Our ‘40 Days of Prayer’ initiative was a great way for us to commit to prayer as a movement. Over 40 days, together as a Baptist family of Churches throughout NSW & ACT, we prayed for God’s purposes and work to come to pass. We’ve arrived at the end of our 40 days, and have heard incredible stories of answered prayer from the more than 25 churches who joined in. Chester Hill Baptist was one of them. David Um (Lead Pastor) says that over 20 people at Chester Hill Baptist joined ‘40 Days of Prayer’.
“It is God’s perfect timing that ‘40 Days’ came during lockdown – so we could focus on praying for the global pandemic, and leaders across the world,” David says. “I encouraged my church family to keep following the 40 Days of Prayer booklet and complete the days of fasting by sending encouraging video messages on most days. I also preached a prayer series during the 40 days of Prayer campaign (with 7 sermons covering Why Pray, Talking to God, Listening to God, Prayer & Fasting, The Lord’s Prayer, Prayer Life, and The Privilege of Prayer)…Many of my church families got involved. They learned to pray with different kinds of styles: prayer journal, prayer with music, prayer with God’s words, etc. I praise God who gives us the best answers!”
Many members of Chester Hill Baptist loved taking part in our prayer initiative. Some of them found it helpful to do alongside David’s prayer sermons, learning how to pray and find a rhythm or style of prayer that works for them. Others received answers from prayer, or felt God give them a sense of peace. A family sent the Um’s personalised prayer bracelets as reminders to keep praying. One man said that fasting helped him give up eating too much, and allowed him to spend more time with God. Check out some other testimonies that church members sent to David:
- “It was a great incentive to get up early and put my day on track for God.”
- “I read, many times, the bible – but did not meditate on it. This time, when reading the prayer booklet, I spent more time thinking about all the meaning of the daily verse at the top of the booklet…not just quickly read, but write down what I learnt and meditate on it over and over”.
- “40 Days of Prayer has been a great discipline exercise and I found I nearly doubled my quiet time, and was continually reminding myself to listen to God speak. I have received some physical healing, as well as peace of mind as I learn to trust God more. There has been much to talk to God about and receive his assurance that He is in control, cares and provides.”
- “When it came time to start ‘40 Days of Prayer’, I read Matthew 7:7 – 11 (ask, seek and knock). I asked God to meet with me each day and help me to pray. I learnt that sometimes I didn’t know how to fill in the space for my prayer requests. But when I start to write I was able to get in touch with my heart’s needs and write down a personal prayer to God. I prayed for the Church’s prayer points and it also led me to pray for more things by taking this time out to pray.”
- “I learnt how it is actually really hard to do something consistently every day – and I ended up praying for God to help me pray! It also really helped me to see the effects of prayer in the world…I am currently praying for the Christians in Afghanistan.”
- “We have enjoyed the 40 Days of Prayer handout. I have been trying to make it into a habit and it has really helped me to kick start a more solid prayer life.”
- “When I joined the prayer initiative, I felt that God is with me while being isolated.”
How did your church find the prayer initiative? If your church wasn’t able to join in for the official 40 days, it’s not too late! This resource is still available (and there are 10 churches already committed to running it next year).
Check out more ’40 Days’ stories here!