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What Is Prayer?

Prayer is simply talking to God. In prayer, we bring our thanks, our needs, our desires, and our questions to God in faith. When we approach God in prayer, we believe that He hears us, and that He will answer our prayers according to His will.

Hebrews 11:6 “Anyone who wants to approach God must believe both that he exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.”
Why Do We Pray First?

Prayer is one way we become partners with God. God’s purposes and plans are shown to us in the Bible, and we have an important part to play in seeing His plans come to pass. We pray because God wants us to participate in His miraculous redemption of people. That makes prayer both a privilege and a responsibility – seeking out and learning what God’s will is, then praying until we see it realized.

1 John 5:14-15 “And we can be confident that he will listen to us whenever we ask him for anything in line with his will. And if we know he is listening when we make our requests, we can be sure that he will give us what we ask for.”
How Do We Pray?

The Bible shows us that prayer will often include our thanksgiving, repentance, adoration, and requests. The following acronym using the word PRAY has given helpful direction to many people:

Praise: We approach God by first recognizing that he deserves our worship and thanks. We take joy in who He is, what He has done, and has promised to do.
Repent: We give time for God to search our hearts, careful to turn away from anything that might get in the way of a right relationship with Him.
Ask: Mindful of what we understand to be God’s will, we bring our requests to God, trusting that He is able to meet any need.
Yield: We remember that God is wiser than us, and so we yield our desires and requests to him and acknowledge again that we trust Him no matter what.

Philippians 4:6-7 “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
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Day One - Heart After God

Lord, thank you for loving me before I ever loved you. I come before you today and ask that you would help me love you better. Holy Spirit fill me with the desire to please you. Like David, I want to be known as a person after your own heart. Amen.

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Day Two - Heart For others

Jesus, you said the world would know we are your disciples by the love we have one for another. Give me increasing love for my neighbor. Give me patience for my loved ones. Allow me to extend grace to those that dont deserve it just like you have done for me. If loving others well will serve as a sign that points to you, I want to love people for the rest of my life! Amen.

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Day Three - A Desire To Pray

Lord, Thank you for the gift of prayer. I admit there have been times when I have neglected this gift. My prayer today is that you would help me stay disciplined. Help me pick the right times to pray and to be able to stick to them, give me words to pray and when I don't have them, help me be content with being in your presence. Amen.

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Day Four - Faith

Father, in Acts 16:5 it says that “the churches were being strengthened in the faith, and were increasing in number daily.” I want our faith as a church to continue to grow and I know that I play a part in that. So like the early church would you strengthen our faith! Give us the faith to believe for things that are miraculous. Give us the faith to believe for things that are in your heart. If Faith as big as a grain of mustard seed can move mountains, help me start there. Amen.

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Day Five - Generosity

Father, there is no one in the world more generous than you. The Gospel was an act of generous love! Would you shape my heart and mind to reflect the generous example that you have set for us. I don't want to be attached to my money or resources. I want to live with an open hand. Give me a heart to bless others with the resources you've graciously given to me. Amen.

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Day Six - Our Church

Lord, thank you for New City Church. I am grateful for the love and community that I have found here. Today I ask that you continue to bless our Church relationally, financially and Missionaly. Help us stay focused on the call that you have put on this house. Let us be known as the Church that is passionate about making disciples. We long to carry out the mandate that you set for us in making disciples but we need your help in order to achieve that. Help us stay faithful to this call! Amen.

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Day Seven - Our City

Father, our city is in desperate need of you! I pray for the salvation of those who do not know you yet. I pray for hate and violence to end and for broken homes in this city to be restored. For the poor to see the light and provision that you provide. For the wealthy to see that all that they have is because you have allowed it. Help us be a light that points to you in this city. Help the relationships between churches grow in this city. Would you allow revival to take place in the neighborhoods we live in! We believe Chicagoland can be known as a city that serves you because nothing is impossible for you!

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Day Eight - Our World

Lord, John 3:16 says that you loved this world so much that you gave your life for it. Today we pray that the Gospel will advance to the places it has not yet gone to. I pray for the protection of my fellow brothers and sisters in the faith around the world that are being persecuted. I pray you touch the hearts of our world leaders. I believe you can change the heart of kings, your word shows me this. Wherever there is darkness in this world, continue to build and mobilize your Church! Amen.

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Day Nine - Unity

Jesus, right before being crucified you prayed to the Father and said “Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.” Unity was so heavy on your heart right to the very end. Today I pray as you prayed, help us stay unified in your name. Eliminate anything that is causing division in your church. Let us be known as people who love each other and want what is best for one another. The Gospel is what keeps us unified, when we fail at unity, remind us of this truth, Your blood was shed not only to give us eternal life but to give us an eternal family. Amen.

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Day Ten - Forgiveness

Lord, the lack of forgiveness is so pervasive in our current culture. We see it in homes, the workplace and even in the Church. It causes unnecessary division. I know I can forgive because you forgave me first. Today I pray you give me strength to forgive those in my life who may not deserve it. I don't want to be held captive to the feelings that keep me stuck in a past offense. I want to be set free from a heart that is bitter. Set me free from these feelings today. I want to forgive! Amen.

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Day Eleven - Family

Father, today I lift up the families in our Church. Bless the Marriages with more love and affection for one another. Bless the parents with wisdom to teach and disciple the children you have given them to care for. Bless the single parents with strength and endurance to be there for their little ones. Provide them with help and provision. Restore broken homes. Bring back the prodigal sons and daughters of our church! Fill our homes with more of your presence. We want our families to flourish because we believe that’s what you want! Allow our homes to be filled with disciples and Disciple makers! Amen.

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Day Twelve - Patience

Jesus, there are times that I feel overwhelmed by the challenges of life. This causes me to lose patience in different ways. I lose patience in my faith, in my relationships, at work and with myself. I know the importance of having patience which is why I'm coming to you. I believe you are the source that I can draw from when I feel weak, the fountain I can drink from when I am thirsty. Your word says that you are able to renew my strength so that i can run and not grow weary, walk and not be faint. Give me the patience I need to thrive in all areas of my life. Amen.

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Day Thirteen - Grace

Father, a promise I can hold on to for the rest of my life is that your grace is sufficient for me. Today I pray that you would allow me to live and embrace this truth. There are areas in my life that I know I am weak in, I have struggles, but you have made yourself available to help me through. I have fallen in the past and your grace was there to pick me up. Help me understand that your kindness is what leads us to repentance, your grace is what points to our freedom. Thank you for that grace that is made available to me! Amen!

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Day Fourteen - Freedom from Temptation

Jesus, When you were asked how we should pray, a part of that prayer was “Father… lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one.” Today that's my prayer. Help me overcome the temptations I face today. There are moments when I want to do what is pleasing to the flesh but not beneficial to my spirit. Help me discern the situations I find myself in so that I can glorify you with the decisions that I make. Thank you for the grace you extend when I sin but today I'm asking for the strength not to sin. I want to do what is pleasing to you. Amen.

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Day Fifteen - Courage

Father, one of the attributes that marked the early church in the book of acts was Courage. You are able to turn people who are fearful and timid into people who are courageous and bold. Give me courage. I need courage to share the Gospel with those around me. I need courage in order to face my daily challenges. I also need courage to accomplish all that you have set out for me to accomplish. Holy Spirit I thank you that you are the agent that provides the courage I am asking for and because you live I know that I can be courageous. Amen.

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Day Sixteen - An Obedient heart

Lord, I want to please you with my life. In order to do that I need to remain obedient to your word and your will. Help me have a heart of obedience towards you. A heart of obedience points to a heart of trust and faith in you but I need help! Holy Spirit help me remain faithful in my faith. Build the trust I need in order to remain obedient to you. Amen. 

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Day Seventeen - Wisdom

Father, you said in your word that “The LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding..” I desire more wisdom. I need wisdom to navigate the complexities of life. Wisdom comes from your word so give me the desire to read it and give me the ability to understand it. Surround me with people who are wise in your eyes so that I can learn from them. Amen.

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Day Eighteen - Discipline

Father, help me stay disciplined in life. The habits of reading scripture, daily prayer and intentional times of community are important for me to stay disciplined in. The Apostle Paul said “I train my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should do..” This means I need to train my body to do the things it doesn’t want to do. Holy Spirit, I can only do that with your help. Help me make the daily decisions that lead to a healthy spiritual, emotional, and physical life.

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Day Nineteen - A Heart of Worship 

Lord, you have always been faithful to me. You are deserving of my praise and worship even if you never did another thing for me again. The truth is you will continue to show your love towards me because that's just who you are. Help me keep a heart of worship despite what I am facing. I don't want my worship to be contingent on my current circumstance because you deserve praise even when the days don't feel great. I give you all praise and honor to you.

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Day Twenty - A Heart to serve

Jesus, you said that the reason you came was not to be served but to serve. I want to follow that example. Give me a heart to serve those around me. Putting others first is not always easy for me but with your help I know that I can do it with Joy. I pray for the Chicago peace project, let our city feel the love of Jesus through our acts of service. I pray that they are able to feel the love you have for them through the opportunities we receive to be a blessing. Amen.

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Day Twenty-One - Expectation