/prayer committee, which meets regularly to consider the needs of the church and community.(

  • 1. Seminars on Prayer walking, How to pray for an hour, or How to pray for your pastor and/or church leaders. These can precede the weekend, or be offered on Sabbath afternoon.
  • 2. Some will have an all-night prayer service, or a come-and-go attendance through the night. If that's your plan, you may want to begin at sundown with a special vespers to open the Sabbath, and each hour until midnight or later, could be planned by a different person, family, Sabbath School class, or department in the church.
  • 3. Invite pastors of other denominations to join you for this evening service. They may even wish to help with the planning. Provide for families with children to participate early in the evening.
  • 4. You'll want to provide time for youth to sing, share, and pray. A personal testimony is not only an encouragement to others, but a strength for those sharing. Everyone has a story that can inspire someone.
  • 5. Small group Bible studies with sharing and discussion of discoveries from each group is a memorable and inspirational experience. We learn from one another as we study and pray together.
  • 6. Some may wish to plan some form of community outreach for the Sabbath  prayer walking, visiting shut-ins, nursing homes, hospital patients, etc. Try to randomize the groups formed so that families and friends have an opportunity to meet and work with others.
  • 7. Some plan for a baptismal service, special communion service, or Agape meal fellowship.
  • 8. Some pray through the church directory, and prayer walk through the church, praying for each department and ministry  even the baptistry.
  • 9. Pray for your school and/or academies, colleges and universities in your community and conference.
  • 10. Pray for churches of all denominations in your community. Do you have a request that seems impossible? You're not alone; you're in good company. Abraham was there too, but his faith never wavered (Romans 4:20).

We'll be praying for you  that this New Year will be all that God has in mind for you and for your church.

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