[January 8, 2023]

Heartland Community Church


Prayer Rhythms

By Molly Fisher

If you were watching Monday Night Football last week, you not only watched a 24-year-old young man collapse on the field, but you watched teams huddle up and pray – on national television. Not all that long ago, a case reached the Supreme Court regarding a coach’s ability to pray with his players, but since last Monday, ESPN and key sports announcers have openly used the words prayer and the power of prayer. No grandstanding, no controversy, just an honest heartfelt reaction to circumstances beyond our control. When you reach the end of your understanding, there is prayer. God is waiting, he has been waiting, and he welcomes our questions, our anger, our grief, our confusion, as well as our thanks and our joy.

We turn to our “unseen Father” when we really don’t know where else to turn. You’ve probably heard that there are no atheists in foxholes, and maybe that there will be prayer in school as long as there are tests. Praying is what many of us do, when things don’t make sense, or when it’s all we can do for our friend who lost a husband/wife, when a parent gets a diagnosis of cancer, when we lose a job, or there has been an accident. Prayer is a last resort, or a first step, when we acknowledge we don’t really have control over anything. As we kick off 21 Days of Prayer at Heartland, it’s a chance to come to God daily, in small ways and set-aside time, to come to God before the crisis that will inevitably come.

There are no ”right ways” or “right words” to pray. You cannot get better at praying, but you can get better at setting aside time to pray. That’s what the 21 Days of Prayer is all about: to start a new habit, to create new priorities, to "make space." It’s not about how much time, or even what time, or where you are, but of getting into a daily rhythm. Dan suggested starting with 2 min 2X each day – we can do that!

Dan gave us a list of resources as we begin 21 days of prayer. I would add to those resources Day by Day, by Pete Scazzero. Day by Day, gives you a Bible passage, a thought about it and a prayer, 2 times a day for 40 days (and it’s really good!) I have also been reading Pete Greig’s book, How to Pray, a simple guide for normal people. In it is an analogy about prayer being like throwing rocks in a swamp. The first rock, the first many, sink to the bottom, out of sight, with seemingly little impact. However, if you keep throwing rocks in, a little at a time, over time, eventually a rock won’t sink, the swamp will disappear, and solid ground will form. Prayer can be a little like that – it can feel like there is no answer, no impact, but over time, if we keep throwing rocks/prayers, a solid foundation forms.

Find a quiet place to go (a room, a chair, your car). Pray while walking, running, moving. Pray with others (the Lord’s Prayer is entirely plural: our, us, we).

You can start this week on our morning Prayer Connects on Zoom, Monday – Friday at 6:45 AM. Join us Sunday mornings at Heartland at 8 AM to pray in the auditorium before services.

Use scripture to pray when you don’t know what to pray, find a Psalm that fits right where you are now, or say nothing – just quiet your heart, and be with God. Let God speak to your soul.


Join the Monday – Friday Zoom call at 6:45 AM.

Download the resource list for 21-Days of Prayer.

Watch this Sunday’s message here.


{Sunday, January 8}

Read Ephesians 3:14-21

Take this prayer of Paul’s and write it in your own words. As you go through this week, look for moments where you can ask for prayer or offer to pray with someone else. Who do you know that you could share your intentional prayer plan with? How could you encourage one another to see it through for 21 days?


{Monday, January 9}

Read Matthew 6:5-8

Do you dislike being asked to pray aloud? Worried about what to say? Jesus tells us not to pray so that others will be impressed, but to spend time with God on your own in a quiet place. Jesus asked His disciples to ”come with me to a quiet place, …“ He already knows us well, and what we want/need, He just wants us to spend time with Him. Sometimes, it is enough to just be – be still, be quiet, be real, be honest, just be (yourself) in God’s presence.


{Tuesday, January 10}

Read Hebrews 4:16

Do you turn to God in times of need? We are told we can approach God’s throne of grace in confidence. Lord, help me receive and extend mercy and grace to myself and with those I encounter today.


{Wednesday, January 11}

Read 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Can you find ways to be grateful today, to make that your focus? (We are called to give thanks ”in” all circumstances, not ”for” all circumstances.) Jesus, even though things are difficult (name those things), I trust that you have a plan, and I’m grateful.


{Thursday, January 12}

Read Philippians 4:6-7

In what areas do you need God’s peace, the kind that transcends understanding? Jesus, I come before you and give you my anxious thoughts about things I cannot control. I thank you that you are God (and that I am not).


{Friday, January 13}

Read 1 John 5:14-15

Even Jesus prayed that he not have to endure the suffering, but also said, “Your will be done.” Where are you seeking God’s will for you? Do you have confidence that the God of the universe has a will/plan for you and your life? How can you turn these thoughts into a prayer?


{Saturday, January 14}

Read Matthew 6:9-13

This is the prayer Jesus taught his disciples. (In Luke, it is preceded by Jesus being asked, ”Teach us to pray.”) I understand that in the original language this rhymed, it was a poem, one that can be said in 30 seconds, that a child can memorize, but that can sustain a lifetime of prayer. It’s my go to prayer – just as is, or to spend time in each stanza, reflecting on what is going on in my life. If it’s the prayer Jesus gave us, there is value in using it, when you are at a loss for other words. If you don’t know what to pray, or how to pray, pray this prayer.



{extra journey resources}

CLICK HERE to visit The Bible Project site and explore their super simple, super informative Bible videos (and other resources). You can also download The Bible Project App HERE.

CLICK HERE to get the Read Scripture App, from our friends at The Bible Project.

CLICK HERE for more on how to use the observe-reflect-apply approach to getting the most out of your Bible reading.

The Bible App Get the free YouVersion Bible for your phone, tablet, or computer. Experience the Bible anywhere, with options to highlight, save notes, and share what you are reading with others.

The Bible App For Kids YouVersion partnered with OneHope to develop the Bible App for Kids, designing it specifically to engage children with Bible stories on an age-appropriate level. The Bible App for Kids is a free app for Android, Apple, and Kindle devices, available in over 60 languages.

Bible Gateway Provides advanced Bible searching capabilities, which allow readers to find passages in scripture based on keywords, phrases, or scripture reference.

Please visit us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter and share what you are learning, questioning or experiencing. We love conversations!


© 2023 Heartland Community Church

12175 S Strang Line Road, Olathe, KS 66062

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