Longing To Be Like Christ: 40 Days of Prayer Before Synod 2023
April 2, 2023
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You’re Invited! Pray for the CRC for 40 days leading up to Synod 2023
You’re invited. Yes, you. But not just you. The person who sits next to you and across from you and behind you in worship—they’re invited too. Actually, anyone connected to the Christian Reformed Church in North America (CRCNA) is invited. The prayers of fellow Christ followers are welcome as well. Together, all of us are invited to embark on 40 days of prayer leading into Synod 2023.
This 40-day prayer initiative begins Sunday, April 30 and continues through Thursday, June 8. These dates were chosen to lead us up to the start of Synod 2023—the annual gathering of the Christian Reformed Church (CRC).
If you miss the April 30 start date, don’t worry. You’re free to join anytime. It’s never too late to join in this prayer initiative!
What are we praying about?
In the simplest form, we’re praying that God will work in us on our journey of longing to be like Christ. Throughout this initiative, we’ll ask God to move among us. We’ll confess ways that we’re resistant to being like Christ. We’ll take time to listen deeply and to consider how we can lean into the life of Jesus Christ together. This season of prayer invites us to focus on being like Christ and being attentive to the Holy Spirit.
As a way of shaping our journey, our prayers in this initiative will be guided by the following themes:
What’s prompting this particular season of prayer?
This has been a challenging year for the CRC. Synod 2023 is on the horizon—which will bring both good discussions and difficult moments. In preparation for Synod, we’re providing 40 Days of Prayer. The initiative fits with a larger denominational priority on cultivating practices of prayer and spiritual disciplines (and it’s been designed with Synod 2023 in mind).
You can look for other opportunities to participate in prayer during the week of synod.
How are we praying together?
Prayer prompts will be emailed each day for 40 days (or once a week in a printable PDF format). Each day includes a suggested Bible reading, a prayer, and a couple questions to encourage further reflection or conversation. The rich diversity of prayer in our denomination will be evident, as some prayers read like Psalms, others like conversations, and others follow formats that could fit in a formal book of prayer. Some contain a preface or reflection that leads into the prayer. Together, these prayers help us to raise our voices before God in an intentional way for 40 days as delegates prepare to gather for Synod 2023.
You can use the prayer prompts in your personal devotion time, at a meal with others in your home, in small groups, or even in connection with worship settings. The “together” aspect of this initiative is that people across the CRC—in Canada, the U.S., and around the world—will be engaging with the same Bible passage, the same prayer, and the same reflection questions on a daily basis for 40 days. Though we’re physically apart from each other, we’ll be uniting in prayer as together we long to be like Christ.
Who wrote the prayers?
Writers include pastors, chaplains, missionaries, seminary and high school students, young adults, denominational staff, lay leaders, and people with disabilities. The youngest writer is nine and the oldest is in their late 80’s. There are prayers in ten different languages—with English translations for all. Both the writers and the languages reflect the CRCs beautiful diversity.
So how do I sign up?
You can sign up for this prayer initiative using this form. Enter your email address, check either the box for the “Longing to be like Christ - 40 days of prayer: daily” or “Longing to be like Christ - 40 days of prayer: weekly” and then click “Subscribe.” You should receive a confirmation email once you’ve subscribed.
Are there more ways to pray with others in the CRC?
Yes! There are multiple opportunities to pray with others across the CRC. You can find more details at crcna.org/pray and at https://www.crcna.org/longing-to-be-like-christ
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