I pray this note finds you well and continuing the Lenten journey. We are nearly, but not quite, there. We still have important, but difficult, stops on the journey. My encouragement is to press on even through the hard parts; so that on Easter morning we can all proclaim the resurrection with a full awareness of what it took and what it cost for us to be able to stand and profess together, “He is risen. He is Risen, indeed!”
Easter is a wonderful day, there is no question about that. It is a day to celebrate and remember and share the Good News. But Easter is also a season. The season of Easter, or Eastertide, is a 50-day period from Easter Sunday until Pentecost when the celebration of the Spirit comes.
Oftentimes Easter is limited to a single day and a solitary celebration, but the season of Easter gives us space and opportunity to extend that specific celebration. This year, I am inviting us, as a District, to join together in a specific spiritual practice to allow us to celebrate together. Many of us have been part of “Breakthrough Prayer” gatherings. From that we have been encouraged to find our way back to the power of collective and communal prayer. A “Breakthrough Prayer” is one that invites God to move us from where we are to where God needs us to be. By having many, many people praying the same prayer we find that our hopes are carried, as one, to the One who hears our prayers.
To that end, I am asking that all churches in our District join together in praying the following Breakthrough Prayer our Operational Team has developed.
God of grace and redemption, we bow before You to ask that You sow new life amongst us. We long to bring people in relationship with Jesus and to help them grow deeper in knowing, following, and serving Him in our communities. Love us, lead us, direct us, forgive us, and help us be attentive in our listening. Let our prayers and expectations not be limited by “what we can ask or imagine”. Come Holy Spirit, fill us as we celebrate the resurrection. Speak, for your servants are listening. Amen.
I am asking that this prayer be shared with everyone in your church. Further, I am asking that this prayer be prayed each time you gather for worship and for folks in your church to pray it during their personal devotions. Let us join our hearts in prayer in each local church and in every heart. Let’s see what God will do.
The next challenge I offer is during this season of Easter is for your church to develop a Breakthrough Prayer for your congregation. Bring your prayer warriors together and ask them to develop a prayer for your congregation asking God to “break in” to the community you serve and to your church. This prayer should be prayed for the first time during your Pentecost celebration and continued in each worship service and every meeting of your church through the season of Pentecost, another 50 days. Ask your folks to use this prayer in their devotions. Pray your Breakthrough Prayer faithfully and then give God all the praise and Glory for the ways God has moved among you. You might even announce, on Pentecost, the date of your Praise and Testimony Service at the end of Pentecost to celebrate all that God has done.
If your church would like to know more about Breakthrough Prayer, the Indiana Conference has a Breakthrough Prayer day on May 6. From 9:00 -12:00 will be an introduction to Breakthrough Prayer. Here is the link to register for that:
If your church is already familiar with and practicing Breakthrough Prayer, then from 1:00-4:00 on May 6, will be a session for churches who want to continue learning about how to practice Breakthrough Prayer. Here is a link to register for that event:
Friends, let us enter 100 days of intentional focus on inviting God to move us to where God wants us to be knowing God is faithful (Mark 11). Let us pray for the Holy Spirit to move and for us to “not put out the Spirit’s fire” (1 Thessalonians 5). Let us pray with humility, but boldness as we come before the Lord (Psalm 4). Even if we feel we cannot find the right words, use the ones you have and trust the Spirit to carry them (Romans 8).
Please join in my as we spend 100 days in prayer together. And, may God breakthrough in our communities and in our hearts.
**Explanation and witness about Breakthrough Prayer: