The Gap is a time of prayer that is uniquely interactive. This is not a meeting where you sit and talk about things about which to pray for 55 minutes and then actually pray for 5 minutes. This is a time of intensive, focused prayer. You will visit various stations in which Scripture passages and interactive objects will guide you as you pray for specific needs and situations. Spend as much time as you like and visit as many stations as the Lord leads you.
The GAP derives its name from Ezekiel 22:30: "I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap..." The gap was that place where an enemy broke through the wall or gate of a castle; where the defenders would flock to repel the enemy and keep them from entering. The gap was that place where the battle was the most intense.
The GAP is usually held the last Monday of the month from 7:00-8:00 pm. We invite you to join us for an engaging, uniquely interactive time of prayer.
Please pray on the 8s of each month- 8th, 18th, & 28th - that as we trust and obey Him, God will provide for our needs so that we can say, “By God’s grace, we ate our debt.”
Maybe you’ve had a crisis situation and you prayed in desperation. We’ve been there. But perhaps something has been prompting you to go deeper – you want to connect with God beyond the, “Now I lay me down to sleep...” prayer. But you’re stymied. Prayer seems... well, to be honest... like a really boring... task.
This little guide may be of some help to you. I’ve designed this with the intention of helping you to have a meaningful and enjoyable time with God. So, first of all, relax. This is a time when you’re going to really get to know Someone who knows you and who loves you - Someone who is going to be a greater Friend than you could ever imagine. That’s the bottom line - not to check off another item on a “to do” list - but to build a relationship; a relationship that will grow more wonderful through the years.
Some mechanics to consider: Find a spot where you can pray quietly. For some, that’s not an easy thing. You may have kids, pets, and spouses all demanding your time and attention. If that’s the case, try praying in the shower. Or in the car (you might prefer to NOT close your eyes as you pray on this one!) Take a walk.
Sometimes, though, you can’t avoid being interrupted. Don’t sweat it! Include the interruptions in your prayers! For example, if your prayer time was interrupted because your kids got into an argument, use this as an opportunity to pray for your kids - maybe even with them! Or perhaps you were interrupted by an important phone call. Pray for that person and their situation. Or maybe you just fell asleep. It happens. Thank God for the sense of security that you feel in His Presence. Don’t get frustrated by the interruptions; incorporate them as a part of your prayers.
Creating Sacred Space
If your place of prayer is mobile - for example, you pray while you’re taking your daily walk - you can skip over this section. But if you’re doing this in your home, you might want to take some time to create a sacred space for praying.
God is not contained or confined to this space, but creating a special place to spend time in the presence of our holy God can enhance and focus our time of prayer.
It doesn’t have to be a designated place that is used exclusively for prayer. It can be a place at your kitchen table, a chair in the living room, or a chair on your deck. Jesus spoke about going into your closet to pray. Wherever it is, try to remove as many distractions as possible. Move the junk mail and the newspaper to some other location.
Into my sacred space I bring my Bible and a list of things for which I can pray. I also bring a note pad so that I can jot things down as God brings them to mind. You can add other things that will help you to focus your thoughts. Sometimes I light a candle as a reminder that Jesus is present with me. Sometimes I bring some play-doh and work with it as I pray, reminding myself that God is the Potter and I am the clay in His hand; that He is sovereign and in control. Let our Creator God spark your creativity as you talk with Him and listen to Him.
If you feel the need to kneel as you pray, go to a dollar store and buy a foam kneeling pad for a buck. It helps! So do cushions or pillows. Maybe you’re more comfortable sitting - that’s fine - but don’t get too comfortable. Lying down to pray - especially in bed - will probably get you another hour of sleep rather than an hour of prayer.
How do I pray? What do I pray for?
1. Take a moment to recognize that wherever you are, you are in the presence of our God! Ask Him to help you to be aware of what He wants to do through you today.
2. Read the Bible. Ask God to speak to you through His Word to help you to get to know Him better. Remember, you’re building a relationship with God.
3. My mind wanders if I pray silently. So I pray out loud. Or I type or write. It sometimes helps to treat God’s Word like a text message you’ve received, and you’re going to reply to it. Read a portion of God’s Word and respond. Be honest. There may be some things with which you have a hard time. Talk about that with God. If you don’t understand what you read, tell Him. Ask Him to help you.
Adoration - This is simply recognizing God for who He is. Think about what you know about Him and how you’ve experienced His presence and power in your life. Build on what you’ve just read about God in His Word. Thank God for His goodness to you. Consider how God’s power, love, grace, forgiveness (etc) can make a difference in your life today.
Confession - Think about your attitudes and actions for a few minutes. Do they really mirror Christ’s? Here’s where we own up to those things that we’ve thought, said and done that aren’t consistent to our faith in Jesus.
But maybe there’s more to it. Maybe you’re frustrated with your spouse, kids, parents, boss, co-worker, pastor (well, that could never happen!), teacher, students - whatever. You might feel angry or hurt; maybe your stomach is churning with the thought of having to deal with that person. We need to check our attitudes to see if we are part of the problem - or part of the solution.
While it’s true that people have been less than kind to us, how do we deal with that? Maybe we’ve contributed to the breakdown in the relationship. This is a time to reflect on what Jesus would want us to do in the situation.
Part of your prayer might include the thought in Psalm 139: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
Thanksgiving - Think about all the things for which you can be thankful. I’ve noticed that while thanksgiving doesn’t change our circumstances, it changes our attitude and perspective. We become more aware of God’s working in our lives. Funny thing about thanking God: The more we do it, the more we have for which we can be thankful. In other words, once we start thanking God for what He’s done for us, we begin to see more and more things that He’s accomplished - things which we might have missed had we not taken the time to thank Him.
Supplication - This is a fancy word that means we talk with God about the stuff that’s going on in our lives; the things that worry and concern us, the problems we’re facing, and the realization that we don’t have the resources to deal with it all. It’s turning to God and surrendering our lives completely to His will.
At this point, I have another pattern which I have found helpful when I pray. I use my hand. Each finger corresponds to a particular feature for which I pray.
Thumb - Holding up your hand, you will see that the thumb is the closest digit to you. So I begin this section by praying for the people closest to me. I pray that they would experience a closeness to Jesus, that they would live in His joy, that they would be full of the Holy Spirit. In some cases, these people might not know Jesus as their Savior. Pray that they come to salvation in Christ. Then I pray about any specific circumstances in their lives of which I am aware.
Index finger - The next digit is the index finger. It’s probably the finger we use the most. Here I pray for the people that are the most helpful to me.
Middle finger - There are some people who frustrate and annoy us. Rather than giving them “the finger,” give it to God and pray for them! Jesus instructed us to pray for our enemies, and to bless those who curse us. I’ve found that it’s really hard to hold a grudge against someone when you’re asking God to bless them. As we do this, we begin to see that person not from our perspective, but from God’s. This person is loved by God. This person is one for whom Christ shed His blood.
Ring finger - Those of you who have taken piano lessons know that the ring finger is the weakest. So when I come to this finger, I pray for those who are in need; that is, people who are sick, hospitalized, institutionalized, etc.
Pinkie - The pinkie is the last and smallest finger. I put my own needs and requests last, deliberately choosing to pray for others before I pray for myself. It’s not always easy to do. Sometimes I want to address my stuff first, but it’s good for me to wait. It helps me to keep things in perspective.
Closing out - Thank God for the time that you’ve spent with Him; ask Him to help you to be aware of His presence throughout the rest of your day, and to help you see situations and people as he sees them.