“When entering the prayer chamber, we must come filled with faith and armed with courage.” – A. W. Tozer
We live in times where God’s people must find a greater level of courage in order to see God’s blessings in their lives and the gospel advance in our world.
For church leaders, courageous faith is imperative if the church is going to make inroads into our culture today. There is no room for cowardice, timidity, or faintheartedness when we face resistance to the gospel.
Our prayer for you during these 21 days is that you would get a bigger picture of who God is and what He wants to accomplish in your life. Our hope is that God will infuse your heart with a courageous faith and fill your mouth with courageous prayers as you trust His promises, rely on His power, and experience His presence.
In 21 Courageous Prayers, Gary Rohrmayer introduces you to the spiritual discipline of reading, meditating on, and praying through the book of Psalms. Our hope is that this 21-day journey will turn into a 365-day spiritual habit.
Practical Advice for Doing a 21 Day Prayer Initiative
- Devote one month to this Prayer Initiative – Fall (August, September or October) Winter (January, February or March)
- Preach a four-week sermon series on prayer:
- Sermon #1 – Introduction to series and 21-day devotional book.
- The next three sermons can be ideas from the book to reinforce it in the lives of your people.
- Read Gary’s Blog – How to Create Momentum for Fall Outreach with your team and see how you can maximize your efforts.
- Invite them to courageously pray for friends and family who are far from Jesus.
- Have them generate a list of five friends or family members to pray for during the 21 days.
- Invite them to courageously pray for a list of church-wide prayer goals.
- Leadership – develop five to six prayer goals for the church for your members to pray for during the 21 days.
- Hold a series of corporate prayer meetings or a concert of prayer.
- Purchase the 21 Courageous Prayers books at a discount from Converge MidAmerica to give out free to your people or simply charge them $1.00.
21 Courageous Prayers Sermon Ideas
Sermon #1 – Courage: Where Do I Find It?
Text: Joshua 1:1-9
Summary: Fear can have a positive effect on our lives and our churches if leveraged appropriately. Fear can propel us into the arms of God. It can drive us toward deeper community and dependence on the body of Christ. Fear can raise our level of faith and reveal the depth of our courage.
Courage is not the absence of fear; courage is the conquest of fear.
Where does courage come from? I believe courage comes from God. It is interesting that the subject of fear is addressed over 500 times in the Bible. So, when God commands us, “Do not be afraid,” He is promising to give us courage to overcome the fears we face. Joshua is a great example of a young leader called to get God’s people moving again. They were a people who were stuck, who were paralyzed by their fears and living with the cowardly choices of their past. God promised Joshua a victory: “I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses” (Joshua 1:3). God told him no one could stop him: “No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Joshua 1:5). God promised to be with him every step of the way: “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).
Application: Where does courage come from? It comes from trusting God’s promises, relying on God’s power, and experiencing God’s presence.
Invitation: Join us over the next 21 days as we trust God to transform our fears into a bolder faith. Pick up one of the 21 Courageous Prayers books as we together, as a family of faith, seek to embolden our prayers with courageous fire from heaven.
Sermon #2 – The Lord Is My Rock
Text: Psalm 18:31-33
Summary: In times of danger, when under attack from enemies or even large predators, people in the ancient world sought out large rocks for safety and security. Because of their massive size and elevation, these rocks provided perspective. They offered a clear view of the enemy’s approach. They also provided protection, a firm place to stand while the enemy struggled to access the rock face. King David, remembering God’s deliverance from his enemies, declares out of a heart of worship that God is his living rock! God is the rock who gives us a clear vantage point when life does not go our way, and God is the rock who provides a place of sure footing so we can stand with confidence when our world gets shaky. “And who is the Rock except our God? It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights” (Psalm 18:31–33). There is nothing more powerful than when the Lord our Rock provides a rock-solid viewpoint from a safe place.
Application: King David prays a courageous prayer: “Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I” (Psalm 62:1–2).
When life gets shaky, where do you seek perspective? When your world is crushing in on you, where do you run for protection?
Sermon #3 – The Lord Is My Portion and Cup – Psalm 16
Text: Psalm 16:1-11
Summary: There is nothing more invigorating than a cool drink of mountain spring water after a long day of hiking in arid and mountainous conditions. It refreshes and rejuvenates our bodies.
In this psalm, King David reflects on life, death, security, and fulfillment. When he writes about God being his portion and cup, he sees God as the only one who can satisfy his soul and completely refresh his spirit.
This world trains us to be or find our own source of satisfaction. In essence, we try filling up our cups with entertainment and activities that leave us empty and thirsting for more. Yet we are made by God to find our satisfaction and fulfillment in Him alone.
When the Lord is portion and cup, my thoughts are filled with God (v. 7), my eyes are focused on the Lord, my life is secure (v. 8), my words are filled with worship (v. 9), my future is filled with hope (v. 10), my path is sure, my joy is complete, and my heart is eternally satisfied (v. 11).
Application: A soul filled with God is the fuel for praying courageously. What really brings satisfaction in your life? Are you satisfied enough with God to pray courageously?
Sermon #4 – The Lord Is My Shepherd – Psalm 23
Text: Psalm 23:1-7
Summary: The 20 metaphors concerning God’s character and care for His people can all be summed up in these eight powerful words: “The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.”
Before King David became a ruler, he was first a shepherd. He knew how to tend a flock of sheep; he led them, guided them, protected them, fed them, and disciplined them. The connection between the shepherd and his sheep was deep and intimate because the financial future of his family depended on their care. David’s declaration of God as his shepherd is filled with a lot of emotional intensity and spiritual humility. The king had to admit he was a sheep in need of a shepherd. Any ranch hand will tell you that sheep are the dumbest animals God created. They mindlessly wander from safety, are always getting hurt or lost, and get into life-threatening situations. It’s as if David is saying, “The older I get, the more I need a shepherd to guide me, protect me, and care for me because I am just as impulsive, senseless, and foolish as the sheep I once cared for.”
For God’s sheep to experience the Shepherd’s care, they must submit, yield, and follow. Ray Steadman wrote, “If the Lord is my shepherd, then I shall not want; but if I am in want, then it is obvious that the Lord is not my shepherd. It is that simple. If emptiness, loneliness, despair, and frustration exist in our lives, then the Lord is not our shepherd. Or if anyone or anything else is shepherding us, we are never satisfied.”
Application: When you pray, do you appeal to the nature of God’s character? Are your prayer needs causing you to grow in intimate dependence on God’s character, God’s word and God’s presence?
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