As followers of Jesus, why do we pray? The simple answers is that Jesus calls, instructs, and admonishes us to pray. All throughout scripture we see that the people of God and disciples of Jesus are a praying people. You begin to witness through these example in the bible prayer is powerful, privilege, and formational. It is a conversation that we are invited into with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit… the creator and redeemer of the universe. There is such power in this conversation where we can urge the hand of God to work in our world, in our lives, and in the lives of those around us. What a privilege it is, truly marking ourselves as heaven-and-earth people with prayer closing the gap between the two when we abide with God through this divine conversation. What usually surprises us the most is the way in which prayer forms us by shaping in us the heart, mind, and soul of God as we commune with him. 

For the very reasons that prayer is so impactful and significant for the follower of Jesus could also be why we can be so intimidated by it. What if we get it wrong? Is there a right way to do it? Why doesn’t it feel like anything is happening when I pray? These questions and others like it are common to swirl in our minds as we approach or attempt prayer. 

Like many other aspects of the life of the follower of Jesus, we have to practice prayer. It isn’t something that we always feel comfortable with at first but as we practice it we build a thriving and healthy rhythm of prayer that draws us closer to Jesus and shapes our hearts to love our neighbors. 

Pray21 is a great entry point to the practice of prayer by offering an accessible guide by combining an ancient way to pray scripture and a simple prayer to meditate on throughout the day. I truly expect that after intentionally practicing prayer over the next 21 days your prayer rhythm with begin to feel more “second nature” and prayer will become a more significant part of your walk with Jesus.

The prayer of the Apostle Paul for the Ephesians is my prayer for you during these next 21 days, “I pray for you, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God.” (Ephesians 1:17)

–Pastor Jared Richey

Lectio Divina

Prayerfully reading through scripture using Lectio Divina (Divine Reading) is an ancient practice. You may be wondering, “If we are trying to learn to pray, why are we reading scripture?” Most of the challenge of praying is knowing what to say and then listening to what God has to say to us. So, praying through scripture gives us words to say and then seeks for the Holy Spirit to speak to us through the scripture we are reading since prayer is not just a one-way but a two way conversation. Below you will find the process for Lectio Divina, which is essentially repeatedly reading the short passage of scripture and listening to and paying attention in different ways as you prayerfully work through the scripture.

Take a few moments to quiet yourself, get in a comfortable position, and become aware of God’s presence. You might say a simple prayer, inviting the Holy Spirit into this time. You can also quick inventory of your body, mind, and heart, asking God to quiet each of them in turn.

Read the passage slowly, out loud if possible. In this reading, you want to familiarize yourself with the basic meaning of the passage, what it says to everyone. Avoid analyzing and simply savor the words, letting them sink in. Listen for a nudge: What words or images is the Spirit drawing you toward today? Is there a character you identify with? A moment in the story that captures your attention?

Re-read the passage, lingering over the person/word/phrase that captured your attention. Let your imagination engage the story/text. What do the characters experience/feel/think? Or consider the phrase or image you noticed: Reflect on how it might intersect with your life today. What (or who) does it bring to your mind? Notice the feelings this passage evokes in you–is there attraction, or resistance of some kind? Invite the Spirit to reveal how this passage might be speaking to your life today.

Read through the passage another time, allowing the Scripture to lead you into a prayer/response to God. Talk to God about what has come to mind, and how he might be inviting you to respond. Are you feeling led toward a prayer of praise? repentance? a plea for help or healing? intercession for someone?

Rest in the awareness of God’s presence, remaining open to anything else the Spirit might stir in your heart. If your mind wanders, gently redirect your thoughts toward God. Simply be still. Expect nothing. Enjoy a moment of fellowship with God that goes deeper than words. Relax in this moment to be with God, and know you are loved.

Prayer for the Day

For each day of Pray21 there is a short prayer for the day. You can close out your prayer time by simple reciting the prayer or reflecting deeper with it. Pay attention if any part of the prayer stands out to you or if a particular prayer connects with you more than other prayer on different days. These short prayers are meant to be taken with you throughout the day and take just seconds to repeat throughout the day. In doing this we help to work a rhythm of “continually praying” and keep prayer on our minds.


Revelation 21:1-5

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.”

Prayer for the Day

God who is making all things new, I ask that you would do a new thing in my life. Help me to experience the realities of heaven in my life now and to be an agent of that breaking through of your kingdom.

Acts 2:42-47

All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to the breaking of bread, and to prayer. A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity—all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.

Prayer for the Day

Lord, show me my devotions that I need to release so that I may be drawn into greater devotion to you.

Matthew 6:25-34

“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

Prayer for the Day

Jesus, help me to trust you with my needs today. Show me the worries that you want to calm in me.

Luke 24:-12

But very early on Sunday morning the women went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. They found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. So they went in, but they didn’t find the body of the Lord Jesus. As they stood there puzzled, two men suddenly appeared to them, clothed in dazzling robes. The women were terrified and bowed with their faces to the ground. Then the men asked, “Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive? He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Remember what he told you back in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and that he would rise again on the third day.” Then they remembered that he had said this. So they rushed back from the tomb to tell his eleven disciples—and everyone else—what had happened. It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and several other women who told the apostles what had happened. But the story sounded like nonsense to the men, so they didn’t believe it. However, Peter jumped up and ran to the tomb to look. Stooping, he peered in and saw the empty linen wrappings; then he went home again, wondering what had happened.

Prayer for the Day

Son of God, help me to know today and everyday that you are alive and when it comes, help me in my unbelief.

John 15:4-8

Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.

Prayer for the Day

Lord Jesus, help me to remain in you, be fruitful, be discipled, and bring glory to the Father.

Colossians 3:1-5

Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory. So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.

Prayer for the Day

God, help me to fix my eyes and heart on the realities of heaven and show me the sins lurking in my life.

Psalm 139:7-12

I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there. If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me. I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night— but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to you.

Prayer for the Day

Thank you heavenly Father for always being with me. No matter of where my day takes me, remind me of your presence.

Acts 1:6-8

So when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, “Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?” He replied, “The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Prayer for the Day

Jesus, no matter where my feet take me today, help me to be a faithful witness to who you are to those around me.

Colossians 3:14-17

Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.

Prayer for the Day

God, help me to fix my eyes and heart on the realities of heaven and show me the sins lurking in my life.

Matthew 11:28-30

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

Prayer for the Day

Comforter of my soul, when I get weary and burdened remind me of your humble and gentle heart that I can rest in and not turn to the chaos of the world.

John 1:1-5, 14

In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it…. So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.

Prayer for the Day

Creator God, even though everything was made through you, you still came to be a part of your very creation so that we might know you. Help me to experience the realities of that unfailing love for me.

Matthew 14:13-15

One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could lay his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering him. But Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.” And he placed his hands on their heads and blessed them before he left.

Prayer for the Day

Heavenly Father, I ask that you would help us to minister and care for children as your kingdom belong to them. Help me not be a barrier to them knowing and receiving you.

Hebrews 10:22a, 23-25

Let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him…Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.

Prayer for the Day

God, help us to enter your presence when we gather together. Encourage me to continue to gather and be open to being motivated to your love and the good works you call me to.

Luke 21:1-4

While Jesus was in the Temple, he watched the rich people dropping their gifts in the collection box. Then a poor widow came by and dropped in two small coins. “I tell you the truth,” Jesus said, “this poor widow has given more than all the rest of them. For they have given a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she has.”

Prayer for the Day

Jesus, help me not to give because I can but out of a sacrificial generosity like this widow who gave all she had and like how you gave up everything, even your life. Increase my generosity.

Matthew 4:18-22

One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers Simon, also called Peter, and Andrew—throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living. Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” And they left their nets at once and followed him. A little farther up the shore he saw two other brothers, James and John, sitting in a boat with their father, Zebedee, repairing their nets. And he called them to come, too. They immediately followed him, leaving the boat and their father behind.

Prayer for the Day

Lord, open my eyes see how you intentionally come into my life and in turn help me to live out that same intentionality for others.

Matthew 14:13-21

As soon as Jesus heard the news, he left in a boat to a remote area to be alone. But the crowds heard where he was headed and followed on foot from many towns. Jesus saw the huge crowd as he stepped from the boat, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick. That evening the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away so they can go to the villages and buy food for themselves. But Jesus said, “That isn’t necessary—you feed them.” “But we have only five loaves of bread and two fish!” they answered. “Bring them here,” he said. Then he told the people to sit down on the grass. Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and blessed them. Then, breaking the loaves into pieces, he gave the bread to the disciples, who distributed it to the people. They all ate as much as they wanted, and afterward, the disciples picked up twelve baskets of leftovers.

Prayer for the Day

Great comforter, even when I are spent and exhausted help me to still have compassion for those around me that need it. May your compassion overflow out of me.

Luke 8:43-48

A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding, and she could find no cure. Coming up behind Jesus, she touched the fringe of his robe. Immediately, the bleeding stopped. “Who touched me?” Jesus asked. Everyone denied it, and Peter said, “Master, this whole crowd is pressing up against you.” But Jesus said, “Someone deliberately touched me, for I felt healing power go out from me.” When the woman realized that she could not stay hidden, she began to tremble and fell to her knees in front of him. The whole crowd heard her explain why she had touched him and that she had been immediately healed. “Daughter,”he said to her, “your faith has made you well. Go in peace.”

Prayer for the Day

Jesus, teach me your awareness of those around me. Even in the chaos of life help me to know who I am influencing and impacting and know that it is honoring to you.

2 Peter 3:13-15a, 17-18

But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a world filled with God’s righteousness. And so, dear friends, while you are waiting for these things to happen, make every effort to be found living peaceful lives that are pure and blameless in his sight. And remember, our Lord’s patience gives people time to be saved. You already know these things, dear friends. So be on guard; then you will not be carried away by the errors of these wicked people and lose your own secure footing. Rather, you must grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Prayer for the Day

God, help me to know you more and more each day and take advantage of your patiences but use it in order to live a life that points others to you.

John 8:4-11

“Teacher,” they [Pharisees] said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?” They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust. When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” “No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”

Prayer for the Day

Loving Savior, just as you showed, in your love, no condemnation may you stir up that same kind of love in me. Holy Spirit, convict me of any condemnation that resides in my heart.

Ephesians 5:13-15

For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another.

Prayer for the Day

Redeemer, as I find my freedom in you, cultivate in me a heart to serve and love my neighbor and you. Show me how you want me to serve and show me the path in how I can serve.

Colossians 1:10-14

Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better. We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light. For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins.

Prayer for the Day

Sustainer of my faith, may I hear your call to continue to grow in you and know you more and more. Help me to be a resident representative of the truth of your Kingdom breaking through to earth, be with me where ever I go. Amen.

What's Next?

You may be wondering, “I completed this, what do I do now?” First things first, don’t stop praying! I hope you have felt a shift in your spirit over the last 21 days and desire to continue the practice of prayer in your life. Below are some ways in which you can continue to lean into prayer!

Daily Scriptures

We have a resource that provides four daily scripture readings for each day that can be found on our website, the weekly email, or the Sunday bulletin. For every day there is a Psalm, Old Testament, Pastoral Epistle, and Gospel reading. If you found Lectio Divina partiuclarly helpful you can continue the practice with the daily scriptures!

Sunday Prayer: 9:30a

We have a resource that provides four daily scripture readings for each day that can be found on our website, the weekly email, or the Sunday bulletin. For every day there is a Psalm, Old Testament, Pastoral Epistle, and Gospel reading. If you found Lectio Divina partiuclarly helpful you can continue the practice with the daily scriptures!

The Lord’s Prayer

Did you know that Jesus tells us HOW to pray? That is is precisely what the Lord’s Prayer is in Matthew 6:9-13. He is answering the question, “Lord, how should we pray?” A good way to pray is to take the different parts of the Lord’s Prayer and expand on them. What daily bread do you need today? What do you need to seek forgiveness for? Etc. Praying how Jesus taught us to pray, as you could imagine, is quite impactful and formative.