November 1, 2015 – February 1, 2016
Jesus invited His disciples to watch and pray with Him. He is doing the same thing with us today. He is calling His church to wake up and pray, like never before. He is asking you, “will you keep watch with Me?” To watch means “to be vigilant, to be alert, to be watchful.” To watch for thirty minutes is more than just telling God all the things that you are thinking about or is concerning to you. What happens when you watch and pray is you look to see what God wants to show you, you listen to what He desires to say and you respond however He leads you. Don’t be in a rush to get through the list. But do expect Him to watch with you! Also understand that you are diving into an ongoing conversation, so listen before you speak.
This is a prayer guide to help you do just that over these three month of continuous prayer. Please use this as a guide, not as a legal document that must be walked through step by step. Ultimately, it is our desire that you feel great joy and freedom in watching with Jesus.
Begin your time with some praise. This is how we climb up the wall to take our place. Psalm 100:4 says to “Enter His gates with thanksgiving, go into His courts with praise” (Psalm 100:4). Dedicate this prayer slot to Him and to whatever He wants you to focus on.
Lay down your personal prayer burdens
Take a few minutes to unload the things you normally pray about or carry or things that are occupying your thoughts (check out 1 Peter 5:7 and Philippians 4:6-7).
Take a several moments to be still before the Lord. Ask Him to lead you through this prayer time. Romans 8:26-27 makes it clear that we do not know how to pray what is on the Father’s heart. But the Spirit does, and He will help us if we ask Him to.
Confess your sin
Confession is a powerful weapon. Start with asking God to forgive you of all known and hidden sin. Then move out to that of the church and this city (check out Daniel 9:4 and 1 John 1:9). We can’t intercede effectively for things that we haven’t surrendered in our own life.
Your church and pastors
Take some time to pray that God would fill the church that you belong to. Pray specifically for the pastor. Ask God to release favor, wisdom, courage and stamina. Ask God to refresh his soul. Ask God to bless and protect his marriage. Pray for all the pastors on staff at your church.
Other churches in Athens
Take some time to pray for other churches and pastors that you know here in Athens. Ask God to richly bless them with life, power, protection, passion and more of Him.
Other ministries in Athens
Pray for the other ministries in Athens such as Sparrows Nest, the Launch Group, International Student ministries, Athens School of Ministry & Worship Arts, etc.
Pray for the salvation of everyone that you know – friends, family, neighbors, classmates, dorm mates, co-workers – who don’t know Christ… Pray the veil that the enemy has used to keep people blinded to the gospel in our city would be worn thin, torn and removed (2 Corinthians 4:3-4). Pray for the gospel to reach open ears and responsive hearts in Athens. It’s God’s desire that all be saved and prayer is linked to that (1 Timothy 2:1-3).
Pray for father’s to come home, for marriages to be restored, for families to be reconciled in Athens. Ask God to provide jobs for those who are out of work, and to expose hidden sins (i.e. pornography) to set the captives free. Pray that fathers’ hearts would be turned toward their children and children’s hearts back to their parents (Malachi 4:5-6). Pray for reconciliation within marriages.
Children and youth
Pray that God would pour out His Spirit on the schools in this city. Pray that classrooms would become incubators of faith instead of being toxic, that teachers would be free to live and share their faith. Pray for the schools that you know of, asking God to do what He needs to do to release revival there. Bless the administrators, faculty and teachers. Pray for the children’s and student ministries in churches in Athens, that God would raise up creative, faithful, lovers of Jesus to volunteer.
Historically colleges are conduits for moves of God (and negative things as well). Pray specifically for Athens Tech, Piedmont, UGA, and UNG, that God would prepare the way for a powerful movement that will sweep through these places, through Athens and then beyond.
Over 5,000 freshmen started classes this Fall. Many are feeling displaced, perhaps lonely and overwhelmed. They are in need of Christian friends, and places to connect. Pray that followers of Christ will continue to connect with them and invite them to local churches and to campus ministries. Pray that there would be a dynamic move of God in this freshmen class.
Thank God for each of these (and others you know about). Pray for them as well as their directors and staff – Athletes in Action, Campus Crusade for Christ (CRU), Connection Café (Prince Avenue Baptist), InterVarsity, Navigators, Reformed University Fellowship (RUF), Wesley Foundation, Worldwide Discipleship. Also pray for the churches that have a strong focus on college students – Athens Church (The Warehouse), Grace Athens, Watkinsville First Baptist Church (WFBC), etc.
Pray for the mayor, and all those who govern our city. Pray for the police, fire departments and all who serve us. Pray for the hospital, asking that in all these places, from city hall to the community hall, that God would move in power, drawing all people to Him.
Bottom line, we’re asking God to come take His place in our city. See 2 Chronicles 7:14 for requirements.
Finish your time with a few moments of praise, thanking Him for helping you pray, for hearing your prayers, and for the answers that are coming!
Bless the person who will be engaging in the next prayer slot. Check the Athens Prayer Network Facebook group to keep track of what others are hearing and praying through. Be sure to add your thoughts, words and prayer focuses that you got during your watch. By doing this everyone keeps in step! Thanks!!!
May God sustain you and bless you tremendously for taking part in this Prayer Watch over Athens!