• ~IMPORTANT~

“What If?” Week 3— What If We Prayed? (2/26/17)

Happy Last Monday of February!

Last night was our last night of our “What If?” Series. GEN122 led us in a powerful time of worship before we got into the message— “What If We Prayed?”

2 Chronicles 7:14NIV says, …if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turnfrom their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Before digging into the verse, we watched this video from Casting Crowns called, “What If His People Prayed?”.

The answer to the question, “What If We Prayed?” is answered with an incredible promise— God will hear us from Heaven, heal our land, and forgive our sin. God, the Creator of the Universe, hears our prayers and desires to heal our land (schools, communities, etc.) and bring revival.

We closed out the night by having the students take about five minutes of quiet time to see what they felt was on God’s heart for our March Madness Outreach event that begins next week. Some of the students had their requests written down on the white board and several students even prayed some pretty incredible prayers in front of the group. You can check out some of the written requests below:

We created a daily devotion for the youth to take home for the week that went along with 2 Chronicles 7:14 that you can check out at the end of the post!

Have a great week and don’t miss March Madness!

-Pastor Dustin

REFUEL DEVOTIONS FOR 2/25-3/4

We encourage all of our students to take time to “Refuel” on a daily basis. “Refuel” is referring to our prayer and devotional time with God. Life has a way of draining us so It is vitally important that we take time daily to spend time with God to “fuel up” on his presence! A healthy, strong, and thriving relationship with God begins here!

REFUEL instructions: Read the entire verse each day. Hopefully, you’ll be able to say the verse from memory by the end of the week! Each devotion will look at a different part of the verse to see how it relates to us and how it applies to our lives.

Text for the week: 2 Chronicles 7:14NIV

 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Day 1: If my people…

These three words are really powerful. God is calling us, “his people”. If you have a relationship with Jesus, you are considered part of God’s “people”.

We all want to belong and have a group of people we can connect to. As you go through your day today, remember that you are part of God’s people. Believing this can help you stand strong against peer-pressure, and take away your desire to do things just to fit it with your friends. You don’t have to earn God’s love to be considered his “people”. Jesus died for you on the cross so that you could have a personal, life-long, and eternal relationship with him.

Prayer for Today:

Dear God,

Thank you for giving your life for me on the cross so that I could have a relationship with you, and thank you for considering me to be part of your people. I ask you to help me today to stand strong against temptation and peer pressure so that people can see your love and light in me.

In Jesus Name,

AMEN!

If you have never committed to having a relationship with Jesus but would like to do so, please consider praying the prayer below and then talk to Pastor Dustin, Lydia, or one of your Tribe Leaders at youth so they can help make sure you have a clear understanding of what it means to have a relationship with Jesus.

Dear Jesus,

Thank you so much for dying on the cross for my sins. I believe You died on the cross, was buried and rose again. I trust in You to forgive me for all of my sins. I receive this free gift of eternal life through faith right now.” AMEN.

Day 2: …who are called by my name

Not only are we God’s people as we learned yesterday, but we are also called by his name. Think about it this way: When people call us, they call us by our name. We respond when people call us by the name we were given because that is how we identify ourselves.

It is important that we also understand and believe that we can now identify not only by the name we have been given here on earth, but also as a child of God! Being called by God’s name also means that we have available to us the things associated with his name like: victory, freedom, God’s blessings, and being able to face any obstacles we face in life.

Take a few minutes today to think about or write down some of the things that you struggle with. Some of those things could be things like: low self-esteem, doing things that you know don’t please God to fit in with your friends, struggling with your school work, feeling inadequate, etc. Unfortunately, the things we struggle with can keep us from living life to it’s fullest potential like God created us to do.

Anytime you struggle with something today and throughout the week, remember that you are called by God’s name! You are an overcomer and champion because God has called us to be his people by his great, powerful name! Go and live today with confidence knowing that God has given you everything you need to conquer the tasks and situations that lie ahead.

Prayer for Today:

Dear God,

Thank you for thinking enough of me and loving me enough to call me by your name and giving me access to your blessings, freedom, and victory. I ask you to help me to remember that you have given me everything I need to live my life for you and overcome any obstacles that I may face. Thank you for loving and believing in me!

In Jesus Name,

AMEN!

Day 3: …will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways…

According to Webster’s Dictionary, the phrase “to humble ourselves” means to not be proud or haughty : not arrogant (thinking more of yourself than what you should). Humbling ourselves before God basically means that we are putting God’s will and ways above our own.

When we pray, we are admitting and reminding ourselves that we need God to help guide us through life. We are asking him to show us his desire for our lives as well as asking him to show us the things in life that may not be pleasing to him. This is when it is important to humble ourselves since most of us don’t like to admit that there may be things in our lives that shouldn’t be there. What we need to remember is that admitting that there are things in our lives that aren’t pleasing to God doesn’t mean that we’re a bad person. It simply means that we need God’s help and strength to help us become more and more like him.

What does it mean to seek God’s face? This means that we are looking to become more like him and to know him and his plan for us more each day. Think about playing hide n’ seek. The seeker looks everywhere to try and find those hiding from them. God desires us to look for him and spend time worshipping him and being in his presence. The awesome thing is that God doesn’t hide from us the way people do when we play hide n’ seek. Things and situations in life may make it a little harder to seek God sometimes, but he promises that we will find him when we seek him! (Jeremiah 29:13-14).

The last part of today’s portion of Scripture tells us to turn from our wicked ways. Like we already said, this doesn’t mean that we are horrible people. It simply means that we all have things in life that aren’t pleasing to God. “Wicked ways” is referring to the sin that is in our lives.

Do your best to commit to praying to God today. If you’re not sure where to start, consider starting with something simple like asking God to help you to become more like him and show you the things in your life that aren’t pleasing to him. Make a list of things in your life that may not be pleasing to God. Some of these things could include: talking back to your parents, saying or doing things around your friends that you know are wrong to try and fit in, gossiping, bad language, cheating on tests, etc.

Prayer for Today:

Dear God,

Please help me to put your desires above my own this week, and help my desires for my life to become the same as yours. I ask you to help me seek you more and spend more time in your presence. I also ask that you would help give me the strength and desire to let go of the things in my life that are not pleasing to you.

In Jesus Name,

AMEN!

Day 4- then I will hear from Heaven…

Think about the six words above for a moment to let them sink in… God will hear us from heaven! Have you ever had times in your life when you felt like no one heard you, or felt like nobody cared about what you were going through? The answer is more than likely, YES! When we humble ourselves, pray to God, seek his face, and let go of the things in life that aren’t pleasing to him, God hears us from his throne in heaven. God, the Creator of the universe, listens to us! We don’t have to be perfect for God to hear our prayers. We learned in Day 3’s Refuel time that we simply need to be willing to allow God to show us the things in life that aren’t pleasing to him (keeping us from drawing closer to him). As you go through today, be encouraged that God hears and listens to our prayers when we come before him with a humble heart and a desire to become more like him!

You may feel like other people in your life may not care to listen to what you have to say, but remember that you are created and loved by a God who loves you unconditionally and listens to every word that you say!

Prayer for Today:

Dear God,

Thank you so much for caring enough about me to hear and listen to me! I ask you to help me remember that you hear every word that I say even when life is tough and it feels like you aren’t around. Thank you for loving me!

In Jesus Name,

AMEN!

Day 5— and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

God not only hears our prayers, but he does something about them when we come to him with the right attitude, and seek his will above our own. 2 Chronicles 7:14 was actually God’s response to King Solomon’s request that God would remember his promises to the Israelites, protect them from their enemies, and forgive them when they fall into sin.

It is incredibly encouraging to know that God doesn’t just hear what we say, but he also delivers on his promises. 2 Chronicles 7:14 also gives us some responsibility as God’s people. As God’s people, we have a responsibility to pray for our friends, communities, and country. Our faithfulness and prayers to God not only benefit us but those around us as well!

Do you have a request or promise that you are waiting on God to deliver on? If so, remain faithful and believe that God will deliver, make sure you are remaining humble, seek God’s will , and spend time trying to get to know him more (praying, reading your Bible, worshipping him, etc.)

God’s got you covered and he will come through for you! As you wrap up your devotions for this week, I hope that you will commit to take responsibility to praying to God to heal not only your heart, but also the lives of those around you. Your school, friends, community, and country need God to move in their hearts, and 2 Chronicles 7:14 tells us that the movement starts when we humble ourselves, pray, seek God’s face, and turn from our wicked ways! Be a world changer and pray like never before this week!

Prayer for Today:

Dear God,

Thank you for loving me enough to forgive my sins. I also want to commit to praying for my friends, schools, communities, and country so that they can also experience the love and freedom that comes only from a relationship with you! I will pray. I will change my world with your help!

In Jesus Name,

AMEN!