Below are our daily posts for 40 Days of Prayer, from our Facebook group about specific things to be praying for and some resources on prayer!
DAY 8 [Ruth Wang]
The story of Moses and the burning bush:
“When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, ‘Moses! Moses!’
And Moses said, ‘Here I am.’
‘Do not come any closer,’ God said. ‘Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.’ Then he said, ‘I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.’ At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.
The Lord said, ‘I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.’”
– Exodus 3:4-10
Reminder that the Prayer Room (located on the second floor of the University Lutheran Chapel) is open 24/7 for the duration of 40 Days of Prayer! Go check it out 🙂
DAY 9 [Susie Qu]
We’ve all been there. Outwardly supportive but inwardly skeptical of the miracle of healing prayer. Spurring on those close to us to be persistent in prayer because God listens but being doubtful that God would ever answer our own. I grew up in a Christian home, and prayer was a pre-dinner, pre-bedtime ritual that held little to no meaning. The Lord’s prayer was ingrained in my brain, but I had no idea what it meant for God’s kingdom to come. I thought that my prayer life was good enough. Adequate. Satisfactory. And I maintained this belief until recently because I never really experienced God’s awesome power and the immense joy that comes with truly meeting God through prayer.
It wasn’t until Chapter Focus Week last year that I experienced the power of prayer (mini plug: everyone go to CFW. no cellular service but the best company, constant learning, inspiring nature for both outdoor and indoor cats, and most importantly, getting to spend QUALITY time with our Savior). I participated in a session of listening prayer during track time (HIGHLY unconvinced of my ability to hear God and/or God’s ability to speak to me through listening prayer prior to this) and saw visuals so gripping and heard God’s voice so distinctly that I physically jolted. There was no way that this was just me imagining things so that I could have something to share. God was able to break through my thick wall of doubt and touch me when I was completely vulnerable. Then a couple days later I adamantly prayed for a brother to come to Christ and to my disbelief, he proudly stood up when they called for new believers to rise.
For the first time in my life, I truly understood the powerful ways in which God can move through prayer. And of course, I didn’t become a prayer warrior immediately after. Prayer is still something I struggle with, but I know that the God I believe in and trust and love is capable of incredible things if I am obedient and persistent in my prayers.
DAY 10 [Ruth Wang]
“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” – Romans 12:9-12
“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” – Colossians 4:2-6
Being faithful and devoted in prayer is a challenge, but our joy is found in meeting God. Look forward to more posts of personal sharing like Susie’s!
DAY 11 [Mira Kinebuchi]
“Pray about it” they would tell me. So I would ask God for an answer, some sort of sign, a good grade, or an immediate healing in the midst of pain and hardship, and wait for something to happen. Before I became a Christian, when something bad would happen or I felt desperate, I instinctively prayed.
Since coming to college, however, I’ve been learning that when I pray, I am not molding God to follow my will; God is shaping me to understand Him. My prayers changed when I was in prayer for someone who is close to my heart, and an older mentor taught me to listen. Instead of “God please do this”, she encouraged me to listen to what God might be trying to say to me. Prayer leads me to understand God’s love for me, and for other people; He allows me into a space of love that is Spirit-led not me-led, and to be in relation with Him. I think that what hit me hard was when I realized that Jesus gave up that communication at one point for us when He was on the cross; prayer is a graceful gift that I know we have been given, and even though there are times that I forget about it or brush it aside as routine, it is continues to shape me.
40 days of prayer– and more. 🙂
DAY 12 [Sam Li]
“Rejoice Always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Paul instructs Timothy and his church with these commands. For us today, finding joy, praying, and being thankful can be so often very unnatural.
Sometimes, we’re reminded to be happy, and thankful, and to pray. We know that there are things in our lives to praise God for and be grateful for, but so often our thoughts ignore these truths.
But Paul commands us to do these things “always”, “continually”, and “in all circumstances”- living a life of rejoicing, prayer, and thankfulness.
We are invited into a lifestyle that is centered around joy, prayer, and thanksgiving- and in this, we can more fully experience the freedom that God so desperately wants us to find! 😀
As we’re in the midst of these 40 days of prayer, it’s my encouragement to you (and to myself), to continue to find gratitude and joy-in all things- through fellowship and prayer 🙂
We would LOVE to pray for you. In fact, tonight at 9 PM there will be a prayer meeting in Fireside Cafe. If you can’t make it to the PM and have any prayer requests, tonight or at any time, feel free to send it to us at https://aivcfumich.wordpress.com/contact/prayer/. May God bless you as you go about your week.
DAY 13 [Grace Wan]
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” –Ephesians 2:8-9
As this semester approaches its midway point and begins drawing to an end, I’ve been reflecting a lot on my own spiritual journey through college as well as before. It’s remarkable to think how different my life would have been, had I not accidentally gone to Bubble Tea Bash my freshman year under a misguided impression that it was hosted by a secular, Asian intramural sports organization. Coming to UM, being very reluctant to check out fellowships and churches, and being far away from home were all things that now in hindsight, were my efforts at move from the hurt I experienced from church. Perhaps, in trying to run away from God’s church and God’s people, I found God. If it isn’t by God’s grace and mercy that I’m here following Christ in a beautiful and loving community that has blessed me with so much and has shown me so many glimpses of God’s agape love, what else could it be?
No matter how knowledgeable we are about theology and apologetics, or how well-versed we are in Scripture–if we do not have the gracious gift of faith, if the Holy Spirit, that is a gift given to us from God, does not abide in us, can we really consider ourselves to be Christ-followers? Even Satan and other demons believe in God. That all of us who identify as Christian can do so is because of grace alone–nothing we have done, do, or ever aspire to do can confer merit or worth onto ourselves or make us deserving of it. [If you are interested, take a look at this commentary, which expounds more on salvation by faith and grace: https://bible.org/seriespage/lesson-14-salvation-grace-through-faith-alone-ephesians-28-9 ]
Doesn’t this make you wonder and even marvel about how fortunate many of us are to have been born in Christian homes or have at least some Christian background? What about the people we know who may have never had any encounters with the gospel?
Our vision as a chapter is to be a Pan-Asian, Christ-centered community that is actively experiencing, witnessing to, and living out God’s love, and God’s purpose for us is that we glorify Him through proclaiming His gospel and making disciples of all nations. This is what we are meant to do. This is who we are created to be–as messengers of the good news that Christ’s death and resurrection signifies for us–this is what will give us life, purpose/meaning, and joy. And yet, are we really the ones turning others to God? Of course not. It is by God’s grace that is so abundantly and freely given that others can also come to faith.
I invite and challenge you/our chapter to pray for your friends, family members, and other people in your life and all around the world who do not know Christ or perhaps have even fallen away from the faith. Pray that God would instill in them curiosity to seek God and for God to reveal His glory powerfully in ways that they may understand. Pray that in all the different things people are searching for–whether it is success, healing, power, fame, love, or money–that they may find true fulfillment through the redemption, transformation, and new life that only Jesus brings.
Pray that God give you His own heart for all His sons and daughters who are all created in God’s own image so that it is out of love that you are driven to share the good news. Pray for staff, leaders, and apprentices, that they may walk humbly in their faith, rooting themselves in the truth that it is not by their own works or abilities that God’s kingdom work is being done, but that it is God. Pray our chapter too, that we may be encouraging and challenging one another to prepare ourselves for a lifetime of following Jesus beyond these three, four, five years in college.
As Christians, we claim membership to different denominations, different churches, and different fellowships, but we must remember that we are first and foremost all part of the global church under God. Just as we pray for our chapter and our churches, we also need to be praying for our brothers and sisters around the world.
So, let’s be in prayer for our world, and especially for the 10/40 Window. In this geographic region (10 and 40 degrees north latitude), there are 4.89 billion who are part of 8,213 distinct people groups. 3.02 billion, part of 5,626 distinct people groups, or 62% of the 4.89 billion are unreached. They have never heard the gospel before. Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism are the dominant religions.
In some ways, I think it is interesting to draw parallels between this window and our own chapter. We strive to be pan-Asian but are currently predominantly East Asian, with the majority of our students being Korean, Taiwanese, or Chinese. The Southeast Asian and South Asian individuals who belong to this pan-Asian vision, often have religious or cultural Muslim, Hindu, or Buddhist backgrounds. Pray that we on our campus, and missionaries in the 10/40 Window can humbly learn about these other religions, build trust and cross-cultural connections, and share the truth about Jesus. [More information about and specific prayer requests for the 10/40 window: https://joshuaproject.net/pray]
DAY 14 [Ethan Lu]
“Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely” – Psalm 139:4
Sometimes there are no words to pray. The anger might still be blinding, the sorrow still overwhelming, or the fear still crippling. You may want to pray, but your heart cannot find the strength or clarity to do so.
Yet, in these times, all is not lost. While you may not have any words, what you do have is The Word. Consider praying the Psalms, some of which are David’s own cries to God in the midst of trial. His prayer can be yours as well.
But no matter what or how you pray, remember that it need not be eloquent or lengthy. Indeed, sometimes prayer involves no words at all. A faithful heart that is silent is far more pleasing to the Lord than an empty heart spewing meaningless words.
The prayer room at the University Lutheran Chapel is still open at all times of the day, and I would encourage you to come and pray, even if you feel that you do not have the words to say. The Lord remains true. He hears the cry of your heart even if your lips do not utter a single syllable.