40 Days of Prayer – 2022 Edition: “Blessed and Blessing”
“…I will bless you, …and so you shall be a blessing.” -God’s promise to Abram, in Genesis 12:2
Our 2022 theme has been “Blessed and Blessing.” It seemed appropriate, because we hoped 2022 would be a special year for our church family. We believed 2022 would be a year of celebration – not only because of the ways we would continue reconnecting after the difficult pandemic years, but also because we would mark a special milestone in our congregation’s history. Great Oaks turned 30 this year! The congregation was planted in June 1992, and so we celebrated our 30-year anniversary in August with an outstanding Homecoming weekend. Homecoming gave us an opportunity to celebrate the relationships and memories we’ve shared in Christ over the past 30 years, and it was also an opportunity to renew our commitment to being the faithful, light-shining church that God wants His people to be. We celebrated God’s blessings…and we renewed our commitment to “be a blessing” to our community and to the people God has put in our lives.
So as we enter the fall months of the year, we gather this prayer booklet together as a church family, to share some of our personal “Blessed and Blessing” stories with one another. Reflections on blessings we have seen in our lives. Reminders of the ways we can “be a blessing” to others. Evidence that God’s promises to Abram in Genesis 12:2 are still seen in God’s people today: God still blesses, and when we are living for Him, we become a blessing to those around us. Through these prayer devotionals, we hope to encourage each other to greater faith, and we hope to encourage each other to greater prayer.
We hope you will join us in this 40 Days of Prayer journey! We are committing ourselves to daily private prayer over the next 40 days, and we are reading the daily prayer devotionals as an encouragement along the way. We hope it will be a time of faith-building reflection, and we hope it will be a time of drawing nearer to God in our personal prayer lives.
40 Days of Prayer: A Great Oaks’ Fall Tradition
Where did the prayer booklet idea come from? Back in 2009, we had our first Great Oaks “40 Days of Prayer.” We had been blessed with growth, and we needed more space for our Bible classes, our youth program, and our Mother’s Day Out program, so we were adding a new wing to our building (what we now call the “300 Hall”). In making such a financial commitment toward what we hoped would help expand our work for Christ, we wanted to be sure we were seeking God’s blessing. And so we thought our first “40 Days of Prayer Booklet” would be a great way to seek God’s face and to draw closer as a family of believers. It exceeded our expectations – we found it so encouraging to hear thoughts on faith and life from other members of our church family, and to know that we were all intentionally seeking God in prayer together over a 40-day period. It quickly became something we wanted to do every year. The theme changes each year, but the idea stays the same: 40 Days of emphasizing prayer, growing closer to God and to each other.
This Year’s Schedule for 40 Days – We will begin on Sunday, October 16th, and this year’s Day 40 will end our focused prayer season, appropriately, on Thanksgiving Day, November 24th.