Persistent Pursuit: 21 Days of Prayer
Join CityLights from January 6-27 for Persistent Pursuit: 21 days of prayer.
As we look to the new year we recognize that there will be many different opportunities that we will be invited into but how many of these invites are going to leave a lasting impact? The 21 days of prayer is in fact, an invitation, as Pastor Brett has said, "It could be one of the most important ones you receive this year. it is an invitation to grow in knowing Jesus together." It is impactful because we want to know him and to have the power and boldness to make him known.
Why start the year in Prayer?
There are many different emphases that we could have to start the year so why are we putting such a great emphasis on prayer? The reason for this is because as we look at our lives, we are often pulled and stretched in different directions and there are few things that can ground us in Jesus as prayer does. Our heart as a church is to pursue Jesus as we persist in prayer. The more we spend time with Jesus, the more our lives will be shaped by him. This is why persistence in prayer is a crucial practice to start the year.
"Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up" - Luke 18:1 (NIV)
When we look at God's people there was a great need to always be reminded of God's faithfulness and to be grounded in Him. When we look at Israel in the Old Testament their years were marked by different festivals in which they would come together and be reminded of God's faithfulness. These festivals were built into the normal rhythms of their year and would, in fact, disrupt their normal lives. Many Israelites would travel from their homes to Jerusalem to participate in the festival and be reminded and rooted in God. Our desire for the 21 days of prayer is to be like a festival in which we are to pursue God together in such a way that it disrupts normal life. If we are to see something extraordinary it involves a pursuit that is out of the ordinary.
Who is this for?
This is an invitation for all of us to persist in prayer. The invitation is not just for the professional pray-ers but in fact for all of us regardless of experience in prayer. We have discovered the best way to learn to pray is simply to start praying. It is about taking small steps in the pursuit of Jesus and all are invited on this worthwhile journey.
How do I participate?
There are four ways in which you can participate:
1. Engage with prayer events
There will be numerous times of corporate prayer. Some of these events will be in person and some will be via video chat called Zoom (for a complete list click here). Every Friday there will be a Prayer Summit at the Centre that is open for the whole church.
2. Abstain from social media
You are invited to abstain from social media and media for the 21 days (or you may want to give youreslf one day each week for media and abstain the rest of the week). In order to say "yes" to pursuing Jesus at times, it involves saying "no" to other distractions.
3. Fasting Fridays: pursuing together
You are invited to join the broader body in fasting each Friday (see the guide for info on fasting). Some may do a multi-day fast during the 21 days. Fasting is a powerful practice for every one of Jesus' disciples to engage in periodically.
4. Follow the corporate Bible reading plan
We are all invited to participate in S.H.A.P.E and the same Bible reading plan (see the guide for more info).
Final word from Pastor Brett
"I believe 2019 is a critical year for our church. I believe that Jesus wants to move in us, through us, and across our city and nation. Imagine if we, all together, lay a foundation of prayer for the year ahead. Imagine if we all say together “Jesus I am not giving up or giving in because I am choosing to persist in knowing you. Count me in!” What could occur? Imagine how excited God will be? This is an invitation to focus on knowing Jesus. This isn’t for the experienced or professional pray-ers. This is for all of us — this is for you. Let’s practice prayer together. It is going to be fun and it will be better as we engage together. All of life, all for Jesus"