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31 Days of Prayer – A Guide

As we enter into these 31 Days of Prayer, we are corporately working through a weekly prayer guide that literally puts us on the same page – praying the words of God back to him. If you did not pick up a physical copy of the guide at one of our gatherings, you can download it here: Prayer Guide Week 1

I also thought it could be helpful to have an example of how to work through the guide, so here is an example of how to do Day 1 from the guide, following the guide on the left side of the page

Read the assigned verse:

"I will instruct you and show you the way to go; with my eye on you, I will give counsel." – Psalm 32:8 (CSB)

Question 1: What does this passage tell you about God (his nature, his character, what he is doing, etc)?

He can't show us the way to go if he doesn't already know it, so he is the God who knows! He knows all the right decisions to make, he knows the right one from the wrong ones. He is willing. Willing to share knowledge and wisdom with us (James 1:5); willing to watch over us and instruct us. He is with us. You can't show someone where to walk if you are far away from them. You could tell them, but you couldn't show them. He has his eye on us. I watched a small toddler run through the food court at the mall on her own recently, but not far behind was a mother, grandmother, and sister who were keeping a watchful eye. God's eye is on us, watching over us, protecting us from evil. God both shows us where to go AND watches over us. He is near! He gives us space to make decisions. A counselor doesn't force action. He or she invites you to think on your own, consider and make the right choice, but they will never force your hand. He counsels, guides, instructs – but ultimately we are responsible for our own choices.

Question 2: What does the passage tell you people are like?

We don't have all the answers. We need help from outside ourselves to know what is good, and what is right. We need counsel and wisdom more than our own. If there were no counsel, no guidance, no instructions, we would never choose to follow God.

Question 3: Are there any instructions here that we should follow?

There aren't any explicit instructions that say, "You should....", but there is one implied instruction: Ask me where you should go! Ask me for counsel. Ask me for wisdom.

Does any of this speak to anything you are currently experiencing in your life?

I think all of us are faced daily with many decisions that weigh on our minds. Maybe they are big decisions like, Where will River City meet after June? Should I stay at this job or move on? Should I pursue this relationship or not?

And of course, there are a plethora of smaller decisions like, Should we put the kids in spring baseball this year or not? Where should we go on vacation? Should we put new tires on the car or wait a little longer?

This scripture opens the door to the wisdom and counsel of God – he's inviting us to seek him, to ask him, to know his closeness and his wisdom for everything... big or small! I realize that I mainly pray about big decisions, and rarely about small ones. The small ones usually depend on my own wisdom – "We have this event in June, this thing in August, therefore we will do our family vacation in July." Doesn't take a brain surgeon to plan that one! :) But what if I committed those decisions to prayer as well? What would a vacation bathed in prayer look like? What would a schedule that was prayed over and committed to the Lord look like?

I'd like to find out. :)

Turn scripture into prayer:

Father God – For reasons unknown to me, you choose to walk close to me and give your eternally wise counsel to me on how I should order my life. You are the Creator of heaven and earth. You don't owe me anything, and yet you stand at the ready, eyes on me like a mother watching her children, protecting, guiding, shielding, and listening.

Lord, I don't deserve that kind of grace. Like that little kid at the mall, I've ran away from you more times than I can count, often wanting to do my own thing and not take the chance you will say "no" to something I want to do. Forgive me, and have mercy O God.

As I get up now and head out into whatever you have decided this day will hold for me, help me remember that whatever you've called me to do I can run into with the fearlessness of a child, knowing your watchful eyes and your love for me are never far away. Give me the courage to trust your plan and purposes for me this day, no matter what comes, and guide me in the ways you want me to go, for the sake of bearing fruit for the sake of your glory and your name. Amen.