Challenge Day 7

Red apple sitting on a table. Photo text: Challenge Day 7, what to pray for. #writinglifeaugustchallenge

Review. The challenge? A daily challenge in August designed to help you grow in your faith in Jesus by establishing (or adding to your already-existing!) daily habits of Bible reading and prayer. The participation part is designed to both allow us to encourage each other and to hold each other accountable. Jump in any time (even if it’s not August)!

Day 1: Thankfulness & Prayer
Day 2: Praise & Prayer
Day 3: Watchfulness & Prayer (my fave so far!)
Day 4: Devotion & Prayer
Day 5: How to Pray
Day 6: Who to Pray For

Today’s Inspiration. If you’ve been following the challenge posts, you know by now what our inspiration for today’s challenge is, because it has been the same since Day 1 and will continue to be the same for a few days more. It’s Colossians 4:2:

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.

Today, we’ll look at the second of the “five W questions”: What should we pray for?

Today’s Challenge. Today your challenge is to read and note (that means write down!) the types of things people in the Bible prayed, and use one of these as a model for your own prayer time today. For example, you could look at Jesus’ recorded prayers (this blog post lists some) or the way Paul prayed in his letters to the churches (see here for a list). Or you could go back to the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:5-15 or Luke 11:1-13) again and use that as a model.

Today’s Participation. Choose one thing someone in the Bible prayed for that you don’t normally pray for but think you should pray for. Write about it in today’s comments and tell us where it’s modeled in the Bible. Alternatively, depict it in a post on Instagram using #writinglifeaugustchallenge. I look forward to hearing from you and am praying for you!

Challenge Day 6

Review. The Writing Life Challenge, running through the month of August, is a devotional challenge I created with the hopes of building an online community of people dedicated to encouraging each other daily and challenging each other to grow in our faith in Jesus. Each day involves a bit of Bible reading, thinking, and praying. While it’s running through the month of August, though, please don’t feel bound by time! If you come across this in the middle of the challenge or days, weeks, months, or even years later, feel free to complete the challenge and participate in it.

The first five days of the challenge had us exploring different aspects of prayer, and the next five will continue to do so.

Today’s Inspiration. One little verse, eight words—but it says so much. The first five days of the challenge were inspired by Colossians 4:2, and the next five days will be as well:

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. (NIV)

This week, we will continue exploring how to pray by asking the “five W questions,” beginning with who.

Box of colorful pins for a bulletin board. Photo text: Challenge Day 6, who to pray for. #writinglifeaugustchallenge

Today’s Challenge. Who are we to pray for? There are so many answers—so many Biblical answers—to this question that it can become a bit overwhelming. As I was searching for a list and references to give you, I came across a good place to start: the website What The Bible Teaches, an adaptation of R. A. Torrey‘s work (an evangelist, pastor, and theologian in the 19th and 20th centuries). In it, the webmaster cites several Bible verses related to praying for ourselves, for other Christians, for our Christian leaders and pastors, for converts of our own ministry, for the sick, for our children, and for our rulers.

Your task today is to explore at least one “people group” the Bible tells us to pray for, perhaps starting by reading the scriptures cited in the website above (you could also Google verses yourself or use a tool like Bible Hub). Then spend a few moments in prayer for someone you know who falls into that category, or for the group of people as a whole.

Today’s Participation. Comment below or create your own post in Instagram telling us what you read, what you learned, and who you prayed for. If you use Instagram, using the hashtag #writinglifeaugustchallenge in a public account will allow others participating in the challenge to find it. I can’t wait to see what you post!

Challenge Day 5

Oil-wick lantern hanging on a wall. Photo text: Challenge Day 5, #writinglifeaugustchallenge

Review. Last week I kicked off the Writing Life Challenge! The purpose of the challenge is to build an online community of people dedicated to encouraging each other daily and challenging each other to grow in our faith in Jesus. You can read more about my vision for the challenge here. Each day of the challenge has a bit of Bible-reading and prayer—and, ideally, communication with each other in the form of blog comments or Instagram posts using #writinglifeaugustchallenge.

On Day 1, the challenge topic was Thankfulness & Prayer.
On Day 2, the challenge topic was Praise & Prayer.
On Day 3, the challenge was Watchfulness & Prayer (my favorite so far!)
On Day 4, the challenge was Devotion & Prayer.

Today’s Inspiration. We’re continuing with the same verse for our inspiration, Colossians 4:2:

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. (NIV)

Now that we’ve intentionally practiced using prayer to be thankful, to praise God for who he is, and to be watchful, and now that we’ve explored what it means to devote ourselves to something, we’ll take a step backward. We’ll examine how to pray, and take instruction from the best person to teach us this: Jesus.

Today’s Challenge. First, prepare to read God’s word by praying: pray that God will quiet your mind, help you to concentrate, help you to understand, and teach you what he wants you to learn today. Then read one or both of the accounts of the Lord’s Prayer in the gospels: Matthew 6:5-15, Luke 11:1-13.

As you read, write down things you notice about how Jesus instructs us to pray. Then dedicate a few minutes trying to pray as he instructs us to.

Today’s Participation. What did you notice or learn about how to pray as you read through the Lord’s Prayer? Tell us! Write about it in the comments below, or visualize it and write about it in your own Instagram post using the hashtag #writinglifeaugustchallenge. (I’ll see all posts made on public accounts, but not private accounts.)