Cascading Prayer Journal

Together we embark on the next chapter of God’s story through Bethany Community Church. Our desire is that this will be a life-transforming experience where we begin to see that who we are and what we have are intended to be spent on the work of God in the lives of those around us. We invite you to enter into this month with an expectation that you will encounter God in a new way, and that as a result, you will never be the same.

As you journey through this devotional, take time to journal, talk with others, and be attentive to what the Spirit of God is saying to you. Don’t worry about falling behind. If you miss a day or a week, simply start up again on the current date.

Each week, we'll feature a community activity to help you apply the week’s Scripture. Whatever you do, take time to be honest before God about where you are as a participant in life at Bethany. Expect that He will move in you and bring transformation, so you can live even more fully into the story He is writing in this world.


DAY 28 - November 2

Posted by Kristen Dreesmann on November 04, 2013 @ 11:33 AM

Prayer Request

Pray for 24/7 space to open up at just the right time in a location that will allow Bethany North to serve and bless the north King/south Snohomish county area effectively and for Bethany North's partnership with a local elementary school, that they will serve them generously in ways that will encourage the staff and the families who are a part of that community.

Devotional

Week Four Scripture:  2 Corinthians 9:6-15

Tomorrow, as a church body and an expression of Christ in the greater Seattle area, we will commit to sacrificing our own interests for the sake of what Christ wants to do through us. This isn't just about making a financial commitment over the next three

years. It is a commitment to let Christ's words have an ever deepening impact in every area of our lives.

  • What steps are you taking in your life that will make generosity an increasing priority in your life?
  • How is God asking you to participate in His kingdom through Cascading?

Jesus, as I prepare to submit my Cascading commitment card tomorrow, I'm giving not to human structures and plans, but to You, knowing that in Your hands my sacrifice can be multiplied for Your kingdom far beyond my imagination. All I have is Yours. May You be honored by my gift. Amen. 

DAY 27 - November 1

Posted by Kristen Dreesmann on November 01, 2013 @ 9:43 AM

Prayer Request

Pray for Bethany West Seattle's current search for a new worship ministry director and Pray that God would continue to make Bethany good stewards of the volunteer services and financial gifts of the congregation.

Devotional

Week Four Scripture:  2 Corinthians 9:6-15

While the phrase "it is more blessed to give than to receive" is not found in any of the Gospels, it is part of the oral tradition centered on Jesus' teachings. Jesus demonstrated it to the point of giving His life for our sake and His kingdom. As kingdom participants, we are called to live by that same conviction.

  • During Cascading, how has God spoken to you regarding source, transformation, provision, and priorities in your life?
  • How have you been challenged to change your values, attitudes, and behaviors as they relate to what you own?

Lord Jesus, it would be tempting to give a little toward Cascading and move on. But I know that You want to transform me much more deeply than that. I open my wallet before You, but even more, I open my life before You, asking that You bring me to a place where I delight in being generous in every area of my life. Amen.

DAY 26 - October 31

Posted by Kristen Dreesmann on November 01, 2013 @ 9:42 AM

Prayer Request

Bethany's Eastside house church currently meets monthly, which offers unique challenges in strengthening and growing the community. We ask for encouragement to hold us together as a community during this difficult phase of growth. They also have five newborns in their small congregation and ask for prayers for health and their parents.

Devotional

Week Four Scripture:  2 Corinthians 9:6-15

Paul lived by the conviction that it is more blessed to give than to receive. Of all the things he could pass on to the Ephesians, he most wanted them to understand the eternal value of generosity.

  • How is generosity expressed in your life?
  • What priorities do you place above generosity and why?

Lord Jesus, I bristle against the call to generosity. My fear of the future and lack of faith keep me from giving freely. I confess my lack of trust in You and ask You to help me place all I have under Your Lordship. Amen. 

DAY 25 - October 30

Posted by Kristen Dreesmann on October 30, 2013 @ 9:39 AM

Prayer Request

Pray for Pastor Jack Brace at Bethany Northeast: for balance between wisdom and vision as we prepare for our April 2014 launch.

Devotional

Week Four Scripture:  2 Corinthians 9:6-15

Paul clearly conveyed his own priorities through both his words and actions, and called others to adopt the same priorities in their own contexts.

  • What were the priorities in Paul's ministry?
  • How are these priorities applicable in your own life and context?

Lord Jesus, I am called to be generous just as the early Christians were. Help me to not hide behind the cultural values of today, but to live a life of generosity that reflects Your heart. Amen. 

DAY 24 - October 29

Posted by Kristen Dreesmann on October 30, 2013 @ 9:37 AM

Prayer Request

Bethany's Eastside house church seeks a healthy community with a deep commitment to God's Word and commands, to their growth as individuals and as a part of the Body, and to the community of Kirkland.

Devotional

Week Four Scripture:  2 Corinthians 9:6-15

In his ministry, Paul spent a great deal of time among the Ephesian leaders, setting a standard of selfless living that is worthy for all of us to follow.

  • List ways that Paul described his ministry among them. Based on his ministry, what words would you use to describe Paul?
  • How would people describe you in light of your choices and lifestyle?

Lord Jesus, my life is an open book to You. You see my actions, but even more, You know my heart. Please help me to live by priorities that You have shaped in me so that my life will be a reflection of You. Amen. 

DAY 23 - October 28

Posted by Kristen Dreesmann on October 28, 2013 @ 10:33 AM

Prayer Request

Pray for our neighbors as students and families return to Bethany Green Lake en masse and create congestion nearby.

Devotional

Week Four Scripture:  2 Corinthians 9:6-15

Read Acts 20:32-35. In this passage, Paul addresses the Ephesian elders for the last time. His farewell epistle was filled with memories, encouragement, and exhortation.

  • When have you addressed a person or a group for the last time? What did you want to convey in that conversation?
  • Can you think of something someone said to you that stuck with you and influenced your decisions and priorities?

Lord Jesus, there are pivotal moments in my life where You have a specific word for me to hear. Give me attentiveness to You so that Your words don't fall on deaf ears. Amen.

DAY 22 - October 27

Posted by Kristen Dreesmann on October 28, 2013 @ 10:32 AM

Week 4 Activity: Say Yes

This week, find a way to say "yes" to everyone you encounter who asks for your help. including homeless individuals on the street; street musicians/performers; Real Change salespeople or non-profits asking for a donation.

In one week you probably won't ruin these lives, nor will you save them. BUT, in just one week, YOU might experience a radical shift in your own heart.

As you go through the week, reflect on what is happening to your heart, your emotions, and your attitude toward others as you say yes to them.

 

WEEK FOUR - October 27-November 2

Posted by Kristen Dreesmann on October 28, 2013 @ 10:31 AM

This Week’s Scripture

Then the word of the LORD came to him [the prophet Elijah]: “Go at once to Zarephath in the region of Sidon and stay there. I have directed a widow there to supply you with food.” So he went to Zarephath. When he came to the town gate, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her and asked, “Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink?” As she was going to get it, he called, “And bring me, please, a piece of bread.”

“As surely as the LORD your God lives,” she replied, “I don’t have any bread―only a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it―and die.”

Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. For this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the LORD sends rain on the land.’”

She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the LORD spoken by Elijah.

I Kings 17:8–16

DAY 21 - October 26

Posted by Kristen Dreesmann on October 28, 2013 @ 10:28 AM

Prayer Request

Pray for Bethany North's search for an Associate Director of Worship and Outreach.

Devotional

Week Three Scripture: 1 Kings 17:8-16

When the widow obeyed Elijah's request, her resources were multiplied. This type of story is featured throughout the Bible, and the principle is the same in all; God cannot give us more until we let go of what we have.

  • What are you refusing to let go of? Sit with the palms of your hands facing up and name those things.
  • What steps of obedience will you take this week to open your heart to God, so that He can continue giving and moving in your life ... and you can continue receiving and being transformed?

Dear God, You have shown me how I need to open my hands. As I open them in faith, I thank You for what You will do now that I've released my grip. Amen.

DAY 20 - October 25

Posted by Kristen Dreesmann on October 28, 2013 @ 10:26 AM

Prayer Request

Pray for Bethany West Seattle's genuine reliance on the Holy Spirit as our source of all ministry and transformation.

Devotional

Week Three Scripture:  1 Kings 17:8-16

Elijah followed up his request to the widow with an amazing promise that God would continually provide for her. Because she chose to obey, there was plenty for both Elijah and her family.

We read stories like this as if they are fairy tales. We love the content, but we don't really believe they're true.

  • When have you given God your last thing? What might He be asking you to give now?
  • What gets in the way of you trusting God and acting in faith?

Gracious God, this widow didn't even know You but she trusted in Your promise through someone who did. "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!" (Mark 9:24 NKJV). Amen. 

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