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How to Jump-Start Your Prayer Life This Month

Written by Don Bartemus on

My wife gasped in alarm. “Watch out for that car!” My adrenaline surged and I was at full alert. We were headed to a New Year’s Eve party when the cars in front of us stopped suddenly as the lead car was turning left. No worries…I made the stop and gave God thanks.

Is that what it takes for me to stop and give thanks to God? Sometimes. Often it takes a gasp, an adrenaline experience, and a close call to remind me of how many times I must thank God.

January is Prayer Month at College Park Church—a time when we offer reminders and host events to help us all stop, gasp at the glory of God, and get excited by prayer. It’s an attempt to start or renew habits that have fallen off a bit. It’s a corporate effort to go back to the basics of what our faith is all about. There’s no better manifestation of our faith than prayer. It is our breath; it is our life-sustaining communication with the Almighty.

I recall the panic of breathlessness I had as a kid. My brother and I would visit the ocean with our folks and spend most of our time in the water bodysurfing. There were those amazing perfect days where the big waves came in as fast as we could ride them and get back out for the next one. Several times, those waves would be so big that instead of us riding them, they rode us…right into the sea floor. As we rolled and regained our senses, we wouldn’t even know which way was up. We only knew we needed to breathe!

How I wish that I would start each day with that same sense of “panic” that makes me scramble for air, scramble for a connection with my Creator, and lunge toward heaven to hear again the voice of my loving God. How about you? Do you long for that kind of prayer life?

One of our events we are holding is 9:38 Prayer. As we seek to grow in our nearness with God through a strong prayer life, we can look to Scripture for instruction on how to pray. That’s where the idea for this daily prayer time came from. In Matthew 9:38, for instance, we are commanded to “pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

To put that into practice, I encourage you to set an alarm or event reminder in your calendar for 9:38 (in the morning, evening, or both) each day throughout the month of January. Use this dedicated time to pray for the fulfillment of Matthew 9:38 in your life, at College Park, and in the global Church. This will help establish a habit.

At the end of 2020, I want to be able to say that prayer is not a discipline, prayer is a necessity!

Don Bartemus

Don Bartemus is the Pastor of Compassion Ministries at College Park Church. He and his wife, Cheryl, have been in ministry since 1981. Don believes Compassion Ministries exist to respond to the physical needs of people in order to participate in the fulfillment of the purpose of God in their lives.

Don came to faith in Christ at the age of five through a Christian family. He attended Cedarville University, received a B.A. in Bible. He attended Grace Seminary and earned a M.Div. in Biblical Studies and later a Doctorate of Ministries from Grace Seminary. Don and Cheryl have been in youth ministry, teaching ministries, and pastoring in the states of Iowa, Ohio, and Indiana.

He is passionate about caring for people through hard times and enjoys spending time with his wife, children, and grandchildren.

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