Day 17: Prayer of Confession

Admitting to areas where we’re falling short can be difficult. But as Pastor Jim shares in today’s video, prayers of confession are the only path to the true freedom God has in store for us.


  • Do you have a story about experiencing God through prayer?
  • What is something that has inspired you in your prayer life?
  • Can we pray with you about a challenge you are facing?

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Day 16: Does Prayer Change Things?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been uncomfortable with prayer. My mind always gets in the way of what seems to be such a simple spiritual practice. I think things like, “Why am I saying this? God already knows it. Isn’t that irritating to Him?” Thoughts flood my mind: “If God has a plan already, what’s the point of praying for something to change? Isn’t it going to happen with or without my involvement?”

People have tried to soothe my puzzled thoughts over the years. Authors, preachers, theologians, scholars. Friends and family. “Analysis is paralysis,” they say. “Stop overthinking it.” Others respond, “Yes, He already knows your thoughts. But this is about relationship. Don’t you want your kids to talk to you?” One theologian will tell me, “God’s not dependent on your prayers,” while another says, “God is waiting for you to pray.” Sigh.

Much of the input I’ve received has been helpful. But it never seems quite enough. I then stumbled on a word picture one day. A simple metaphor that somehow resonated with me. It made sense. Written by an Anglican priest born in the 1800s:

“[A man] turns to his companion and says, ‘The fishermen have caught a lot of fish today.’ To his eyes, the only important element in the scene he sees is the fisherman. Yet, in reality, the fisherman is only one, and by far the most insignificant, of all the factors that have brought the fish into the boat. The wind, the tide, the warm currents in the sea, all of them mighty and irresistible forces, have had most to do with the result. The fisherman has only cooperated with them. But although his share was so small, it was most necessary. And this may serve as a picture of the work of intercession.”

As Jesus taught us in Luke 11:1-13, it really is true: “The utterly amazing thing is that He has ordained to include us in running the universe. He really does respond to our prayers. They are woven into the fabric of causes that God wills to be moved by. We do not pray in vain. He is our Father. And when He hears His children, He responds. He is not deaf or indifferent or powerless. He hears and he acts.” (John Piper)

My friend, you do not pray in vain. So pray!


  • Do you have a story about experiencing God through prayer?
  • What is something that has inspired you in your prayer life?
  • Can we pray with you about a challenge you are facing?

Use #28daysGraceOC on social media and join the experience at https://28days.graceoc.com/join.

Day 15: Forgiveness

Forgiveness is a powerful truth that changes our whole outlook on the world when we truly understand it. In this video, Pastor Jarrod shares the key insights from this weekend’s message.


  • Do you have a story about experiencing God through prayer?
  • What is something that has inspired you in your prayer life?
  • Can we pray with you about a challenge you are facing?
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Day 14: The Glue of Relationships

Openness with others is how we build long-lasting relationships. It’s the same with God. Today Pastor Jake Hackel demonstrates the connection between prayer and how we relate to those around us.


  • Do you have a story about experiencing God through prayer?
  • What is something that has inspired you in your prayer life?
  • Can we pray with you about a challenge you are facing?

Use #28daysGraceOC on social media and join the experience at https://28days.graceoc.com/join.

Day 13: Every Need

As I go to God in prayer, one of the things I’m told to pray for is that my needs will be met. Jesus instructs us to ask, each day, that God would provide “our daily bread” (Luke 11:3).

Later in the Bible, the Apostle Paul shares his own personal experience with how God has met his needs. Philippians 4 is an epic passage that reveals some powerful truths about how we can find satisfaction for our every need. For example, we’re told to not be anxious about anything, but “in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6). And many of us are familiar with the promise found further into the chapter, where Paul writes, “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19).

I’ll never forget when our Senior Pastor spent time with these verses a year or so back. I was wrestling with how God meets our needs and answers our requests. What does it mean that God would meet all my needs? I’d seen people “holier that me” have prayers and requests go un-granted. There had been times in my own life where I felt disappointed with God saying “no”, or “not yet”. What are these “riches of his glory in Christ Jesus” the Bible is talking about? That’s when Pastor Jarrod made the connection for me, and it changed my prayer life forever.

You see there’s a “secret” Paul mentions between verse 6 and verse 19. It reads like this:

I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:12-13)

How can I know that my needs will be met when I go to God in prayer? What is Paul’s “secret” for facing time of plenty, hunger, abundance and need? The secret is this: living through “Him” who strengthens me.

When I can see how Jesus Himself is my ultimate need in any and every circumstance, He Himself will be the satisfaction of my every need.

Christ, HIMSELF, will be the answer in every need. HE will be enough. Financially, practically, emotionally, spiritually, physically, in the most trivial situations and for all eternity, in our pursuit of meaning, in our frustrations with circumstances… somehow Christ HIMSELF will be enough to give me strength to handle these needs. It’s not that the riches and the blessing and the answers are separate from Jesus. It’s that they find their place and priority only in the light of Jesus being everything to me. It’s the only ultimate truth that could truly satisfy our souls: HE will meet every need according to God’s glorious riches IN Christ Jesus.

Now when I pray, in times of financial need or personal struggle, when I feel lonely or defeated or need provision for strength throughout the day, I begin by asking for Jesus to be enough for me. That those very real and very particular needs would be satisfied first and foremost by a greater understanding of Jesus in my life and at work in my circumstances. My prayer is now that Jesus would be glorified and that I would find satisfaction in Him and in having Him as my greatest treasure and the ultimate answer in every need.

There’s a worship song we’ve done at Grace that I still sing in private times of prayer with God. It’s called “Everything”, performed by Tim Hughes, and it’s my prayer today:

God in my living, there in my breathing
God in my waking, God in my sleeping
God in my resting, there in my working
God in my thinking, God in my speaking
Be my everything, Be my everything
Be my everything, Be my everything

God in my hoping, there in my dreaming
God in my watching, God in my waiting
God in my laughing, there in my weeping
God in my hurting, God in my healing
Be my everything, Be my everything
Be my everything, Be my everything

Christ in me, Christ in me, Christ in me the hope of glory

You are everything


  • Do you have a story about experiencing God through prayer?
  • What is something that has inspired you in your prayer life?
  • Can we pray with you about a challenge you are facing?

Use #28daysGraceOC on social media and join the experience at https://28days.graceoc.com/join.

Day 12: Persistence in Prayer

Sometimes it seems like our prayers bounce off the ceiling or that God isn’t listening. Pastor Bill shares about why and how we should continue praying even when no answer seems to come.


  • Do you have a story about experiencing God through prayer?
  • What is something that has inspired you in your prayer life?
  • Can we pray with you about a challenge you are facing?

Use #28daysGraceOC on social media and join the experience at https://28days.graceoc.com/join.