Day 8

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call- one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore it says,

“When He ascended on high He led a host of captives,

    and He gave gifts to men.”(In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that He had also descended into the lower regions, the earth? He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.) And He gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into Him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

Ephesians 4:1-16 ESV

Before you begin to pray, take a deep breath and quiet your thoughts. Focus on being in the presence of God. Thank God for hearing your prayers. Then read the scripture we will study next Sunday, Ephesians 4:1-16. Read it slowly, recognizing that God is speaking to you through His Word. If God puts something specific on your heart, pray about that today.

Thank. The New Living Translation of the bible translates verse 1 of this week’s passage this way: “Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God.” The idea that each of us has been called by God to do His work is a big deal! We are not just named as God’s child, but we have a purpose. Thank God today for giving you a purpose, for calling you to show love to others and point them to Jesus.

Adore. Verse 6 in this week’s scripture says there is “one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” That phrase is packed with things to praise God about! There is one God; He is Father to all the people; He is in control of all things; He is working through all things; He lives inside each of us. Let’s adore God today for His power and His presence in our lives.

For from Him and through Him and for Him are all things.
To Him be the glory forever! Amen.  

Romans 11:36

Confess. If we know we are God’s children and He has called us to love and support one another then we also know that we often fall short of fulfilling our purpose. Confess any time that you have missed an opportunity to love and support someone. Remember that while we fall short, God never does. His love is always perfect.

Others.

CU Church: Pray that each of us in the CU Church family understands that we are uniquely gifted by God. Pray that we understand that we are to use our gifts wherever we are.
Community:  Pray for Salt and Light Ministry, that people are moved to partner with them by shopping in their stores, volunteering their time or donating goods and finances.  saltandlightministry.org
Global Church: Begin this week by again praying for unity of the global church. Paul reminds us in this week’s scripture that we should be “eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (vs.3) and that “There is one body and one Spirit” (vs.4.) Let’s pray that God reminds Christians everywhere that we are one body and together the hands and feet of Jesus.

Self. God is listening. He loves you. Pray for any specific needs that you or your family have.

Day 7

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of His glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Ephesians 3:14-21 ESV

Before you begin to pray, take a deep breath and quiet your thoughts. Focus on being in the presence of God. Thank God for hearing your prayers. Then reread the scripture for the week, Ephesians 3:14-21. Read it slowly, recognizing that God is speaking to you through His Word. If God puts something specific on your heart, pray about that today.

Thank. In verses 18 and 19 of this week’s scripture, Paul prays that the Ephesians “may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Imagine the goodness and grace of our God who wants us to know His infinite love and be filled with “all His fullness.” Thank God today for His goodness and grace and for His infinite love.

Adore. Use the last two verses of this week’s scripture as your prayer of adoration this week. Spend some time thinking about the fact that God’s infinite power is at work within you. That’s the power that transforms you as you take part in His transforming work on earth.  He is so worthy of our praise!

 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly

 than all that we ask or think,

 according to the power at work within us,

 to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus

 throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Ephesians 3:20-21

Confess. Praying thanksgiving and adoration for our God and thinking about His perfect character leads us to see our flaws more clearly. Rather than feeling shame for our sin, however, God desires that we confess our sin and receive His forgiveness. Confess your sins today and allow God’s power to transform you so that you may experience the fullness of His love. 

Others.

CU Church: Pray that the CU Church family, wherever we live, love the people inside our doors as well as the people outside our doors.
Community:  Pray for CU Church’s GAP program, that the young men and women in the program are fully engaged in the experience and seek God with all their hearts, minds and souls. Pray for the Heinrich family that facilitates the program.  gap.cuchurch.com
Global Church: Pray for Kenya again today. Our missionary partner, Joel Williams, reports that they currently have a network of 12,000+ disciples in groups. They ask God to increase the workers of the harvest so that they may reach all of Turkana’s 2 million people in the next 5 years. He also asks for prayer for their disciple-makers as many of them are encountering spiritual warfare. 

Self. God is listening. He loves you. Pray for any specific needs that you or your family have.

Day 6

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of His glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Ephesians 3:14-21 ESV

Before you begin to pray, take a deep breath and quiet your thoughts. Focus on being in the presence of God. Thank God for hearing your prayers. Then reread the scripture for the week, Ephesians 3:14-21. Read it slowly, recognizing that God is speaking to you through His Word. If God puts something specific on your heart, pray about that today.

Thank. Are there blessings in your life you did not ask for? This week’s scripture tells us that God “is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think.” Thank God for some specific blessings you never thought to ask for, but have received. It could be a friend that called you at just the right time, a sunset that surprised you with its beauty or the unexpected offer of help just when you needed it. Then thank Him for the blessings you can’t imagine that are yet to come!

Adore. Let’s adore God for His infinite power and for surprising us with blessings we never imagined. 

You turned my wailing into dancing;

    You removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,

that my heart may sing Your praises and not be silent.

    Lord my God, I will praise You forever.

Psalm 30:11-12

Confess. When we meditate on the infinite power and never ending love of God, we realize that we aren’t worthy of his love. Through confession and the forgiveness of our sins, bought with the blood of Jesus on the cross, we find deep and abiding joy and peace. God is waiting to forgive and love you. Turn back to Him.

Others.

CU Church: The CU Church family live in a wide variety of settings: houses, apartments, dorms, group homes, places without addresses, assisted living, etc. We all call those places home. Pray that our homes are gospel oriented and God honoring.
Community:  Pray for Jesus House – Restoration Ministries, for the men and women living in this residential program as they seek to recover from addiction and learn to follow Jesus. jesushouserecovery.com
Global Church: Pray for CMF International and the Williams family, missionaries in Kenya. The Williams ask for prayer for their family and their ministry as they transition to a time of furlough (December-August) and then back to a new area of Kenya. They ask for prayer for the sustainability of 12 disciple owned businesses they have launched over the last five years. Pray these families are blessed with “immeasurably more” (Ephesians 3:20) as they faithfully run their businesses that will both support their families and fund their ministries. cmfi.org

Self. God is listening. He loves you. Pray for any specific needs that you or your family have.

Day 5

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of His glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Ephesians 3:14-21 ESV

Before you begin to pray, take a deep breath and quiet your thoughts. Focus on being in the presence of God. Thank God for hearing your prayers. Then reread the scripture for the week, Ephesians 3:14-21. Read it slowly, recognizing that God is speaking to you through His Word. If God puts something specific on your heart, pray about that today.

Thank. God’s love has “breadth and length and height and depth.” It is real and measurable.  We can see it demonstrated in the love we give to and receive from others. Thank God today for those who love and care for you.

Adore. Praise God for the “breadth and length and height and depth” of His love. 

 Praise the Lord, all nations! Extol Him, all peoples!

For great is His steadfast love toward us,

    and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.

Praise the Lord!

Psalm 117:1-2

Confess. Confess before God any sin that prevents you from fully knowing His love. Turn toward Him, receive forgiveness and “be filled with all the fullness of God.”

Others.

CU Church: Pray that the people of CU Church truly embrace our mission to “Love God, Love People.” Pray that our worship points us to Jesus and our feet point us to our neighbors.
Community:  Pray for Merci’s Refuge, that God will transform the women living there as they heal from past trauma and addiction.  lifechangeshere.org
Global Church: Pray for the women of Afghanistan today who can no longer go out in public without an escort and without being completely covered, who can no longer get an education, who cannot work outside their homes, who face persecution every day.  Pray for their protection and provision.  “…my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge, my savior; you save me from violence. I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised and I am saved from my enemies.”  2 Samuel 22:3-4

Self. God is listening. He loves you. Pray for any specific needs that you or your family have.

Day 4

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of His glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Ephesians 3:14-21 ESV

Before you begin to pray, take a deep breath and quiet your thoughts. Focus on being in the presence of God. Thank God for hearing your prayers. Then reread the scripture for the week, Ephesians 3:14-21. Read it slowly, recognizing that God is speaking to you through His Word. If God puts something specific on your heart, pray about that today.

Thank. In the scripture this week, Paul prays that the church at Ephesus “be strengthened with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.”

Think about the idea that Christ dwells within you. Thank God for His love, that he cherishes you so much that He wants to dwell within you.

Adore. Let’s adore God today for His steadfast love. God loves us so much that He put into motion a plan to sacrifice His son for our sins so that He might be in a right relationship with us. Praise the Lord for His love!

Because Your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise You.

 So I will bless You as long as I live; in Your name I will lift up my hands.

Psalm 63:3-4

Confess. Thinking about God’s limitless love makes us realize that our own love has limits. Turn toward God and confess the times your love for others has fallen short. Remember that He loves you perfectly and will accept your confession and forgive your sins.

Others.

CU Church: Pray that our congregation continues to become increasingly diverse and people truly feel that they are welcome. 
Community:  Pray for Illini Christian Ministries, that God is glorified through their work to restore and empower the families they serve. Pray that couples will be moved to volunteer as Parenting Partners.  icmfamily.org 
Global Church: Pray for Afghanistan again today. Pray for anything God leads you to, knowing that Afghanistan is among the most dangerous and difficult places in the world to be a Christian. “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, ‘For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” Romans 8:35-37

Self. God is listening. He loves you. Pray for any specific needs that you or your family have.

Day 3

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of His glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Ephesians 3:14-21 ESV

Before you begin to pray, take a deep breath and quiet your thoughts. Focus on being in the presence of God. Thank God for hearing your prayers. Then reread the scripture for the week, Ephesians 3:14-21. Read it slowly, recognizing that God is speaking to you through His Word. If God puts something specific on your heart, pray about that today.

Thank. Have you ever faced anything that you didn’t think you were strong enough to do? God sees that moment as an opportunity, a time when “according to the riches of His glory He may grant you to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in your inner being.” Think about that. God uses His spirit to strengthen your inner being! God is at work within you. Thank Him for that today.

Adore. Our God is a mighty God whose desire is to be in relationship with us. Praise Him today for being a God to whom you can turn when you need strength and for being a God who hears your prayer and strengthens you.

But I will sing of your strength;

    I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning.

For You have been to me a fortress

    and a refuge in the day of my distress.

Psalm 59:16

Confess. There are times when we try to walk our own path without God’s desires leading us. Confess any times this has happened to you and turn back to God who loves and strengthens you.

Others.

CU Church: Thank God for the facilities CU Church uses, the I Hotel, the Venue and Webber St. Church. Ask God to continue to provide us with facilities that meet our needs in regard to space and proximity to serve people in our community.
Community:  Choose to pray for one or more of the needs expressed to us by YoungLives: for more Thursday night volunteers for childcare; for more mentors to walk alongside teen moms; for God to break the barrier of transportation young mom’s face when attending meetings. Big “Ephesians 3:20” Prayers: for a van or bus to be provided; for a house that meets the need of homelessness for teen moms; for donors that close the budget deficit at YoungLives. younglives.younglife.org
Global Church: Pray for Epek International. They ask for prayer for their refugee work in Tajikistan, for the strengthening of the faith of believers in Afghanistan, for unity of the churches in refugee camps, for Afghans to be able to work in Tajikistan and for the safety of teams traveling to the Middle East for short term trips. epekinternational.org

Self. God is listening. He loves you. Pray for any specific needs that you or your family have.

Day 2

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of His glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Ephesians 3:14-21 ESV

Before you begin to pray, take a deep breath and quiet your thoughts. Focus on being in the presence of God. Thank God for hearing your prayers. Then reread the scripture for the week, Ephesians 3:14-21. Read it slowly, recognizing that God is speaking to you through His Word. If God puts something specific on your heart, pray about that today.

Thank. Paul tells us in verse 14 that he bows his knees before the Father. If you have never prayed on your knees, try it today as you thank God for something specific in His creation. It could be a beautiful sunset, a member of your family or a cold glass of iced tea on a hot day. Remember that God created everything, our physical world, and all the people and animals within it.

Adore. Verse 16 talks about the “riches of His glory.” Today, let’s adore God for His glory, for the majesty that we see reflected in the abundance of beauty and diversity in our world. In 1 Chronicles 29:11, David praises God with these words: 

 Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty. 

Everything in the heavens and on earth is yours, O Lord, and this is your kingdom. 

We adore you as the one who is over all things.

Confess.  An awareness of God’s glory reveals our own unworthiness. In confession, we acknowledge our sin, ask for forgiveness and turn our hearts back to God. Confess your sins to God, safe in the knowledge that He loves you, He will forgive you and He is waiting for you.

Others.

CU Church: Pray that CU Church continues to be debt free as we move into the future. Thank God for the generosity of our congregation and ask for wisdom as financial decision making occurs.
Community: Pray for our local Fellowship of Christian Athletes that the coaches and athletes involved be strengthened in their faith as they seek to transform others through their influence as coaches, teammates and mentors. Pray that athletes who don’t know Jesus will be drawn to FCA and find a place of fellowship and belonging.  illinilandfca.org
Global Church: Pray for New International Missions and the Molesky family, missionaries in Ireland. They ask for prayer for their son, Bladen, as he transitions back to the U.S. this month. Pray for more space in Newcastle as the church there grows and for funding for a counseling center at the Journey Church. Pray for MORE, more of the Holy Spirit, more breakthrough, more of God’s power, presence and beauty to be on display! newinternational.org

Self. God is listening. He loves you. Pray for any specific needs that you or your family have.

Day 1

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of His glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Ephesians 3:14-21 ESV

Before you begin to pray, take a deep breath and quiet your thoughts. Focus on being in the presence of God. Thank God for hearing your prayers. Then read the scripture we will study next Sunday, Ephesians 3:14-21. Read it slowly, recognizing that God is speaking to you through His Word. If God puts something specific on your heart, pray about that today.

Thank. Begin prayer by thanking God. The scripture tells us in verse 3:15 that “every family in heaven and on earth” is named by God. Dwell on that verse for a few minutes. If God named you then He created you. You are His child and the Creator of the universe is your Father. What a great gift! Thank God for being a good, good Father and for creating you.

Adore. After you thank God, spend time adoring Him. What does that mean? It means focusing entirely on God and praising Him for who He is. God is the creator of everything. He named every family on earth and in Heaven. Praise God today as the Creator. 

One way to pray is to read scripture aloud. You might try that today by reading Revelation 4:11:

 Worthy are You, our Lord and God,
    to receive glory and honor and power,
for You created all things,
    and by Your will they existed and were created.

  Revelation 4:11

Confess.  Praising God as the Creator of all things reminds us how big He is and how small we are. It’s easy to lose that perspective and allow pride to creep into our lives. Consider the things that come between you and a right relationship with God, whether it’s a lack of humility or some other obstacle. Confess that sin to God, who created you and loves you.

Others. (For more information on mission partners listed in this section, visit the website listed.)

CU Church: Let’s start by thanking God for what he has done over the last 5 years at CU Church. Then pray that as we move forward, God continues to lead our church with clarity and wisdom to discern the voice of God’s Spirit.
Community: Pray for CU at Home. They ask that we pray that God gives them wisdom to do what is best for the clients they serve.  cuathome.us
Global Church: At the beginning of each week we will take one day to pray for the unity of Christians and Christ’s Church all over the world. We pray because through Paul, God reminds us that we are called to be one. “I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.” 1 Corinthians 1:10  Pray today that God brings unity and power to the Global Church so that the Good News of Jesus reaches every corner of the earth.

Self. God is listening. He loves you. Pray for any specific needs that you or your family have and pray today that you are filled with peace, knowing you were created by God. 

Welcome

Welcome! We are so happy you are here to pray with us! CU Church is a praying church. We believe God calls us to take part in His transforming work and promises that we will be transformed in the process. As we celebrate the 5th anniversary of the launch of CU Church, we are joining together for 28 days of prayer. It is our desire to pray communally, according to God’s will, knowing that God hears us, loves us and that our prayers matter.

What does it mean to “pray according to God’s will?” It means, simply, to put our personal desires and interests aside and focus on God’s Word and what it teaches us about God’s desires. First John 5:14-15 says, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.”

A few things to note:

  • This prayer guide corresponds to our sermon series on Ephesians. Each week, the guide includes the scripture for the coming week’s sermon. As we study Ephesians, we want to use the scripture to deepen our understanding of God’s desires and to inspire our prayers throughout the month.
  • We will use the T.A.C.O.S. acronym (Thanksgiving-Adoration-Confession-Others-Self) to organize our prayers in alignment with Jesus’s teaching in The Lord’s Prayer, Matthew 6:9-13.
  • When we pray for the “O” (others), you’ll find a table categorizing our prayers into three groups: CU Church, Community and Global Church. We’ll ask that you pray with us to find God’s desires for CU Church as we move into the future. We’ll suggest groups to pray for in our community and on our school campuses that God’s Spirit and scripture lead us toward. We will pray for the global church, missionaries, and people in other countries who need our prayer support.
  • All scripture is from the English Standard Version (ESV) of the bible unless otherwise noted.

If you are new to prayer, don’t be overwhelmed! There is no right or wrong way to pray. The prayer guide is intended to make your experience accessible and uncomplicated. If you have been a lifelong pray-er, the prayer guide can serve as a starting point. Whether you can spend 5 minutes or 50 minutes, we ask you to join together and pray for our church, our community, and our world.

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

“I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.”

1 Timothy 2:1 NLT