Day 17: 21 Days of Prayer

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…let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire. (Hebrews 12:28-29)

Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before The Lord, our Maker! (Psalm 95:6)

Great and glorious Lord! Thank you for worship….for building into our hearts the desire to lift You up and make Your name and Your fame great for all the world to see. We confess that we often worship other gods, whether it is people or stuff or careers or whatever else catches our attention. Forgive our idolatry Lord and restore in us Your rightful place as the object of our affections.

Thank you Lord for the team of volunteers you have brought to Ridge Church to lead us corporately in worship. There are many talented musicians and artists among us and we praise you and thank you for the talents You have given each of them. Protect them from pride, God, as it can be so easy in our culture to idolize those with musical talents. I pray that each one’s relationship with You is growing and thriving as they seek You daily. May You lead us in worship through our worship team.

Thank you as well for those that work behind the scenes in the production areas of sound, lighting, and computers. As they serve You every week, use them to create an environment where we as a church can be ushered into Your amazing presence. Be glorified through these faithful volunteers, Lord!

Amen

Day 16: 21 Days of Prayer

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Our prayer at the Ridge has always been that we would be more than a church in the city of Oak Ridge. We want to be a church that is for the city of Oak Ridge. We want to be a church that our community looks to for help, for resources, and for answers. The question that we always ask ourselves is this: “If we closed our doors today, would the city of Oak Ridge miss us?” We want that answer to be “yes!”

In the Old Testament, in response to Israel’s serial idolatry and wickedness, God sent them into exile. He allowed the nation of Babylon to conquer them and carry them off to a distant land to live as slaves. In the midst of this trial, God sent a message to them through a preacher named Jeremiah.

Here it is:
This is the Message from God-of-the-Angel-Armies, Israel’s God, to all the exiles I’ve taken from Jerusalem to Babylon: “Build houses and make yourselves at home. Put in gardens and eat what grows in that country. Marry and have children. Encourage your children to marry and have children so that you’ll thrive in that country and not waste away. Make yourselves at home there and work for the country’s welfare. Pray for Babylon’s well-being. If things go well for Babylon, things will go well for you.”

You may be able to influence something from a distance, but you have to be close to have an impact. Some churches are so removed, so isolated from the culture that they have no hope of impact. We want to be different.

Today, let’s pray for Oak Ridge’s well-being. Let’s pray for our elected officials. Let’s pray for our emergency responders. Let’s pray for our educators and our civil servants. And while we’re at it, let’s pray for our neighbors. Pray that God would bless them and that He would open doors of opportunity for us to serve them. Pray that we would be sensitive to the needs all around us.

Mayor Tom Beehan
Mayor Pro Tem D. Jane Miller
City Council Members
Trina Baughn
Ann Garcia Garland
Charlie Hensley
Chuck Hope
David N. Mosby

For those of you who want to go the extra mile today, send them a note and let them know you prayed for them today.

Day 15: 21 Days of Prayer

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Choices Resource Center

According to research by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, one third of all births in the United States are unintended.  The report also notes that rates are often higher in Southern states.  The Alan Guttmacher Institute found that nearly four in 10 unintended pregnancies end in abortion.  Further, it is estimated that at least half of American women will experience an unintended pregnancy by age 45, and, at current rates, one in 10 women will have an abortion by age 20, one in four by age 30, and three in 10 by age 45.

For more than twenty years Choices Resource Center has provided support to men and women facing unplanned pregnancies and related sexual issues.  Located in Oak Ridge, Choices is a Pro-life ministry offering a host of services including:

  • Pregnancy tests and optional counseling in a confidential setting
  • Accurate information and practical help for women with unplanned pregnancies
  • Ultrasounds for women at risk for abortion through our medical clinic
  • Limited STD testing for males and females
  • A 24 hour helpline
  • A sexual integrity program for youth
  • Parenting classes (including material items such as diapers and car seats)
  • A post-abortion ministry

Our parenting classes meet on Monday evenings from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Wednesday afternoons from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.  Topics vary from week to week, and Bible studies are also available.

All our services are free of charge and everyone is welcome.  In addition to the services listed above, Choices strives to offer unconditional love, accurate information, and support to enable men and women to make life-affirming choices for themselves and their children.

There are a couple of ways that you can pray for Choices:

  1. Please pray that every woman or girl in our community who is contemplating abortion would find her way to our ministry.  Also pray that we would courageously share the love of Christ with each of them, and that we would see unprecedented salvation of souls – and babies.
  2. Please pray that God would move in the hearts of men and women who will agree to walk alongside us as office volunteers.  Volunteers are a critical part of our ministry and we can’t function effectively without them.

For more information or to get involved, visit our web site at choicesresource.com

 

Day 14: 21 Days of Prayer

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Happy Monday Everyone!
We are now over half way through our 21 days!  If you’ve missed a few, go back today and read through and pray over them.
Today we are lifting up our newly formed Recovery ministry.  The Recovery ministry is currently meeting each week in groups and will officially launch this fall.  We want to pray today for it’s leaders, those that God will draw and the impact we know and believe it will have on this community, helping deliver people from their hurts, destructive habits and the things that hold us back from being what God has made us to be.
Dear Heavenly Father 
Thank you so much for this recovery ministry, thank you for the committed people that volunteer to be a part of it to help change lives. Thank you for the heart and the love that these people show each week as we meet together and thank you for the bonds that are being created. This morning I surrender this recovery ministry to you, it is not my ministry, and it is not the Ridge’s ministry. It is your ministry, it  is your hurting people that need to know your love.
I pray that you can show us how we can reach people and show them your love and your peace through this recovery ministry. I pray that you can show us the path that you want us to take to make this happen. I believe that you have put this on our hearts and on our minds you have made this part of the fiber of this church. I believe that you’re going to make it better than we could ever imagine. I pray that you send us mighty warriors to be able to go on the ground and lift up your name. I pray that you can send people that will have a background in recovery and people that need recovery.
 I pray you send people that love you as their Savior and people that need you as their Savior.  I pray that people understand the charge that has been given to us, I pray that the community will support us, I pray that we will use our pasts,  our hurts, and  our hangups as tools to be able to reach people where they are, and show them your unconditional love.
Thank you Jesus for everything that you do for us. Thank you for hanging on the cross so we don’t have to carry these burdens. Let us be your hands and your feet, let us go out to the community and fill  needs and help families. God please lead us in your direction.  
In Jesus name,

Day 13: 21 Days of Prayer

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Today we are praying that God would continue you to lead us, inspire us and give us the passion to be a generous people.  Paul tells us in 2 Corinthains 8 and 9 to be generous, sacrificial, and regular with our resources.  That includes money, but is not limited to money.  Being a generous church and people goes far beyond a dollar value.  Let us join together today as we pray for that generosity to stretch far beyond anything we could ever ask! (Eph. 3:20)
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for the gift of The Ridge Church, thank you for the people that fill the seats every Sunday. Let us continue to grow as a generous church. Let us be generous with our gifts, our talents, our time, our tithes and offerings. Without you we would have nothing to offer.
Thank you for giving us a heart for this community and please show us where and how we can give back to this community with our offerings and actions.
Lord guide is to be a generous church.
Amen

Day 12: 21 Days of Prayer

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It is our belief at the Ridge, one of the best ways to reach into communities and new people is through the planting of new churches.  You may say, “but we already have so many churches.”  You are correct in your thinking, however, just because a church exists, does not mean it’s effective in reaching people.  We need a both/and approach to church planting.  We need new churches and we need to revitalize existing churches.  We at the Ridge know that we’ve been called to continue in those things. Let’s not ever forget, the Ridge is a church plant that will plant churches.

So today, let’s pray for church planting and how Ridge Church will be part of that, whether it’s through launching new campuses, helping re-plant existing churches, or merging with like minded churches to advance God’s Kingdom.

Father, 

You have been so good to us by giving us the opportunity to be light in darkness.  Thank you for giving us the call to plant, re-plant and revitalize in our communities.  Father give us the wisdom to know when and where to go next, the resources to reach deep into the communities that you will draw us to and the influence to make an impact for your glory.  Bring to us like-minded men and women that have a passion to advance your Kingdom through church planting and churches that also have that same vision.  Give us the opportunity to help be catalysts in revitalizing existing churches through resources, people, prayer and and leaders.  Give us the opportunity to partner with like-minded churches and organizations to reach deep into this region, for your name, your glory and YOUR KINGDOM.  

Father resource us with wisdom, influence, passion, people and resources to accomplish what you’ve called us to.

Amen

Day 11: 21 Days of Prayer

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Over the last year, Ridge Church has almost doubled in size.  We celebrate that but we also have to embrace it’s new challenges.  One of those new challenges is making new connections and building relationships with others who may be new to the Ridge.
Today let’s pray for those new relationships that are forming and for those who are now finding their connections at the Ridge.
Lord, thank you for loving us right where we are. Thank you for placing people in our paths that we can spend time with, get to know, and come to rely on. Thank you for the relationships that you have formed through The Ridge, and thank you for the relationships that will be formed through The Ridge.  
I pray these relationships can be open and honest and have one common theme and that is to seek you and your ways. I pray that you can create bonds that are safe, healthy, and exactly the way you intend them to me.
I pray for the future partnerships between the ridge and other churches, and businesses in our community. Lord please let them see you through us. Let us be good examples of your love, your grace, and your hope. Thank you for all that you do for us and through us in Jesus’s name
 Amen

Day 10: 21 Days of Prayer

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“And after six days Jesus took him peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light.” Matthew 17:1-2 (ESV)

 

Jesus led some of his disciples to a place where they were alone with Him, and in that place He revealed himself in new ways. Like Moses in the Old Testament when he was led up onto a Mountain to meet with God and it was there that He carved out laws and revealed his plans for the people he asked Moses to lead. Our Ridge Church elders are planning a retreat where they too will have an encounter with the Almighty God and offer up their plans to Him. It’s in that place of quiet examination and prayerful searching that the Holy Spirit will have His way in the hearts and minds of our Elders. It is for that time that we pray today.

 

Almighty God,

 

You, who hung the stars in the dark matter of the universe,

You, who crafted humanness from nothingness to bare your image,

All power and Majesty, all beauty and honor and glory be yours alone.

 

We ask that you guide our Elders, that you rest on their consciousness the weight of your glory, and submerge them in your love like a fresh baptism in the ocean of your great love for them. Father, cleanse them from the impurities that they might have gathered, walking through the dust of this fallen earth and refresh their spirits with the living water that only you can provide. Breathe new life into the disparaging places and plant new seeds of faith in the desolation of unbelief so that they might grow and produce a harvest that will feed the people you have sent them to lead.

Spread your wings wide to shelter their families, gather them near as a Mother Eagle would and give them peace knowing that you are the one whom wills the sun to set and the moon to rise and that their families are safe in your hands. We pray that you allow them to share the stories of your goodness and your continual grace in the camp-fire community, with vulnerability and openness, which only brothers can share and knit their hearts together as such.

As they submit their plans for the future of Ridge Church on the alter of your grace, lead them to change, to speak truth, to bare their hearts and souls to you and to one another so that man’s wisdom does not triumph over your plans. Impart to them truth that is only discernible by the Holy Spirit and give them confirmations in their hearts. We ask that they receive all that you would offer to them with gratitude and humility so that we too might receive with clean hearts the fruit that you are growing through them.

Help the elders of Ridge Church to make manifest an image of your Kingdom and provide them with the tools necessary to do this. Protect them, Lion of Judah, for your works have made possible the effects of grace that have been seen at Ridge Church and will be responsible for all those yet to come. You are the one with the power to Rebuke, to erect hedges of protection, to banish from that place and time any opposition from the enemy. We also pray against any intellectual or fleshly interference and ask that you use this time as a reminder to our Elders of their dependence on you for all things. Our ways are not your ways, Jesus. Our thoughts are not your thoughts, Father. Make us new, again and again by the power that flows from the Cross and may all roads lead to that place of ultimate transformation that we may lift you up and watch as you draw others to yourself. Thank you for allowing us the privilege of witnessing all that you are doing at Ridge Church through our Elders, bless them and keep them as only you can,

In Jesus’s Mighty Name, Amen.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:9

 

Day 9: 21 Days of Prayer

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Today we are praying for our kids ministry at the Ridge, called Ridge Kids and it’s leaders and volunteers.  Darren Light (newly installed Kids Director, taking Denira’s place) and Andrea Herrell are the fearless leaders of our Ridge Kids ministry.  Let’s joining in praying for them and all the amazing partners that make Ridge Kids so amazing each week.

Thank you for Ridge Kids. The life and excitement and curiosity that children bring is precious gift. May we as a church never forget this, but nurture it. May we point our kids constantly to life in Christ as we reflect the gospel to them through our actions and words. 
Thank you for the many leaders and volunteers in Ridge Kids. They are some of the unsung heroes of our church family. I pray a blessing over them as they serve every week by teaching and loving the children that come through our doors. Give them wisdom, love, compassion, and energy as they lead and serve. 
The kids are our church’s next generation of leaders and workers. Help us to teach them about the gospel so that they are firmly rooted in You as they face the wickedness this world will throw at them every single day. Protect these precious little ones, O God! And I pray that who they are will only be defined by who YOU say that are, and no one else. 
Finally, I pray for all of the parents with kids involved in Ridge Kids. May they seek You first and foremost in their daily lives so that they can reflect You to their kids. And may we as a church join with these parents to help them raise their children on a godly manner. 
Amen. 

Day 8: 21 Days of Prayer

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For day #8 of 21 days of prayer, we are praying for another church and church planter we sponsor.  Today let’s lift up JR Isham, his family and Masterpiece Church in Powell Tennessee.  JR is committed to making disciples who make disciples who will make disciples.  Disciple making can be a slow and grueling process, but ultimately, it’s what God has called all believers to do.  It’s their laser sharped focus, so let’s pray for more and more opportunities for them.

Father,

We lift up JR, his family and what you’ve called him to in this season.  Give him wisdom to press into your voice, to listen well, and do as you lead.  Protect his family, lead them and grow them in this season to see your work in your people.  Give them opportunities to engage others; people that are far from you and people that are being awakened to your voice.  We pray for those who are walking with JR and pray that they get a white-hot passion for seeing others know you deeper and that they themselves will grow in their own discipleship.  Renew today their passion for those who are far from you, in their communities, schools, homes, and neighborhoods.

In Jesus Name