The 40 Day Prayer Challenge!

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Here is the link to the 40 Day Prayer Challenge Video

Here are the links to the slides: PowerPoint or PDF

Agape Family, I’m going to be very honest here (yeah…what else is new? Lol). This 40 day prayer challenge is really something all of us should ALREADY be doing every day. In other words, I’m not asking something of you that God has not already expected of you (in His Word) when you said “I Do” to Jesus. If you are where you need to be in your Christian walk, you will probably not have to do anything out of the ordinary to complete the challenge. I look at this prayer challenge in two ways:

First, it’s going to show YOU (not me…since I am not your accountability partner, God is) how serious you are about this thing called Christianity. It’s going to show you if you are a fan or a follower. Fans cheer Jesus on and do some superficial things (like wear a cross, put a Jesus fish on their car, enthusiastically sing during worship, etc.) but don’t have a work ethic to be a follower. A follower is willing to put in the hours it takes to follow Christ every week. A follower is willing to sacrifice time in order to have that intimate relationship with Jesus that Christ himself expected us to have, and that the Apostle Paul taught us to have. Make no mistake, none of us are where we need to be, and even the Apostle Paul knew he had some growing to do (see Romans 7:17-25). However, a lot of the reason we are not where we need to be is due to laziness and improper priorities. We will fill our day with hours of Facebook and TV…and then claim that we have no time to pray or read God’s Word. Ladies and gents…that is the very definition of a FAN. I told you on April 10th and again on April 17th, when we launched, that I was going to CHALLENGE you and PUSH you forward in your Christian walk. That is my job (Ephesians 4:11-16). As we start to walk, you are going to see this promise come to fruition more and more. Why? Because I love you all with the whole of my being and I want to see you richly rewarded for your faith and works at the Judgment Seat (Bema Seat) of Christ. I have two DEEP and DYNAMIC ministerial desires: 1) To be used by the Lord to bring souls into His Kingdom and 2) To see those souls minister according to the fullness of their God-given potential.

I don’t want us to be fans. Agape Home Fellowship will never leave the living room of our home if it is made up of fans. You will never rise to the potential you have through Christ Jesus if you remain a fan, since a fan never fully matures in Christ, but remains a baby stuck on milk (see Hebrews 5: 12 – 14; 1 Corinthians 3: 1 – 3). I certainly do not want that for you since that sort of life results in no reward at the Bema Seat of Christ.

The second thing this 40 day challenge is going to show you is: How serious am I about this thing called Agape Home Fellowship? Am I a “pew-warmer” or a warrior? I want you to be warriors…not warmers. A warmer sits, soaks, complains and takes from the gatherings. A Warrior uses the gatherings as a time to refocus and replenish so that he/she can return to the battlefield well rested and empowered so they can carry out the vision and mission of AHF.

Make no mistake, we are in a battle for the life of our nation and for souls in this world. This battle is close to being lost because close to 90% of all church “attenders” in this country (the US) are warmers, not warriors. We have millions of warmers coming to various Christian services on Sunday. They take from their church and give very little. They certainly complain a LOT about the issues of the day but rarely bring these needs to the throne of grace so they, and we, can obtain mercy (Hebrews 4:16). Warmers only contribute their presence to the gathering (whether it’s a Sunday morning at a traditional church or a Sunday evening Agape gathering). They take from the body but rarely give back. God has a much better plan for your life, but only you can make the decision to follow that plan.

Sisters and Brothers: I’ve prayed for EACH of you (yes…every one of you) and I know your potential. I know who has the potential to be a house church shepherd or a street preacher. I know the potential of those of you who have DYNAMIC testimonies who would impact their society of they would step out in faith. I know those of you who are prayer warriors, healers, peacemakers. As your pastor, one of the things that God has shown me (that absolutely AMAZES me) is just how well he has put this group together. The variety of gifts is astounding…and it thrills my soul when I think of just what each of you CAN be.

Sisters and Brothers: I want you to be warriors! Our vision statement, “To be unified in His love, while changing communities,” is not just a catchy slogan for me. It is truly my heart’s desire. I need you right there beside me. My prayer is that this 40 day prayer challenge is just the beginning of what God has for the Agape network of house churches. It is my prayer that men and women, young and old, will rise to the call and “press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” – Philippians 3:14. Verse 15 of this same passage says: “Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you” and this 40 day prayer challenge will do just that. This prayer challenge will show you just how mature you are. Notice the verse says “if in anything you think otherwise.”  I find that very interesting.

Here Paul is addressing the fan. He’s telling you it’s not OK to be a fan. It’s not ok to crawl around as a baby, stuck on milk, for your entire adult life. He’s telling you that when you press the issue (like in a prayer challenge), God will reveal this immaturity to you. Of course, this is why most Christians today won’t press the issue; they don’t like the answer they are going to get.

I know this sounds like a lot and I’m not going to lie, its not going to be the easiest thing you’ve ever done, but I PROMISE you, you will be rewarded. I will share some of the great testimonies that have come from this 40 day prayer challenge and if that doesn’t motivate you, well….. J

Hope to see you Sunday!

Be blessed and stay strong in the Lord Jesus Christ.

In HIM,

Br. Nelson