Your Personal Grow-Pray-Study (GPS) Guide

A Christmas Prayer That Transforms

Unnamed

This week features prayers from Paul’s letters. First read through each prayer, notice what Paul prays for people and what you can pray for yourself and for others. Pick someone to pray this prayer for each day. Let Paul’s prayer be a guide and start as you pray for each person (including yourself). Each prayer is taken from a conversational paraphrase of the Bible called “The Voice”.

Day 1: Pray 1 Corinthians 1:4-9 -- "I am continuously thanking my God for you when I think about the grace God has offered you in Jesus the Anointed. In this grace, God is enriching every aspect of your lives by gifting you with the right words to say and everything you need to know. In this way, your life story confirms the life story of the Anointed One, so you are not ill-equipped or slighted on any necessary gifts as you patiently anticipate the day when our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One, is revealed. Until that final day, He will preserve you; and on that day, He will consider you faultless. Count on this: God is faithful and in His faithfulness called you out into an intimate relationship with His Son, our Lord Jesus the Anointed."

Day 2: Pray Ephesians 1:17-19 -- "God of our Lord Jesus the Anointed, Father of Glory: I call out to You on behalf of Your people. Give them minds ready to receive wisdom and revelation so they will truly know You. Open the eyes of their hearts, and let the light of Your truth flood in. Shine Your light on the hope You are calling them to embrace. Reveal to them the glorious riches You are preparing as their inheritance. Let them see the full extent of Your power that is at work in those of us who believe, and may it be done according to Your might and power."

Day 3: Pray Ephesians 3:16-19 -- "Father, out of Your honorable and glorious riches, strengthen Your people. Fill their souls with the power of Your Spirit  so that through faith the Anointed One will reside in their hearts. May love be the rich soil where their lives take root. May it be the bedrock where their lives are founded so that together with all of Your people they will have the power to understand that the love of the Anointed is infinitely long, wide, high, and deep, surpassing everything anyone previously experienced. God, may Your fullness flood through their entire beings."

Day 4: Pray Philippians 1:9-11 -- "Father, may their love grow more and more in wisdom and insight— so they will be able to examine and determine the best from everything else. And on the day of the Anointed One, the day of His judgment, let them stand pure and blameless, filled with the fruit of righteousness that ripens through Jesus the Anointed."

Day 5: Pray Colossians 1:9-14 -- "Father, may they clearly know Your will and achieve the height and depth of spiritual wisdom and understanding. May their lives be a credit to You, Lord; and what’s more, may they continue to delight You by doing every good work and growing in the true knowledge that comes from being close to You. Strengthen them with Your infinite power, according to Your glorious might, so that they will have everything they need to hold on and endure hardship patiently and joyfully. Thank You, Father, as You have made us eligible to receive our portion of the inheritance given to all those set apart by the light. You have rescued us from dark powers and brought us safely into the kingdom of Your Son, whom You love 14 and in whom we are redeemed and forgiven of our sins [through His blood]."

Day 6: Pray 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 -- "All this is why we are constantly praying for you, so God will make you worthy of the great calling you have received from Him and will give you the power to accomplish every good intention and work of faith. Then the great name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified through your lives, and you will be glorified in Him according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus, the Anointed One, our Liberating King."


You can GO DEEPER this week by reading the following book - A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World by Paul Miller.

Don't forget you can listen to this week's message or read the full PDF of the message & GPS.


 AS PRAY THIS WEEK FOR CREATE FOR COMMUNITY: For patience with parking challenges during construction. For safety and efficiency of our construction crews. For those who have given generously for these improvements.

Where-to-park-at-church


A Christmas List That Matters

Unnamed
Day 1: Read 1 Thessalonians 3:9. Paul was grateful for his relationship to the believers in Thessalonica; he expressed his gratitude to God and expressed his appreciation to them. He took the time to say "Thank you...I appreciate you...You fill my life with joy." Take time to thank God by name for each one on your “appreciate the most” list. Write a note of appreciation to send by snail mail or email.

Day 2: Read John 3:16. The Revised Burkey Version invites you to put your name in this verse. What does it mean to you that God puts you on His list of people He appreciates? Whom can you pray for this Christmas to come to know Jesus, to be on God’s list?

Day 3: Read 1 Thessalonians 3:10. Paul wanted to meet with his friends in Thessalonica to build up their faith. He knew, at that particular time, it was what they needed most. As you think of all the people you love, ask yourself, "What does this person need most? What can I say to them? What can I do for them? How can I give them a lift?" Take time to pray for them and to see where God leads you to make those intangible gifts happen.

Day 4: Read 1 Thessalonians 3:11. Instead of (or in addition to) the gift of a present this Christmas, who might want the gift of your presence? Where might God be calling you to be present more in someone’s life? Why do you think that? What will you do next?

Day 5: Read 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13. Paul shares his “wish list”/prayer list for the Thessalonians. Whom might you share your prayer list in a positive way with someone?

Day 6: Read Luke 1:76-79. We have an excerpt of Zechariah’s prayer for his son, John the Baptist. “Son, God is going to use you to be a gamechanger for the world.” And that’s not just true for Zechariah’s son, that’s true for your sons and daughters, for your friends and co-workers. Whom are you praying for to be a gamechanger for God in this world? (It’s great to include yourself on this list!) Pray today for God to use people in our church and world to be used by Him as a game changer today.


You can GO DEEPER this week by reading the following book - Hidden Christmas: The Surprising Truth Behind the Birth of Christ by Timothy Keller.

Don't forget you can listen to this week's message or read the full PDF of the message & GPS.


 AS PRAY THIS WEEK FOR CREATE FOR COMMUNITY: For patience with parking challenges during construction. For safety and efficiency of our construction crews. For those who have given generously for these improvements.

Where-to-park-at-church


Kingdom Builders

Rawpixel-1137314-unsplashPhoto by rawpixel on Unsplash

Day 1: Read Revelation 1:5. John praises Jesus for who He is and what He has done for us. What three words or phrases would you add to praise Jesus for who He is? What three words or phrases would you add to praise Jesus for what He has done for us?

Day 2: Read Revelation 1:4. The grace of God is not only to balance a sin ledger from our past, but it’s the power God gives to live each day to pursue His power, to live with His presence, to share His power of love with the world around us.  How have you experienced God’s grace at work in your life in the last 24 hours? Where are you praying for His grace to work in the next 24 hours?

Day 3: Read Revelation 1:5. What do the three phrases John uses in the beginning of this verse mean for your life about who Jesus is to you? When you think of the difference Jesus has made in your life (and can make in someone else’s), on what parts of Jesus story do you focus?

Day 4: Read Revelation 1:8. Look over your life the past 24 hours. Who has overseen your life at home? At work? On the computer? With family? With friends? On your phone and TV?

Day 5: Read Revelation 1:6. What is the most beautiful thing you have experienced this week? Why do you consider it so beautiful? How did or do you see God at work in such a beautiful thing? How might this be a starting point with someone about a conversation of who God is? Whom will you share that message with this week?

Day 6: Read Revelation 1:7. One of the Biblical images for Christians is to be an “ambassador for Christ”. Even as great as the United States is, we are citizens of heaven, ambassadors charged to bring “up there down here”. When are you tempted to get your citizenship in heaven confused with your citizenship on earth? How can you place a higher priority of bringing God’s will “up there” as part of your work He has given you “down here” in the week ahead?


You can GO DEEPER this week by reading the following book - Soul Keeping: Caring for the Most Important Part of You by John Ortberg.

Don't forget you can listen to this week's message or read the full PDF of the message & GPS. 


 AS PRAY THIS WEEK FOR CREATE FOR COMMUNITY: For patience with parking challenges during construction. For safety and efficiency of our construction crews. For those who have given generously for these improvements.

Where-to-park-at-church


Cultivate Community In A Culture Of Conflict

Helena-lopes-459331-unsplash

Photo by Helena Lopes on Unsplash

Day 1: Read Hebrews 10:14. When Jesus came, He came to die for our sins. He created community through His cross, by giving His life that we might have life.  Take some time today in confession of sin, especially those that are obstacles to community, and ask God's forgiveness.

Day 2: Read Hebrews 10:18. The writer to the Hebrews says that God eternally forgives you. Jesus has paid the price. The forgiveness is real, and it lasts for all eternity. What helps you to remember God's forgiveness?  Why is such forgiveness so important in overcoming the withdrawal and attack sins of the Porcupine Problem?

Day 3: Read Hebrews 10:19-22. In the American church we to often lose the "power of we" and focus on how Jesus only affects me.  That's one reason why I love these words from Hebrews 10. The writer could have targeted his words to individuals. Instead, he writes about us, he writes about the power of Jesus with us, not just with you or with me, but with all of us connected together in Jesus.  What does the writer of Hebrews say that "we" are to do?  How are the imperatives of this verse lived out in our life in a daily and weekly basis?

Day 4: Read Hebrews 10:23. I need you. You need me. We all need Christ. In the temple, the holy of holies was only accessible to one, to the priest. But in the blood of Jesus, the great high priest who became the sacrifice for us, not just one of us, but all of us with faith in Christ are invited to enter in together. Where have you experienced the "power of we," in living out the Christian faith with others?

Day 5: Read Hebrews 10:24. Jesus-centered Community is the one place where it is fully safe for us to take off our masks and to know the healing power of being known and loved - to stop hiding. Faith, hope, and love are experienced in a relationship with God and with other people.  That's why we gather in worship.  That's why we have Life Groups and Bibles Classes.  Where do you best experience Jesus-centered community that spurs you toward love and good deeds? How are you being spurred on to server with Christ's love? Who are you spurring on to live out Christ's love?

Day 6: Read Hebrews 10:25. When we experience the hot charcoal effect instead of the cooling one, here's what we're able to do. We spur one another on the good deeds. We encourage one another. In other words, we make each other better, and we make life better for one another. We cultivate community. Today, pray for the places and people that cultivate community with God in your life.  Thank God for those who encourage you.  Ask God to give you people each day you can encourage in living out their faith.


DAILY PRAYER: Holy Spirit, I pray that this day You will fill me with Yourself and cause Your fruit to ripen in my life: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

AS PRAY THIS WEEK FOR CREATE FOR COMMUNITY: For patience with parking challenges during construction. For safety and efficiency of our construction crews. For those who have given generously for these improvements.


You can GO DEEPER this week by reading the following book - Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

Don't forget you can listen to this week's message or read the full PDF of the message & GPS. 


  Parking Update!

Where-to-park-at-church


Cultivate Self-Control In A Culture Of Out Of Control

Patrick-tomasso-122590-unsplash

Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash

Day 1: Read Titus 2:11. The Christian life flows out of grace, not guilt. Grace is not an excuse for lack of self-control. Grace is the power behind exercising self-control. How has God’s grace helped you when it comes to cultivating self-control? Where do you need to pray for His gracious power to be at work in your life?

Day 2: Read Titus 2:12. The ability to say no to sin is not the natural response, it’s the supernatural response. God’s grace opens our eyes to see what is right and what is wrong. God works not just back then, but His grace works now in the present age. Look back at the past 24 hours. Where did God provide His power to say no to sin? Where do you need God’s power to seek and receive His forgiveness?

Day 3: Read Titus 2:13. In this verse, Paul calls us to celebrate today what God is doing now and will do for all eternity through His lasting grace power. How does our future heavenly hope help you keep perspective amid our present out of control culture? Where do you sense God prompting you to pray for our world today? Why do you think He has placed such an issue, such a burden, on your heart to pray?

Day 4: Read Genesis 39:6-10.  And you thought sexual harassment and the #MeToo movement are new to our day? Notice that Joseph’s self-control is not rooted in his will power or in this case his won’t power, but in his relationship with God.  When have you seen God bring an out-of-control situation back in control? What happened? What lessons did He teach you? What out-of-control situation are you facing right now where you need to remember God is in control?

Day 5: Read Genesis 39:20-21. In a life that felt out of control, from favored son to slave to running the master’s business to prisoner, Joseph practiced self-control. Throughout his ordeal God was shaping Joseph’s character empowered by God’s grace and favor. How has God been cultivating your character throughout this Fruit of the Spirit series?  What has been your experience in praying the Cultivate Prayer (opening prayer on page 1) each day? What is one area of the Fruit of the Spirit blend, you hope God will continue to cultivate in the days ahead?

Day 6: Read Matthew 26:38-39. How do you sense Jesus getting ready for what the next 24 hours will bring as He prays to His Father? Where do you need to give up control, and say, “Father, not my will, but Your will be done”? What’s holding you back? How is God moving you forward?


DAILY PRAYER: Holy Spirit, I pray that this day You will fill me with Yourself and cause Your fruit to ripen in my life: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

AS PRAY THIS WEEK FOR CREATE FOR COMMUNITY: For patience with parking challenges during construction. For safety and efficiency of our construction crews. For those who have given generously for these improvements.


You can GO DEEPER this week by reading the following book - Cultivating the Fruit of the Spirit: Growing in Christlikeness by Christopher J. H. Wright.

Don't forget you can listen to this week's message or read the full PDF of the message & GPS. 


 Parking Update!

Where-to-park-at-church


Cultivate Gentleness In A Culture Of Aggression

Panagiotis-karagiannis-610373-unsplashPhoto by Panagiotis Karagiannis on Unsplash

Day 1: Read Proverbs 25:15. When you think of gentleness as "power under control”, who comes to mind? Where might God be calling you to bring the power of gentleness to transform a situation or relationship?

Day 2: Read Philippians 4:13. Too often people think this verse means, “Lord, give me the power to do what I want.” Could it be that God wants to give you the power for what He wants you to do? Where do you need God’s power in your life today to do His will? Where have you seen His power at work in your life in the past 24 hours?

Day 3: Read 1 Timothy 6:12-13. Where are you feeling pushed to fight the good fight of faith? What are some key convictions of the Christian faith that you believe are foundational for your life?

Day 4: Read Matthew 11:28-29. Where do you need Jesus to provide some rest in your life? Where is Jesus calling you to pick up His yoke (His teaching, His purpose) for your life?

Day 5: Read Proverbs 15:1-2. If God gave you a “gentleness gauge”, where would you most likely need to place it? In your car as you drive? At your computer screen in responding to email? In your children’s bedroom? At the dinner table? At your child’s sporting event? At your workplace? Where would you need such a gauge in your life? Where does your “gentleness gauge” run in the danger zone? In your sweet spot?

Day 6: Read Proverbs 25:21-22. Gentleness balances being “tough with convictions” and “tender with people”. Sometimes though, we get those backwards: tough on people and tender with convictions that can quickly change. In the scales of gentleness, do you tend more on the tough on conviction side or the tender with people side? What helps you maintain the proper balance to keep gentleness as “power under God’s control”?


DAILY PRAYER: Holy Spirit, I pray that this day You will fill me with Yourself and cause Your fruit to ripen in my life: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

AS PRAY THIS WEEK FOR CREATE FOR COMMUNITY: For patience with parking challenges during construction. For safety and efficiency of our construction crews. For those who have given generously for these improvements.


You can GO DEEPER this week by reading the following book - Cultivating the Fruit of the Spirit: Growing in Christlikeness by Christopher J. H. Wright.

Don't forget you can listen to this week's message or read the full PDF of the message & GPS. 


 

Where-to-park-at-church


Cultivate Faithfulness In A Culture Of Broken Promises

Faithfulness

Remember the Faithfulness of God:

  1. God is faithful to Himself. (Psalm 89:8)
  2. God is faithful to His word. (Psalm 145:13)
  3. God is faithful to His people. (Lamentations 3:22-23)

This will require you to bring a “Semper Fi” approach to faithfulness:

  1. Find a key Scripture that reflects God's faithfulness in your life.
  2. Remember God's faithfulness in your past.
  3. Identify the area in which you most struggle with faithfulness.
  4. Ask God to give you daily opportunities to grow.
  5. Track your progress through the eyes of grace.

Day 1: Read Psalm 89:8. God is faithful to Himself. He never does anything inconsistent with His character. How does God’s faithfulness provide a foundation upon which to build your faithfulness?

Day 2: Read Psalm 145:13. God is faithful to His word. He keeps his promises. What promise of God do you need to remember for your life today? Why?

Day 3: Read Proverbs 3:3. Remember ways that God has been faithful to you in the past 24 hours. Write down such simple things as food to eat and air to breathe. As you consider God’s faithfulness in the small and larger details of life, take time to thank and praise Him for His faithfulness. Does any particular detail or event stand out as you ponder God’s faithfulness? Why or why not?

Day 4: Read Matthew 25:14-15. God will never call you to be faithful with what He hasn't given you. He only expects you to be faithful with what you have. As you consider the past day, what is one area where God called you to be faithful? What happened? What did you do with what God gave you today? What lesson of faithfulness did you learn?

Day 5: Read Matthew 25:21. If you want to cultivate faithfulness, you begin today with what you have — even if it doesn't seem like much. When you're faithful with what you have, God opens the door for greater opportunities. Where do you see God opening opportunities for His faithfulness to work through you?

Day 6: Read Lamentations 3:22-23. In the past week, where have you seen God’s great faithfulness at work? How have His mercies been new to you each day?


DAILY PRAYER: Holy Spirit, I pray that this day You will fill me with Yourself and cause Your fruit to ripen in my life: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

AS PRAY THIS WEEK FOR CREATE FOR COMMUNITY: For patience with parking challenges during construction. For safety and efficiency of our construction crews. For those who have given generously for these improvements.


You can GO DEEPER this week by reading the following book - Divine Direction: 7 Decisions that Will Change Your Life by Craig Groeschel.

Don't forget you can listen to this week's message or read the full PDF of the message & GPS. 


Where-to-park-at-church


Cultivate Goodness In A Culture Of Evil

Ludovic-francois-2182-unsplashPhoto by Ludovic François on Unsplash

Day 1: Read Psalm 23:6. This Psalm contains two promises. One is for now and the other is for later. How does the "for now" promise make you feel about the "for later promise?"

Day 2: Read Romans 15:14. Paul explains one important, expected quality of goodness. What is it? How do you see our church meeting up to that expectation? How does your participation add to our realization of that expectation?

Day 3: Read Ephesians 5:1-7. The instruction here is to "follow God's example." How can we as families and individuals use this passage to understand and apply what "God's example" is?

Day 4: Read Luke 6:43-45. What are some examples of "recognizing" good fruit and bad fruit?  How would you explain to a new Christian, or seeker, the difference between good fruit and bad fruit?

Day 5: Read Acts 10:30-48.  What are the "Godliness" qualities that Peter explains in his testimony? Notice how effective Peter's simple Gospel message is. See if you can put together your own simple Gospel message.

Day 6: Read Luke 6:45. What are some ways that you know of the help ensures that what comes out your mouth reflects the goodness in your hear?


DAILY PRAYER: Holy Spirit, I pray that this day You will fill me with Yourself and cause Your fruit to ripen in my life: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

AS PRAY THIS WEEK FOR CREATE FOR COMMUNITY: For patience with parking challenges during construction. For safety and efficiency of our construction crews. For those who have given generously for these improvements.


You can GO DEEPER this week by reading the following book - Cultivating the Fruit of the Spirit: Growing in Christlikeness by Christopher J. H. Wright.

Don't forget you can listen to this week's message or read the full PDF of the message & GPS. 


 


Cultivate Kindness In A Culture of Indifference

Sandrachile-686986-unsplash

Photo by Sandrachile . on Unsplash

Day 1: Read Jeremiah 31:3. Where in your past has God shown you loving kindness? Where have you seen God’s loving kindness at work recently in your life or someone else’s life? Spend time giving thanks to God for His loving kindness to you.

Day 2: Read 2 Samuel 9:3. Kindness is deeply rooted in the character of God. When you are living a Spirit-filled, Spirit-controlled life, you will be willing to show others, the same kindness that He has shown you. To whom is someone God is calling you to show His kindness?

Day 3: Read Luke 6:35. To whom do you find challenging to show love and kindness? Why?

Day 4: Read Luke 6:36. Don’t be a jerk for Jesus. Instead be kind like Christ Jesus. When life squeezes you by friend or foe, ask yourself: How would Jesus respond in this situation? As you have asked that question this week, what kindness response has God led you to follow?

Day 5: Read Matthew 25:40. Consider the people you came across in the past 24 hours. If these people were Christ Jesus himself, how would you respond? How have you responded to others like Jesus? Where might there be room for improvement in the day ahead?

Day 6: Read Colossians 3:12. Paul describes the heavenly wardrobe for facing life each day. As you consider the past day, how have you seen the heavenly wardrobe Paul describes at work in your life in the following areas:

  1. Conversations with friends and family
  2. In every online post and comment
  3. In traffic
  4. When doing business
  5. To those who need your help

How might your response bring more of the attitude to serve like Jesus to others?


Holy Spirit, I pray that this day You will fill me with Yourself and cause Your fruit to ripen in my life: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.


You can GO DEEPER this week by reading the following book - Cultivating the Fruit of the Spirit: Growing in Christlikeness by Christopher J. H. Wright.

Don't forget you can listen to this week's message or read the full PDF of the message & GPS. 


 


Cultivate Patience In A Culture of Anger

Daniel-mayovskiy-303666-unsplash

Photo by Daniel Mayovskiy on Unsplash

Day 1: Read Proverbs 14:29. Andy Stanley says, “We tend to look at the clock, but God looks at the calendar”. How is your perspective on life – driven by the clock or the calendar? What leads you to lean into one more than the other? How does wisdom help you live a life of patience?

Day 2: Read James 5:7-8. How do farming and the Lord’s coming both teach you how to be patient? What holds you back from waiting just a little bit longer for God to act?

Day 3: Read Ephesians 4:2. When you’re in a heated discussion with your temperature rising, do you know how to cool off? When you don’t get your way, are you prepared to walk God’s way?

Day 4: Read Psalm 37:7-8. Back in the sixties people would wear buttons that said: PBPGIFWMY. It stood for Please Be Patient. God Isn't Finished With Me Yet. With whom is God calling you to be patient this week? Take some time in prayer to bring that person’s life to God for His blessing and your patience.

Day 5: Read Proverbs 24:16. Where is God calling you to get up again when life has knocked you down?

Day 6: Read Philippians 1:6. God has begun a mighty work in you, that you should be conformed to the image of His son Jesus Christ. He will finish what he started. Look back over the past month, the past year, how have you seen God at work in your life to make you more like Jesus? How would you like God to work in the week ahead to form you to be like Jesus in living life?


Holy Spirit, I pray that this day You will fill me with Yourself and cause Your fruit to ripen in my life: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.


You can GO DEEPER this week by reading the following book - Anger: Taming a Powerful Emotion by Gary Chapman.

Don't forget you can listen to this week's message or read the full PDF of the message & GPS.