2022 word & prayer guide
God’s word and our prayers belong together. God speaks to us through his word; we speak to him through prayer. He reveals his heart to us in scripture; we pour out our hearts to him in response. Our purpose as a church is to glorify God by being and making disciples of Jesus Christ who are a community of worshippers on mission—and we can’t fulfill this without these rhythms of scripture and prayer.
This guide exists to help us engage with these rhythms individually or together. It includes suggestions for reading God’s word in 2022 and suggested daily topics for prayer.
Below are three options for engaging God’s word this year. If you do the first of these—the Bible Read-Through—consider inviting a friend or group to do this with you. Then you can share insights, questions, and ways God is working in your life through scripture.
Whichever plan you use, we remember that we are personally engaging with God. We come to God’s word aware of his presence and depending on the Spirit to transform us into the image of Christ. Before reading, briefly pray that he would make you open, give you understanding, and transform you through his word (Psa. 119:18; Isa. 66:2).
1. Bible Read-Through
You can read the entire Bible in one year with about 10-15 minutes each day. The ZF Bible Reading Plan available at our resource corner includes five readings per week to allow flexibility. Rather than including Psalms in the schedule, this plan encourages you to integrate Psalms into your everyday life by reading one each day. Find other plans at esv.org/resources/reading-plans/
2. Bible Immersion
Immerse yourself in one book of the Bible by re-reading and studying it for a period of time. For example, read and re-read a book like Ephesians every day for a month, then choose a different book for the next month. Or read through 2-4 chapters of John each day until you get to the end, then re-read it again and again for the month. Consider memorizing parts of the book you’re immersed in. Consider scheduling a longer block of 2 hours one evening each week to study a book more in-depth.
3. Bible Rhythm
Simply establish a rhythm of reading 20 minutes each day, picking up where you left off from the previous day. As you finish a book of the Bible, move to the next one or move to one that is of particular interest to you.
Praying in Response to God’s Word
After reading scripture, meditate on it and turn your reflections into prayers. Here are four questions Tim Keller provides to lead us to respond in prayer:
- Praise: What does this text show me about God for which I should praise or thank him?
- Repentance: What does this text show me about my sin that I should confess and repent of?
- Request: What does this text show me about a need and how shall I petition God for it?
- Transformation: How would this change my life if I took it seriously—if this truth were fully alive and effective in my inward being?
Praying for the Church and World
In addition to your other various personal prayers of praise, thanksgiving, and requests, join together in praying each day for a particular church-wide or global focus.
- Sunday: Church Gatherings and Revival | Pray for the gathering of our church as well as other local churches—that God would show us Christ and renew, encourage, and transform us through his presence, people, and word. Pray that the Lord would send a wave of gospel-renewal to many churches and revival to many areas.
- Monday: Vocation and Leaders |Pray for our church members as we engage in our vocations of school, work, and parenting—that we would bless, love, and serve others in God’s strength and for his glory. Pray for local, national, and global leaders—that they would lead with wisdom and righteousness.
- Tuesday: Evangelism and Social Concerns | Pray for two or three people who don’t yet know Jesus, and pray for the Lord to use the evangelistic efforts of Christians to bring people to himself. Pray for the Lord to spread truth, goodness, and wisdom with regard to current social concerns of sanctity of life, ethnic disunity, political strife, poverty, and confusion regarding gender and sexuality.
- Wednesday: Spiritual Growth and Discipleship | Pray for a few members of our church—that God would give them joy in knowing him and that he would produce the fruit of the Spirit and transform them into the image of Christ.
- Thursday: Global Missions and the Persecuted | Pray for a missionary—that God would encourage them and use them to spread the gospel. And pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters—that they would be faithful witnesses to Christ and be protected and comforted by the Spirit.
- Friday: Relationships and Gospel Culture | Pray for our church family to cultivate a gospel culture of love, humility, and gentleness. Pray for our friendships, marriages, and families to embody this same ethos of love.
- Saturday: Thanksgiving | Thank God for the various evidences of his grace that you’ve seen or become aware of, and thank him for any ways you’ve seen him answer prayers from the week.