BY JESSICA GAPASIN DENNIS
Busted Halo is featuring my 9-Day Prayer Challenge on Instagram (@bustedhalo). Lots to pray about these days — if you’ve been feeling the Spirit tug at your heart to set aside time to pray, here’s your chance to join people from all over the world to pray in one accord. God, give us vision to see things like You do.
Beginning Monday >> We’ll start praying a Back-to-School Novena. 🙏🏼Will you join us? Share this post to help build our prayer circle for the start of the school year. 🙏🏼 🎒📚#BacktoSchoolNovena @leavenintheworld … Ah, back-to-school season. The time of year that most students (teachers?) dread and all parents rejoice. It’s also the time that my control freak tendencies go into overdrive, I read #alltheblogs about which day planner/organizer will change my life, and then proceed to calendar the rest of the year like a maniac.
This year feels different. With my oldest starting kindergarten and echoes of the school shootings in Parkland and Sante Fe still fresh in my mind, I felt the Holy Spirit tugging at my heart to loosen my grip on my need to control everything and to begin by offering up the year to God. This nine-day prayer challenge, inspired by the structure of the traditional novena and the constant reminder to pray unceasingly (1 Thessalonians 5:17), is my answer to that call.
Many would have us believe that “thoughts and prayers” are an empty sentiment, a way for people to say that they care without actually doing anything. I believe that action, inspired and informed by prayer, is what will change the world.
So starting today, I’m inviting anyone who wants to join me to commit to setting aside even just five minutes each day to pray for our children and our schools, for the Holy Spirit to open our eyes to the specific ways in which we are being called to take action and be part of the change, and for God to give us the vision that we need to be who God is calling us to be in a broken world.
🙏🏼You are encouraged to pray at the same time every day, hopefully in the same space whenever possible. Setting an alarm on your phone is helpful. I like to light a candle. Do what you can to set yourself up for success.
🙏🏼I’ve found that limiting my time to 15 minutes (at the most!) makes it more likely for me to pray again the next day.
🙏🏼Finally, you are invited to make this prayer your own. There are specific intentions each day. Use those to guide your prayer.