by Lorraine Potter Kalal
President and CEO of Stonecroft Ministries
Note: This Prayer Connection can be used as a guide for Prayer Connections and Stonecroft Prays! events held in April.
Happy Easter! Jesus is Lord! Jesus is Savior! By the power of the resurrection, we know the power of the Cross.
Welcome to our prayer guide for April. We hope Prayer Connections and Stonecroft Prays! groups across the country will use this guide so we pray with unified minds and voices. But we don’t want you to feel constrained by this guide. Feel free to vary as your needs dictate.
April Prayer Devotional
What is the Gospel?
It is God’s Good News—the amazing story of how God became the man Jesus. It is the story of how Jesus gave up His heavenly relationship with the Trinity, His exalted place at God’s right hand, and even His human life on the Cross. It’s NOT the story of a god who expected us to climb to him with our good works. No! It is the story of Jesus who instead climbed down to us to restore our relationship with His Father.
The apostle Paul retold that story when he shared an ancient hymn with the Philippian church. And here it is:
“… Christ Jesus,
Though he was God,
he did not think of equality with God
as something to cling to.
Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;
he took the humble position of a slave
and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form,
he humbled himself in obedience to God
and died a criminal’s death on a cross.
Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor
and gave him the name above all other names,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.” —Philippians 2:5-11
What a story! What love! What an example!
God gave up His rights and became a servant, a human, a man, and a falsely convicted criminal. And then He died on the Cross. He did this for His Father’s glory. And for our great need.
And after Jesus’ life of humility, God raised His Son from the dead, the job of reconciliation complete. Easter! Then God exalted Jesus above ALL NAMES!
Isn’t that the way it always is with Jesus? The way up is down. The first shall be last. The last shall be first. The king suffers. The Messiah serves. The Son obeys the Father to death, even death on a Cross.
And Jesus calls us to follow His example of humility. He calls us to serve as He served. He calls us, we who are spiritual beggars, to tell other hungry women where to find the Bread of Life. He calls us to obey Him by telling others His story.
Can you imagine a greater privilege, honor, and gift than to be able to share Jesus’ story with women whose hearts are yearning to be filled with the knowledge of their Creator? There is no higher call!
Jesus calls us to share His Good News. And He calls us to give up our rights, too. When we tell people about Jesus, we may have to leave our comfort zones. Jesus left His comfort zone for us. To tell people about Jesus, we may have to accept new ways of doing things. Jesus had to learn to do things when He took on a human body for us. When we tell people about Jesus, we may feel uncomfortable. Jesus was uncomfortable for us. Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice for our lives. We may have to sacrifice a little bit to tell others that He loves them!
Join us today, then, as we pray that our Father gives us insight and imagination to find ways to share the story of Jesus’ love with women in our communities.
Dear Lord, Please go before us during this time of prayer. Give us Your heart of mercy. Give us Your mind of wisdom. Give us Your spirit of creativity. Help us to understand, as never before, that we are more sinful than we ever dared imagine, yet more loved than we ever dared hope. Give us a new passion for Your story and compassion for women who need to hear it. Bless this time, we pray, that You who became our Servant would be exalted in our prayers. Amen.
Break into small groups and pray using the following guidelines:
Staff Writer/Editor, Afternoon Receptionist
Ministry Support Supervisor
Take time now to pray for the specifics of upcoming outreach events—everything from the invitations, to the food, to the speaker’s ability to communicate the Gospel clearly, to the technology working correctly.
Personal Prayer Requests
Use this time first to pray for your spiritual needs. The following is an update of a Puritan Prayer taken from the book The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions, edited by Arthur Bennett. Pray this silently:
Lord of immortality, before whom angels bow and archangels veil their faces, help me to serve You with reverence and godly fear. You are Spirit and you require me to be truthful through and through. Help me therefore to worship You in spirit and in truth. Because You are fully righteous, help me not to hide sin in my heart, or indulge in worldly anger, or seek satisfaction in things that perish.
I look forward to the time when earthly pursuits and possessions will appear worthless to me, when I will not care whether I have been rich or poor, whether I succeed or fail, whether I am admired or despised. Help me to mourn for sin, hunger and thirst after righteousness, love the Lord Jesus with all sincerity, and glory in His cross. May I focus on these things beyond all else! Change me so that serving You doesn’t feel like hard work, but like perfect freedom.
Please put out of my mind all sinful fear and shame, so that with commitment and courage I will tell other women about my Redeemer, Jesus Christ. Help me to go out into my community, listening to His encouragement, filled with His wisdom, and walking in His discernment.
Help me to ask Jesus for advice in everything I do and to spend significant time in the Scriptures to know What He wants me to do. Keep my mind and heart filled with His peace, knowing that nothing can happen to me without God’s permission and plan.
In the name of Jesus, suffering servant and glorified Lord, Amen
At this time, each woman may write personal prayer requests on slips of paper. Share those with another person and ask her to pray during the week. You may choose to add personal contact information on these slips so that you can talk and pray together during the week.
The Prayer Coordinator may end your time by reading the following prayer aloud, or each woman can read the prayer by repeating it silently to God:
How can we praise You enough for Your work on the Cross? For You become a man, a servant, and a criminal so that we would be reconciled to the Father. Please help us realize in new ways the merciful work of the Cross. Please help us realize in new ways how blessed we are to have a relationship with God because of Your work on the Cross. Please give us a new heart to tell other women this story.
Oh, Lord, please bring new women to our group soon so that with one voice, we can ask You to show us how to share Your amazing love with women in our communities who have never heard the Gospel, right where they are, right as they are, right where they live.
Jesus, You died the death we should have died and lived the life we could not live. Please grow in us an increasing desire to share this great Gospel with many, many more women in our communities and around the word. We leave today encouraged because we know that with You, all things are possible! Amen.