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The ECC Blog

The 40 Day Prayer Covenant

Pastor Briefing
“The 40 Day Prayer Covenant”
March 2016

He who shoots for the moon will certainly reach higher than he who shoots for the bush.
~J.C. Ryle

I am pleased that many of you have joined with me in praying the 40 Day Prayer Covenant during the Lenten season. In fact, I have responses from 83 people, old and young alike, and the response cards continue to trickle in. Part of the purpose of the Prayer Covenant is simply to promote increased prayer within our church for one another. It is deeply encouraging to me that we have at least this many people committed to praying for one another on a daily basis.

Some may wonder how I am praying for such a large number of people every day. I pray the entire 10 line prayer for myself. I have all the names of people and their partners listed on two sheets of paper in the form of a spreadsheet which I keep in my calendar. I work through my list praying for each person by name recalling 2 or 3 lines of the prayer covenant and then praying for other family members or additional requests as the Spirit leads.

Given the number of people on my list, I am not always able to pray for everyone at one time. Hence, I have been breaking up my prayer time into two or more occasions through the day. The Prayer Covenant has pushed me to recapture time in my day for prayer, like time spent driving to appointments, walking breaks, and down-time in the evenings.

For the greater part of my life, I have struggled to cultivate a disciplined private prayer life. One of the reasons I am a genuine cheerleader for the Prayer Covenant is it has been the tool that God has most used to genuinely improve my commitment to personal and intercessory prayer in recent years.

I also can say that I have been feeling spiritually renewed in recent weeks and I can’t but help attribute it to the knowledge that many are praying for me at this time. Thank you!

Starting a new habit is never easy. Some of you who are praying the Prayer Covenant may have had a rough start by forgetting to pray. Don’t let that discourage you. Pick yourself up and fulfill your commitment for forty days—even if it takes longer than the prescribed 40 days.

For some, it took courage to agree to the covenant. Don’t let it become a source of guilt. Some days, your prayers may feel rote. But other days, you will have a sense of the Spirit and peace. It is a sign that you are making progress in following Jesus.

Grace and Peace,
Pastor Rich

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