DAY 4 – DEEPEN MY PRAYER LIFE

By 21 DAYS OF GOING DEEPER - 2021

By: Melissa Diep

““And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.” - Mark 1:35, ESV”

Jesus taught, preached, healed, spent time with his disciples, traveled, cast out demons and so much more! Jesus did so much but we also see in this verse that Jesus was very intentional about making time with God. Jesus would wake up early in the morning, while it was still dark, he went to a quiet place to pray.  

Personally, waking up early is not convenient. On days when I wake up early, it is often times to prepare or get a head start on my to do list. As a first time mom, my to do list is never ending. I am wired to be on work mode. From the minute I wake up my flesh desires to run through my to do list. It takes so much discipline to quiet my mind and heart to seek the Lord first and start my day with him. In my hunger to grow in my prayer life I’ve created a prayer journal where I can pour out my praise, my prayer requests to the Lord. Some prayers are short while other entries may be a couple pages longer. I’ve prayed for myself, for others, prayed big bold prayers and prayed some smaller prayers. As I flip through the prayers in my prayer journal I have gone back to highlight all the answered prayers and seen how God has worked through my life and the lives of others. When I am intentional about committing time and space to pray and converse with the Lord I find that my personal relationship with Him grows deeper. In being busy I can accomplish a few things but when I am still and pray I see God doing more than I ever can in a lifetime! 

ACTION STEP: Sacrifice time to wake up early this week to intentionally pray and seek the Lord. If you are up for it, I challenge you to create a prayer journal and take the time to write out your praise and prayer requests daily. Every now and then, flip through your prayer journal and interact with God. Be sure to give Him thanks as he answers prayers and praise him for prayers that He hasn’t answered.

PRAYER: Father, I am so grateful that you want to have a personal relationship with me. Father, I am so grateful that we can communicate with you through prayer. Forgive me Father, for those times that I have been lukewarm in my prayers. Help me, Father that I may grow in my conversations with you through prayer. 

DAY 3 – DEEPEN MY JOY

By 21 DAYS OF GOING DEEPER - 2021

By: Ryan Ivy

““These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” - John 15:11, ESV”

From the time we are born, we are always seeking to find what makes us happiest in the moment. We often don’t care if that thing is good for us or not as long as it makes us happy. I see it in my one year old that always resorts to crying crocodile tears if he doesn’t get to play with the knife I’m using. Over the years, I have searched for happiness in relationships, money, sports, food, and many other things just to be let down by them. However, John 15 holds the key to what I have always been looking for. 

John 15:11 comes in the context of Jesus talking about God being the vine and us being the branches. The only way for our joy to be full is through connection to the vine. God will never let us down like the things of this world and He will always exceed your expectations. To find true joy and happiness is to find Jesus and to spend every single day of your life growing your relationship with him.

ACTION STEP: Memorize Romans 15:13 this week to help increase your joy. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”

PRAYER: Lord, help us to find our joy in you. I pray that we would be so filled that with Joy that fit would be contagious to others. Thank you for being the ultimate source of joy. Help us deepen our joy in you every single day.

DAY 2 – DEEPEN MY FAITH

By 21 DAYS OF GOING DEEPER - 2021

By: Tim Diep

““And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” - Hebrews 11:6, ESV”

Going “deeper in our faith” is a topic that can give many of us anxiety. The fear of stepping into the unknown can definitely make you uncomfortable, and even cause many to turn back. One question that I have for you is, have you recently thought about or taken any steps toward bold faith? Whenever I think of faith, I think of action. For example, God might be calling you to do something you have never done before. This happened to me recently. My wife and I took one of our boldest faith actions early in 2020. We felt the calling from God to leave our family and friends behind to pursue ministry in Las Vegas! Life was good, and we were about 2 months pregnant with our first baby when we decided to move out. I had lived in CA for the majority of my life and we knew absolutely no one in Las Vegas. We just knew that this city was often defined by sin and that many people were far from Jesus. We felt the calling from God to move out here to make a difference wherever needed, but we just didn’t know exactly what that meant. 

For the first few months, it seemed as if life was on pause. There was no movement at all, but we kept praying and thanking God in advance for community, a home church, and for God to use us for his Kingdom. Fast forward to 2021, we found community, we call WALK Church our home, and we are placed in different areas to serve not only the church but the city. We are still early in our journey in Las Vegas and we thank God for whatever else is yet to come! Who knows what God might call us to do next?

ACTION STEP:
“If you thank God after you’ve got it, that’s gratitude. When you thank him in advance, that’s called faith.” – Rick Warren

It may be hard for some of us to go straight to the deep end with our faith. A good starting point would be to count all the things God has done for us, big and small. Count at least 10 things in your life that you are grateful for. For example: a roof above your head, hot food, the ability to breathe, etc. By faith, identify the hand of God throughout your life.

Listen to “God of Justice” from Tim Hughes. It’s a great song to meditate on and will help you be inspired in your faith journey.

PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father. Thank you for all the great things you have done – for health, for peace, and for bold faith. I pray that I would take action to do whatever you call me to do. Thank you for the opportunities that will arise, and I pray that you use me to expand your Kingdom. Amen.

DAY 1 – DEEPEN MY LOVE FOR THE LORD

By 21 DAYS OF GOING DEEPER - 2021

By: Heiden Ratner

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” – Deuteronomy 6:5 ESV”

When you think of the word “love”, what immediately comes to mind? Is it a feeling, an emotion, or perhaps a person? I know for the majority of my life it was a sport – basketball. I loved the game of basketball more than anything else and my love was reflected by my actions. I found myself at the gym on a daily basis working on my game and then back at it outside when I got home. I dreamt about playing at the highest level and found my identity in being an elite basketball player. I learned that when you truly love something, it consumes you from the inside out.

When I became a follower of Jesus my freshman year of college, I noticed my love relationship changing. I found myself devoting more time, energy, and passion toward my relationship with Christ, rather than the sport I once idolized. The words of Deuteronomy 6:5 began to make sense, as the Lord instructs: “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” This newfound love activated heartfelt affection for the Lord, my soul began to crave time with the Lord, and my might was trigger to act upon this love. Ultimately, this made me an even better athlete, as I now knew the real reason why I was playing basketball: Because I loved Christ, and wanted to glorify Him with the game He had given me. Love changes everything!

ACTION STEP: Take an inventory of your life and write down the items that get the most time, energy, and passion. These are most likely the things you love most. Confess these items to the Lord and ask Him, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to deepen your love relationship with Him.

PRAYER: Father, I pray in Jesus name, by the power of the Holy Spirit, that You would deepen my love relationship with Christ and that You would help me identify any idols in my life that are competing for Your love. Lord, I want to love You more. Thank You for loving me first! In Jesus name, Amen!