Calvary is a devoted family that loves God and loves our neighbor. As a church family, we will seek Jesus for the next 21 days with an intentional focus on prayer. We will do this by reading the devotional for the day (if possible as a family or with your friends or co-workers) and praying in response to what God reveals to you during your time in the Word. As a staff, we felt God was leading us to slow down and focus our lives around a daily rhythm of prayer. Jesus modeled His life and ministry around praying and spending time with the Father. As we seek to imitate Him in every way, we want to carve out time for the next 21 days to set our minds and hearts on the Father through guided prayer time. Each day will have a different focus, supported scripture, directed thoughts, and three prayer points to help guide your time with Jesus. Our entire church will reflect and meditate on these same thoughts and prayers together during this time. As a staff, we are praying that families in our church will be strengthened and that, as a church family, we will see God move in a way that will stir our affection for Jesus and helps us spread the fame of His name around the world.
August 20 | God Our Father
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.1 John 3:1a
Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.Matthew 6:9
Question: How do you start your prayer? Does it matter? Do you even slow down to think about it? When we say, “Our Father who is in heaven,” we are not uttering a formal address but celebrating a relationship. We remind ourselves of the deep intimacy and incomprehensible love of the One to whom we pray. Moreover, by uttering “our,” we also celebrate the fact that we are “co-heirs with Christ” (Rom 8:17) and share His relationship with the Father. When we submit to God as our Father, it will dramatically change our approach to prayer.
- Spend time praying and seeing the Lord as your Father.
- Spend time praying and viewing yourself as a son or daughter.
- Spend time praying for ways to represent your Father to your friends and family.
August 21 | God Our King
Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all.1 Chronicles 29:11
Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.Matthew 6:10
The first three petitions ask the Father to sanctify His name, establish His sovereignty, and realize His redemptive purpose on earth. To pray “your will be done” means you are relinquishing the rights of your will to another. To pray “your will be done” means you do not doubt that God intends the best for you. To pray “your will be done” involves suffering and pain. To pray “your will be done” goes against everything this world stands for.
- Spend some time praising the Lord as your King.
- Humble yourself in prayer, acknowledging your role as a servant in His Kingdom.
- Pray for ways you can serve our Father’s Kingdom this week.
August 22 | God Our Provider
Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?Matthew 6:26
Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily breadMatthew 6:11
Give me today what I need and help me trust you for what I need tomorrow. Let the reign of the perfect King break into areas where we have need. We need the Lord’s provision in this world, and we want to see Kingdom power at work in this world of needs.
- Spend some time acknowledging the Lord as your provider, and thank Him for all the ways He has provided for you. List them out.
- Please spend some time recognizing all things come from our Father in Heaven. Take a few moments to ask your Father for specific provisions.
- Reflect on how the Lord can use you to bless someone’s life.
August 23 | God Our Forgiver
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.1 John 1:9
and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.Matthew 6:12
Sin is trespassing over boundaries, something we are all guilty of stepping over. As a result, you will need to forgive others. Others will need to forgive you. The forgiveness God shows us helps us learn to forgive others. If you can’t forgive others, maybe you have not fully embraced the forgiveness God has provided for you.
- Pray, thanking the Lord for His forgiveness of our sins.
- Pray and confess your sins to the Lord, asking Him for forgiveness. Be specific.
- Pray, asking the Father to help you forgive others.
August 24 | God Our Leader
Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.Psalm 25:4-5
And lead us not into temptation,Matthew 6:13a
Often our culture is that of self-reliance and self-determination, not submission. We seek to make our path and do what we want when we want as if we are the ultimate authority in our own lives. We resist the authority of God and man. However, scripture shows us God’s sovereignty and leadership throughout time. If we look at the loving, wise leadership He shows us, it would be foolish to compare Him to man’s leadership. However, He models a servant-hearted, sacrificial, loving, firm, wise, and perfect leadership that we all should submit to and desire to emulate in leading others.
- Reflect on how the Father has led you throughout your life.
- Ask for help following the Lord’s footsteps with faithful obedience.
- Pray for help to live a life worth imitating as we share the Gospel with others.
August 25 | God our Deliverer
I love you, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.Pslam 18:1-3
but deliver us from evil.Matthew 6:13b
No one is above or beyond any particular temptation. Anyone is capable of anything, given the circumstances. Pride says, “I can handle it,” when the word tells us to flee from temptation, lust, and idolatry. Scripture does not teach us to pray, asking for strength against temptation. It teaches us to rely on God’s deliverance from it. As we pray, be humble and be honest with the Lord in the areas of your life you need deliverance from evil.
- Spend time resting that our Father has overcome sin, satan, and death. And that He has the power to deliver us from all evil.
- Ask the Father to deliver you from current sins or circumstances.
- Spend some time asking the Father for opportunities to share the Gospel.
August 26 | Family
But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children, to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments.Psalm 103:17-18
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.Proverbs 22:6
Two essential elements of family — marriage and parenthood — reveal God’s character like nothing else in Creation. The love between a husband and wife shows Christ’s passionate devotion to us as His bride. In the same way, the ups and downs of parenthood offer a compelling picture of God’s tenderness and patience toward us as His children. And family does more than reflect God’s character. It provides a safe place where children can experience God’s love (through their parents) and learn how to love others. We have been adopted into the family of God through the blood of Jesus. Let us look to one another as brothers and sisters in Christ and bear one another’s burdens.
- Thank our Father that through the blood of Jesus, we are united under one family.
- Pray that our family units will be rooted in the Word. Pray for husbands, wives, fathers, and mothers to let their faith be an example for their children and each other.
- Pray that we, as a church, will effectively support the ministry partners that serve at-risk families in our area.
August 27 | Children
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.Proverbs 22:6
But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”Matthew 19:14
Children are a precious gift from God. As adults, we have the privilege and responsibility to care for them, pray for them, and help children grow into God-honoring young men and women. Children are important parts of families and important parts of our church. Even for those of us with no children, we play an important role in modeling lives honoring our heavenly Father. As we pray, let us all approach the throne of God, remembering we are his children.
- Pray, acknowledging the children in our life belong to our loving Lord and Father. Pray that the Lord would build a fire for the Gospel in the hearts of our children.
- Pray that we will always approach the Lord and his children.
- Pray that we would raise our children in the ways of Christ.
August 28 | Single
And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the Lord.Hosea 2:19-20
Last year while conducting our church demographic study, we learned that 58% of adults within a 15 mile radius of our church are unmarried/single. That understanding is helping us find better ways to serve and minister to our neighbors. Whether it is a young adult who has never been married, a single parent, a divorcee, a widow, or someone who has been married for 25 years, we all have the same need for a Savior and the same reliance on Christ to provide for our contentment and purpose. As we pray, remember those in our congregation and the 58% of our community who are single.
- Pray we will grow more deeply in the knowledge, righteousness, justice, steadfast love, and mercy of our Father in Heaven.
- Pray that we find contentment and purpose in whatever stage of life to further the Kingdom of God.
- Pray that we as a church would effectively minister to the 58% of adults around our church who are single or come from broken families.
August 29 | Church
And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.Matthew 16:18
“What is the Church?” God chooses and preserves for Himself a community elected for eternal life and united by faith, who love, follow, learn from, and worship God together. God sends out this community to proclaim the Gospel and represent Christ’s kingdom by the quality of their life together and their love for one another.”- New City Catechism.
- Acknowledge that the Church is the Bride of Christ and reflect on the depths Jesus went through to rescue His bride.
- Pray for unity in the Global Church.
- Pray that a healthy church is established in every nation, tribe, people, and language.
August 30 | LifeGroups
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.Hebrews 10:24-25
Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.Proverbs 27:17
Scripture is clear; we are made in the image of a relational God. We are designed with a need for community and relationships. We often avoid community when we need it most; however, there may be no better place to wrestle with sin or pain than in the welcoming embrace of other believers. Having a community of believers we surround ourselves with can strengthen our walk with the Lord, keep us accountable, and allow others to walk alongside us to become more like Christ. We at Calvary strive to build this devoted family through LifeGroups.
- Thank the Lord for being present and working in our LifeGroups. Pray we all grow together in our pursuit of Christ.
- Thank our Father for the relationships that have been formed within our LifeGroups. Pray for each group to find new ways to build community.
- Pray for those in our church not involved in a LifeGroup to commit to joining a Christ-centered community. Pray that those in a LifeGroup would be loving and welcoming.
August 31 | Pastors
Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.2 Timothy 4:2
Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.Hebrews 13:7
Pastors hold a high and special place in the hearts of church members. Scripture encourages us to esteem our pastors highly in the Lord, imitate them, pray for them, stand by them in trials, join them in the work of ministry, and be eager to submit to their direction. Every pastor experiences weariness as they intercede for their members. Sometimes their work seems useless, and the sorrows of their members wear on their spirits. Let us raise people like Aaron and Hur (Exodus 17:12-13) to lift up pastors worldwide and join them in establishing healthy churches.
- Pray that our pastors have a deep, dependent relationship with the Father.
- Pray for wisdom and discernment for all the pastors entrusted to lead the church.
- Pray for ways we can encourage and support pastors around the world.
September 1 | Calvary Ministries
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.James 1:22
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.Colossians 3:12
The Ministries of Calvary Baptist Church are dedicated to healing hurts and meeting needs in Columbus. As Brother Don Wilhite fondly says, “We have a cradle-to-grave approach to ministry.” Through Calvary Christian School, the Gardens, Memory Care, Community, and Columbus Counseling Center, we aim to be a devoted family who loves God and loves our neighbor. As a church, we want to see every ministry thrive and support them in the best way possible.
- Pray that the ministries at Calvary would remain rooted in the mission of the Gospel.
- Pray for our Executive Directors and the challenges they face leading our ministries.
- Pray the Lord reveals opportunities for us to come alongside our ministries to serve and volunteer.
September 2 | Nations
May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, Selah that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations. Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you! Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth. Selah Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you.Psalm 67:1-5
“Let the Nations Be Glad!” – John Piper Missions is not the ultimate goal of the Church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn’t. Worship is ultimate, not missions, because God is ultimate, not man. When this age is over, and the countless millions of the redeemed fall on their faces before the throne of God, missions will be no more. It is a temporary necessity. But worship abides forever. Worship, therefore, is the fuel and goal of missions. It’s the goal of missions because, in missions, we simply aim to bring the nations into the white-hot enjoyment of God’s glory. ‘Let the people praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you! Let the nations be glad and sing for joy!” So Revelation 5:9 will come to pass: “And they sang a new song, saying, ‘Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood, you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.’
- Acknowledge the Lord’s dominion over all nations and peoples.
- Pray that our hearts are burdened for the nations hostile towards the Gospel.
- Pray for our IMB missionaries who are working in hard to reach nations for the sake of the Gospel.
September 2 | Global Partners
How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?Romans 10:14
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Scripture commands us to go and make disciples of all nations. The primary vehicle we have to accomplish that task is through a local church. As we read a few days ago, missions exist because worship doesn’t. The most effective way we can do missions is through partnering with a local church and equipping and empowering them to reach their community for the sake of Christ. We recognize we are better and can accomplish more through these partnerships. God has blessed us with incredible global partners to send our people to engage in Kingdom work. We are committed to supporting and equipping local churches for ministry work.
- Pray, thanking our Father for the shared burdens of our global partners. Pray to the Father to send out laborers into His harvest.
- Pray for our friends around the world who share the good news of Jesus. Pray for protection, their families, and for our continued partnership.
- Pray for God to stir our hearts to participate in missions as He leads us.
September 3 | Local Partners
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.Matthew 28:19
For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.
Ministry partnerships between churches and non-profit organizations are essential to the continued work of expanding the Kingdom of God both locally and globally. Scripture encourages us to work together in a unified approach to achieve this goal. Jesus himself emphasized teamwork and unity in His relationships with the disciples. We recognize we are better when we surround ourselves with partners committed to loving God and our neighbor. We can accomplish more through partnerships than we can on our own. We are blessed to have outstanding local ministry partners with shared burdens, values, and vision for Columbus.
- Pray, thanking our Father for the shared burdens of our local partners. Pray to the Father to send out laborers in His harvest locally.
- Pray for our friends here in Columbus sharing the good news of Jesus. Pray for their protection, their families, and for our continued partnership.
- Pray for God to give us eyes to see and ears to hear of ways we can meet needs through our local partnerships.
September 4 | Columbus
“Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.”Jeremiah 29:4-7
At the beginning of Jeremiah 29, we read that Jeremiah sends a letter to the surviving elders of those who were exiled to Babylon. In this letter, God tells His people to live in the new city and plant roots, not to decrease but increase. God encourages them not to wish to return from exile or to pray for the exile to be over. But, instead to seek the city’s betterment and pray on its behalf. We may not be exiled to live in Columbus, GA. But, for the redeemed, we recognize that Columbus is not our home. Our home is in Heaven with the Father. But, while we are here, we can learn from this example to seek our city’s betterment and pray on its behalf. Instead of focusing on the things wrong we see, let us be a part of the solution to better our city.
- Pray, thanking our Father for placing us here in Columbus for the betterment of our city. Ask the Lord to bless our city.
- Pray that Jesus will revive the Church in Columbus, and we will work together to expand the Kingdom.
- Pray that we will find ways to engage our city in Kingdom work. Pray also that Jesus will heal, restore, and strengthen the people of Columbus.
September 4 | United States
Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.1 Peter 2:13-17
It is easy for us to find our identity and citizenship rooted in our national identity as Americans. However, as followers of God, we know we are first citizens of God’s kingdom. We must understand that no man, political party, movement, or nation could ever circumvent or alter the will of God. He is above all things and has ordained the leadership of our country. As we meditate on and pray for our nation, allow yourself to celebrate and thank God for our religious liberties and mourn our nation’s sin and rebellion against God.
- Pray, acknowledging God establishes our national leaders. Pray that the leaders would surrender their lives to Jesus. Pray that God will grant them grace to know how to lead our country.
- Pray that we surrender our ultimate identity as citizens and children to our heavenly King.
- Pray for our elected officials to have discerning hearts, bold faith, and wise minds that model our Father’s character. Guide them in the way our country should go. Give them purity in their intentions and godliness in their convictions.
September 5 | Joy/Gratitude
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for this steadfast love endures forever!1 Chronicles 16:34
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thessalonians 5:18
Scripture commands us to rejoice in the Lord always! God commands His people to give thanks in all circumstances. Joy and gratitude should be a way of life for those who put their faith in Christ. Often in scripture, we witness the rawness and vulnerability of the writers. They took their struggles to God and paired them with prayer, hopeful faith, and thanksgiving. Joy comes from a spirit of contentment and gratitude. May we ponder today all our blessings in Christ and respond with joy and gratitude.
- Pray to thank the Lord for providing our ultimate joy and satisfaction in Christ.
- Pray that God would convict us of how we rely on things of the world/idols to provide our hope.
- Pray, asking God to help us show our joy found in Him to others.
September 6 | Sorrow/Hope of Christ Return
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.Revelation 21:4
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.
The Bible never promises our lives on earth will be easy. Many of us may be going through a challenging season or experiencing sorrow. However, we serve a God who cares for the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. While we pray, do not hide your hardships but instead cast your burdens at the feet of Jesus.
- Pray and rest that our Father is near and He continues to save those crushed in spirit.
- Meditate on the ways you need the Lord to work on your behalf. Make your request known to Him.
- Pray for opportunities to carry hope to people who are hurting and burdened.
September 7 | Lost People We Know/ Pray For Their Souls
Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”Matthew 9:37-38
Praying for lost friends and family can be a difficult task. Our hearts yearn for them to be saved. But, at the same time, we don’t always see God answer in the way and timing we want. Praying for lost friends and family requires endurance, strength, hope, patience, and love. We know many need to hear the Gospel. Scripture encourages us to pray to the Father to send out laborers. Let us take this moment to pray, by name, for our friends and family who do not know the Lord.
- Acknowledge God’s sovereignty and that only He can save our friends and Family who are lost.
- Pray for the hearts of our friends and family who do not know Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior.
- Pray for the courage and opportunities to share the good news of the Gospel with them.