The 40 Hours of Prayer will begin at 7 pm on Thursday, April 1st, and ending at 10 am on Saturday, April 3rd. Every hour, there is a prayer prompt to guide us in prayer as a church body during these final days of Lent. May these hours be a time of focusing on Jesus, preparing our hearts to celebrate the resurrection and the new life offered to all of us in Jesus Christ!
LIVE PRAYER TIMES: Pastors Mike and Kelly will be live on Facebook at 7 pm on Thursday and 12 pm on Friday to lead a live prayer time. Please join us live, pray with us, and share prayer requests!
Thursday, April 1st : On this final night of Jesus’ life, he gathered with the disciples for a last meal together. Then, they crossed the Kidron Valley to the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus agonized in prayer and was arrested. The evening hours begin the trials of Jesus.
7 pm: “And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights…” Genesis 7: 12. Noah had clearly heard God’s call to build the Ark, and when his family was safe inside along with the animals, the rain fell for 40 days and 40 nights. We lift up prayers this hour for safety for those who need shelter physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
8 pm: “After forty days Noah opened the window he had made in the ark and sent out a raven, and it kept flying back and forth until the water dried up from the earth.” Genesis 8:6. After these many days of waiting in the ark, Noah is trying to determine what is happening outside the ark and if the waters were receding. We lift up prayers this hour for direction for those who have gone through a time of being more isolated and who are seeking ways to connect with others again.
9 pm: “Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebekah…” Genesis 25:20. God had directed Abraham’s servant to just the woman God had chosen for Isaac. We lift up prayers this hour for those who are single, may God’s timing be perfect for a spouse and a marriage that will glorify God.
10 pm: “Then Jonah began to go through the city one day’s walk; and he cried out and said, ‘Yet forty days and Nineveh will be overthrown.’” Jonah had been a reluctant prophet, unwilling at first to follow God’s call to preach repentance to the people of Nineveh. We lift up prayers this hour for those who are feeling a call to ministry in parish ministry or church leadership. May God make the call clear and may they discover how God will use them to preach the gospel of repentance and forgiveness in word and deed.
11 pm: “When Moses was forty years old, he decided to visit his fellow Israelites.” Acts 7:23. In his final words, Stephen preached the story of God’s faithfulness to the Jews for generations. We lift up prayers this hour for those who have difficult family histories like Moses who struggle with their identity as a child of God.
Friday, April 2nd: In these early hours of the night, Jesus is brought before the religious leaders and eventually brought to trial before Pontius Pilate. In a hurry to punish and crucify him before sundown on the Passover (Friday), Jesus is beaten and forced to carry the cross to the top of a hill outside Jerusalem. For three hours, he hangs on the cross until he finally says “it is finished” and his earthly life comes to an end on Friday afternoon before sundown.
12 am: “After forty years had passed, an angel appeared to Moses in the flames of a burning bush in the desert near Mount Sinai.” Acts 7:30. In the second forty years of Moses’ life, he is in the desert, fleeing from Pharoah’s wrath. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob calls to him again in the miraculous form of a burning bush. We lift up prayers this hour for those who hide in fear and shame from family members, loved ones, and friends. We pray for restoration and forgiveness in our families.
1 am: “He (Moses) led them out of Egypt and did wonders and miraculous signs in Egypt, at the Red Sea, and for forty years in the desert.” Acts 7:36. In the last forty years of Moses’ life, he is leading the people of Israel as they wander in the wilderness. Moses will pass away before he enters the Promised Land because of a moment of frustration. We lift up prayers this hour for those who are struggling with disappointment and we pray for God’s hope to fill them in a new way.
2 am: “When I went up to the mountain to receive the tablets of stone, the tablets of the covenant which the Lord had made with you, then I remained on the mountain forty days and nights; I neither ate bread nor drank water.” Deuteronomy 9:9. As Moses reflected on his life before going to be with the Lord, he recalls the first time he went up the mountain to receive the tablets of the Law. The covenant was a conditional promise, a contract of behavior. We lift up prayers this hour for those who serve in law enforcement, courtrooms, and in the legislature. We pray for protection and wisdom as they create and enforce standards of behavior for our society.
3 am: “So he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights; he did not eat bread or drink water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments.” Exodus 34:28 Moses is on the mountain again as he destroyed the first tablets in anger after seeing the Israelites descend into idol worship. We lift up prayers this hour for those who are in prisons and jails, we pray for the power of your forgiveness to set them free from wrongdoing and give them a new start in life.
4 am: “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry.” Matthew 4:1-2. In the wilderness, Jesus struggled with physical hunger and thirst. We lift up prayers for those this hour who hunger and thirst around the world. We pray for the protection of food supplies, abundant harvests, and clean water sources.
5 am: “And He was in the wilderness forty days being tempted by Satan; and He was with the wild beasts, and the angels were ministering to Him.” Mark 1:13. In the wilderness, Jesus struggled with spiritual attack from Satan, feeling vulnerable spiritually and physically. In these morning hours as he has endured trials and accusations and beatings, he is feeling the weight of spiritual and physical attack. We lift up prayers this hour for our brothers and sisters around the world who are suffering persecution because of following Jesus. We pray that God would give them strength to endure and to be a testimony to many.
6 am: “Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led around by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil.” Luke 4:1-2. In the wilderness, Jesus was still full of the Spirit and led by the Spirit. We lift up prayers this hour for the Holy Spirit to fill us, to pray for us, and to show us how to pray when we don’t have the words to say.
7 am: “At the end of forty days they returned from exploring the land. They came back to Moses and Aaron and the whole Israelite community at Kadesh in the Desert of Paran. There they reported to them and to the whole assembly and showed them the fruit of the land.” Numbers 13:25-26. As the Israelites prepared to enter the Promised Land, 12 spies were sent out to go through the land for 40 days. Ten of the spies said it was impossible, two of them said that God would fight for them. The Israelites listened to the ten and an entire generation was kept out of this land with good fruit! We lift up prayers this hour for our outreach as a church in the community and digitally, we pray for many to hear the gospel and for good fruit in their lives. Help us not to be discouraged or afraid to share the gospel with all those around us!
8 am: “The Philistine came forward morning and evening for forty days and took his stand.” 1 Samuel 17:16 Goliath taunted the armies of Israel for forty days until a young man named David stepped forward to meet the challenge. We lift up prayers this hour for our youth and students, we pray for the “Goliaths” they face in life with culture, worries, and uncertainties. We pray God would raise them up in courage and strength.
9 am: “So he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mountain of God.” 1 Kings 19:8 Elijah was filled up by the heavenly food to be able to make this journey. We lift up prayers this hour for those who are moving to a new place, near or far. We pray for them to find a church family to love them and support them. We pray for you to use them as a blessing in the community where they are going.
10 am: “To these He also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God.” Acts 1:3. Imagine the despair the disciples are feeling right now as Jesus is carrying his cross to the hill, nailed to the cross, and spending hours in agony. The hope of resurrection was not yet realized on this difficult Friday! We lift up prayers this hour for those who mourn the loss of loved ones and friends, we pray for the hope of resurrection to comfort them and keep them.
11 am: “According to the number of days which you spied out the land, forty days, for every day you shall bear your guilt a year, even forty years, and you will know My opposition.” Numbers 14:34. The Israelites bore the guilt of their lack of faith for those forty years. We lift up prayers this hour for those who live with regret over a decision or decisions in their life. We pray that they would leave this regret at the foot of the cross and know that Jesus took away their guilt totally and completely.
12 pm: “At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon.” Mark 15:33. After a long night, Jesus is nailed to the cross at 9 am. From noon until 3 pm, the mysterious exchange of his life for our sins was taking place. We lift up this hour prayers of repentance, asking God to reveal to us any areas of our lives still in darkness, still untouched by God’s grace. We place these burdens at the foot of the cross.
1 pm: The hours of darkness continue as Jesus cries out “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”, quoting from Psalm 22, a messianic prophecy written by his descendant, King David. We lift up this hour prayers of releasing others from our anger and hurt. We place these burdens at the foot of the cross.
2 pm: The hours of darkness continue as Jesus thirsts and is only offered a sponge with vinegar, making the thirst worse! We lift up this hours prayers of asking God to see others as He sees them. Jesus forgives his tormentors, knowing that they are unaware of what they are doing.
3 pm: The hours of darkness come to an end with Jesus breathing his last, the curtain in the Temple tears in two, and the saintly men and women who have died are now breaking out of the their tombs and walking around the land! We lift up prayers of asking God to help us see the supernatural around us, to live in the reality of a spiritual world where God is at work and we join with the saints before us in the work of God on earth!
4 pm: “So the Lord’s anger burned against Israel, and He made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until the entire generation of those who had done evil in the sight of the Lord was destroyed.” Numbers 32:13. We can only imagine the despair the disciples must feel. As Jesus’ body is taken down from the cross, a work has been completed, the work of redemption. We lift up prayers this hour for those who fear the condemnation of God, may the Holy Spirit help them to spiritually live in the 40 days after Christ’s resurrection and not in the 40 years of wandering in the desert.
5 pm: The preparations for Passover must be completed by sundown, bodies must be buried by sundown. Jesus’ body is buried in a tomb, sealed, and guarded. “For the Lord your God has blessed you in all that you have done; He has known your wanderings through this great wilderness. These forty years the Lord your God has been with you; you have not lacked a thing.” Deuteronomy 2:7. When Jesus talked about his death, he referred back to the sign of Jonah when Jonah was in the belly of a large fish for 3 days. In the same way, Jesus would be in “the depths of the earth” for 3 days. He was setting captives free! We lift up prayers this hour for those who have resisted the gospel, we pray for Jesus to powerfully intervene in their lives to show them the truth of who he is.
6 pm: “The sons of Israel ate the manna forty years, until they came to an inhabited land; they ate the manna until they came to the border of the land of Canaan.” Exodus 16:35. We lift up prayers this hour for those who need God’s provision financially, we pray for God to provide the “manna” they need for each day and a little extra so they might rest.
7 pm: “For the Lord your God has blessed you in all that you have done; He has known your wanderings through this great wilderness. These forty years the Lord your God has been with you; you have not lacked a thing.” Deuteronomy 2:7. We lift up prayers this hour for those who need God’s provision spiritually, we pray for God to provide the “manna” they need in knowing God’s presence with them.
8 pm: “Indeed, forty years You provided for them in the wilderness and they were not in want; Their clothes did not wear out, nor did their feet swell.” Nehemiah 9:21. We lift up prayers this hour for those needing God’s provision physically with any health needs. We pray for healing and for strength.
9 pm: “ You shall remember all the way which the Lord your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.” Deuteronomy 8:24. We lift up prayers this hour for God’s provision in changing our hearts to seek after Him instead of seeking our own way. Help us, God, to follow you and keep your commands with our whole hearts.
10 pm: “I have led you forty years in the wilderness; your clothes have not worn out on you, and your sandal has not worn out on your foot.” Deuteronomy 29:5. We lift up prayers this hour for God’s provision of encouragement for those who are weary in the journey. Show us, God, how we can help “strengthen the sandals” of those who are wandering right now.
11 pm: “It was I who brought you up from the land of Egypt, and I led you in the wilderness forty years that you might take possession of the land of the Amorite.” Amos 2:10. We lift up prayers this hour for our world, we place the events of history in your hands, knowing that you are working in all times and places and peoples for your kingdom to come. Help us trust in you when we struggle with the strife and difficulty we see around us.
Saturday, April 3rd: This is traditionally referred to as “Holy Saturday”, a time of reflection and quiet as we remember the work of Christ on the cross and as he descends into hell. In the hours of the Passover, the disciples and followers of Jesus cannot go to his tomb and anoint his body yet until the Passover is over. They are waiting in darkness, despair, and grief.
12 am: Twelve hours after darkness came upon the land as Christ completed the redemptive work on the cross, the physical darkness of night gives some cover to the fear the disciples feel. Years later, John speaks to the light Jesus brings into our lives: “In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5. We lift up praises this hour that God Almighty the Creator did not abandon His creation to sin and death, but came to us in flesh and blood, facing these hours of death so that the creation may be restored to relationship with Him.
1 am: We lift up praises this hour that God Almighty the Father did not abandon His son to the grave, and does not abandon us to the grave, but gives us the opportunity to become sons and daughters of God, following the firstborn, Jesus Christ. “The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.” Colossians 1:15.
2 am: We lift up praises this hour that God the Son was willing to humble himself and become a servant to all. May we follow him in this example, serving others with the love of Christ. “Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” Philippians 2:1-4.
3 am: We lift up praises this hour that God the Holy Spirit is praying the prayers for us when we cannot find the words. We pray for any burdens we are carrying in this late hour, “ In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.” Romans 8:26-27.
4 am: We lift up praises this hour that God the Redeemer has been speaking to God’s people for all generations, giving Job in the midst of his pain and suffering a vision of history’s end. We pray for God to give us visions of redemption, of our Redeemer: “I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!” Job 19:25-27.
5 am: “Then the land had rest forty years.” Judges 3:11. We lift up prayers this hour for our nation. We pray for justice, unity, and wisdom for all of our leaders. We pray for healing in our land and for strife to be overcome by brotherhood and sisterhood.
6 am: “Thus let all Your enemies perish, O Lord; But let those who love Him be like the rising of the sun in its might. And the land was undisturbed for forty years.” Judges 5:31. Another period of rest for 40 years. We lift up prayers this hour for parts of the world that are closed to the preaching of the gospel, we pray for the doors to open for the word of God to be read and preached as the people of God freely worship.
7 am: The Passover hours continue, and the Sabbath day continues. “Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the LORD your God has commanded you.” Deuteronomy 5:20. The disciples and followers of Jesus are still not permitted to go to Jesus’ tomb and anoint his body as this would be considered “work” on the Sabbath day. We lift up prayers this hour for the people of God to learn how to keep the Sabbath day holy, to intentionally set aside a day for rest from labors and to focus on the worship of God.
8 am: “Then they asked for a king, and God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years.” Acts 13:21. King Saul reigned in Israel for forty years, but he lost his kingdom because he disobeyed God. He was impatient and fearful when Samuel did not arrive to do the sacrifices. He saw his men start to scatter, and so he offered the sacrifice himself. Because of his impatience and fear, the kingdom was taken away from him. We lift up prayers this hour for those times in our lives when we are tempted to act quickly out of fear, we pray for God to give us His patience and to show us His perfect timing.
9 am: “The period which he reigned over Israel was forty years; he reigned in Hebron seven years and in Jerusalem thirty-three years.” 1 Chronicles 29:27. King David, who took over the throne after Saul, ruled in Israel for forty years. God blessed him and gave him Jerusalem as his capital city. King David’s son, Solomon, rules in Jerusalem forty years and builds the Temple. Jesus died in Jerusalem at the age of 33 right outside of Jerusalem. We lift up prayers this hour for God to help us understand what it means to be Temples of the Holy Spirit. Help us, God, to use our physical bodies for your service and to keep our minds, hearts, souls, and spirits focused on you.
10 am: “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David, has triumphed.” Revelation 5:5. Before the throne of God, there are 4 living creatures, the Lamb of God has 7 horns and 7 eyes (representing the Spirit of God), and surrounded by 24 elders= 40. In Revelation chapter 5, we see the final forty of scripture in this vision of God’s throne. We lift up this prayers this hour for God’s kingdom to come in our world (the living creatures), in each one of us (the Lamb and the Spirit), and in the church (the 24 elders).
THIS CONCLUDES OUR 40 HOURS OF PRAYER! We look forward to celebrating with you on Easter Sunday: 8:15 GBPCouch (online), 9 am (in person if you have made a reservation and also live-streamed), 10:30 am (In person if you have made a reservation and also live-streamed).