Take The Twenty-One Days Of Prayer Challenge

CHALLENGE RULES

  1. Shortlist 3 people whose salvation you would like to pray for.
  2. For 21 days, pray intentionally for them daily.
  3. If possible, meet with them individually at least once; go beyond a casual conversation and be intentional in sharing the love of Christ!
  4. Record your thoughts and your experiences. Have fun!

Challenger: GLORIA, 18

3 Fun Facts:
1. I’m scared of birds because they chased after me once for my bread!
2. I love food sold at hawker centers
3. And believe it or not, I love Math!

INITIAL THOUGHTS
In all honesty, I don’t really pray for the salvation of those who are unsaved. When I do, I give up halfway… I think it requires a lot of patience to wait and believe that God will come through and I always find myself growing weary of praying when I don’t see anything changing. When I first got this challenge, I mentally scolded myself for saying yes. LOL! But at the same time, I felt like it would be a good time for me to learn how to pray and make prayer a way of living. The three (actually four!) people I shortlist are my parents, my good friend Bing, and my classmate Shirwin.

THE CHALLENGE
Day 1
Today I prayed for God to increase my heart and desire to pray for them, and for their hearts to be more open to Him. To be honest, I really did not know what to pray for. It was a very ‘generic’ prayer and it was so awkward! I didn’t exactly know what I was doing. I’m quite uncertain about how this 21-day challenge will shape me and change things … but here goes!!!

Day 2
I ALMOST did not pray today because I procrastinated until the very last minute … and this is only Day 2!!! Terrible. Today I felt like I simply lacked the desire to pray, because it felt like my prayers would not be ‘effective’. But since I’ve already started on this, I will stick with it for 21 days and see what happens.

Day 3
Because I do my quiet time and then pray at night, I’m always dozing off halfway and I really dislike it!!! I want to take this challenge seriously so I’ve decided: I’m going to wake up earlier than my usual timing to set aside and pray for them!

Day 4-6
I’ve managed to wake up earlier. Yay! Thank God. It’s only been 6 days, but my parents have been more willing/interested to find out more about my faith! During dinner, they casually asked me what I do in church on Saturdays and even asked me why I believe in God.

I have been waiting on God to reveal to me how much He loves His people, and also for Him to reveal to me things about the four of them in terms of what they think about Christianity. In the waiting, I realised how impatient I am as a person, but that highlighted to me how patient and how kind God is, always in the waiting.

Days 7-8
I haven’t been able to wake up early … sigh. Today I’m reaching home later than usual because CCA ended late and I am very drained and all I want to do is sleep … UPDATE: Okay, so all I did was sleep … I fell asleep before I could pray. Honestly, I feel bad that I did not pray, because I feel like a ‘bad Christian’. Aiyo, so legalistic. God, come and shift my perspective!!

Day 9
As I was preparing for school, God reminded me of Jesus praying at Gethsemane and the disciples were found sleeping when asked to pray. It hit me then that that’s exactly what I’m doing! Jesus is always praying and anticipating the reward for His suffering and yet … I am found sleeping instead of praying. I found myself intentionally trying to pray for them even if it was my small pockets of time here and there throughout the day, and I thank God for smacking me in the face with reality.

Day 10
Today God showed me exactly what Bing has been struggling with and it really gripped my heart. I prayed that her eyes would be open to see herself in a different light because God calls her beautiful and I see the beauty in her character. As I prayed this prayer, God told me that’s exactly how He feels about me. Then I cried.

Day 11-14
Recently, I responded to an altar call and as I prayed, God revealed to me how much He loves my parents and how deep His desire is for them to know Him personally and intimately. I was so gripped by how a God so perfect can love men so imperfect, and still call us ‘dearly beloved’. I was encouraged to continue pressing in and praying for the salvation of my friends and family.

Day 15-18
The past few days have been tough on me. I wasn’t praying very … fervently? I was very restless and I felt like my heart wasn’t aligned with God’s. So I prayed for Him to hit me with a fresh urgency and to help me see the eternal value of this.

Days 19-20
I’ve been praying for their hearts to be open and receptive and for Him to guide my words and give me the right thing to say. Praying for them is easier than when I think about sharing the gospel. Not that I am ashamed, but it is so awkward to suddenly “change” and talk about something more serious/heavy. What if they see me differently? But as I was praying, I got reminded of something God convicted me of a while back — sharing the gospel/love of God with someone is not trying to ‘make them a Christian’ but it is for the Lamb to receive the reward of His suffering.

Day 21
I met Bing for dinner and she shared with me some of her struggles, and they were exactly what God revealed to me! I was like, “Wow, God, You really know us through and through!” After dinner, I dropped her a text telling her how much God loves her. Although she might not believe in Him, I am very glad God used me to speak truth and love to her tonight!

I have also been asking my parents to join my eldest sister and I in church on Sundays and I’m always faced with a big fat no, haha. I asked Bing and Shirwin to try coming for service with me! They have given their yes to that, and although it is not confirmed, I am glad their hearts are willing and open! Thank God, indeed!

FINAL THOUGHTS
One main takeaway throughout these 21 days is that God loves us and He knows us all individually, through and through. I’ve always felt like God was good to me but better to others. However, while God revealed His love for my parents and friends, He also reminded me that He loves me that way too! I can only marvel and say how great is My God! Although I did not manage to pray every single day and there were some days where I was dozing off, I’ve learnt that prayer and waiting really, really, really changes and shift things in the spiritual atmosphere! As I continue praying, I hope not to lose heart, and to persevere in prayer, knowing that I pray from a position of victory! 

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