Reflecting on 40 Day Prayer Challenge with Henry Miersma



I challenged a group of people to take a 40 Day Prayer Challenge. I had the blessing of discussing this with Henry Miersma.



40 Day Prayer Challenge – Join the Movement

My daughter Sarah just tried to order Draw the Circle, the 40-Day Prayer Challenge, by Mark Batterson for some friends and told me it was out of stock! What a great problem to me this signifies that the Holy Spirit is up to something. I want to thank those of you who committed to praying these last 40 days and share a few of the responses I have received via email or phone call! Be blessed as you read how a passion for prayer has multiplied, maybe even into a movement:

  • A pastor friend presented the 40-Day challenge to the elders at his church to have the whole congregation participate and they said, “YES!”
  • Another person just finished praying the 40 days and is now going through it a second time with 10 different guys.
  • Three high school teams heading to Africa this summer consisting of over 40 students and adults will be doing the challenge to prepare for what God has for them on this mission trip.
  • Another man purchased 40 books and already gave 20 away to friends and co-workers, now he is starting the 40 Days of Prayer with his extended family both in out of state.
  • After hearing about others who have taken this challenge another pastor called me last week and is looking to begin praying for 40 days with their church staff.
  • Several families have gathered around the dinner table to pray together over these last 40 days. What a powerful tool for discipleship!

These are just a few examples of a much bigger movement that I believe the Holy Spirit is initiating in our day. Our culture again and again promotes the tainted gospel of self-worship and the result is deep emptiness and unresolved pain. In the state Colorado this is particularly true, as over 100,000 people have moved into the Denver area in the last year and many are searching for their “pot” of gold and not finding it. The farther we run from the presence of God the more unmanageable life becomes, just read the headlines on the internet or watch the evening news!

Crying out to God in prayer from a needy heart is always the first step back to a spiritual break through, this step can revive and heal the deep pain in our hearts and has the potential for a break through in the imprisoned culture which we find ourselves living in. God gives us this lasting promise in 2 Chronicles 7:14:

“If My people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked way, then will I hear from heaven and forgive their sin and heal their land.”

It is humbling to pray, because by doing so you and I are admitting our weakness and lack of control. Weakness and lack of control fly in the face of our “self worship” culture. So when you and I submit to prayer and we realize there are others around us doing the same we know in our hearts something super natural has to be taking place. These last 40 days of prayer shared with many of you, has given me much hope for what our Good Father has around the corner. I believe this is the beginning of a movement that will bring us back to His glorious face!




40 Days of Prayer – Prayer Discipleship

I found one of the best ways to fulfill Jesus’ command to “Go and make disciples of all nations” is by praying with others. When you pray with another person somehow you enter into God’s Holy presence and His Spirit seals your hearts together with His. Over my years serving in the ministry I have witnessed this as one of the most powerful tools of following in the steps of Jesus. For my marriage, family, and friendships prayer has been the key to growing into a deeper love for Jesus and true care and concern for the person I am praying with.

Several years ago I was at a retreat in the San Bernardino Mountains teaching a group of high school students. This was where I first met Rick. He was a chaperone for the weekend and his strong handshake and infectious laugh was enough to make me sure to remember who he was. Later, I came to find out that Rick was a general contractor in the rough and tough construction world and as I had also done some summer construction work we hit it off immediately. However the real lasting impression came about when he spoke these sincere words to me, “Young man keep it up, I’m praying for you.” By the end of the retreat this man I had just met left a mark on my heart, somehow I was mysteriously connected to Rick, I attribute this to the fact that his was praying for me.

Years later I was one of the pastors at church Rick attended. What a joy for me to see him again especially since we already had a spiritual bond through prayer. I was particularly happy when the church started a Wednesday night prayer meeting and one of the first people to show up was Rick. For the last 9 years Rick has been at pretty much every prayer meeting except when he was in the hospital. Unfortunately Rick has experienced several severe health issues and this has taken a huge toil on his body. Yet, even then he would often escape from the hospital with tubes attached to his body in order to join this group at prayer.

God has used Rick and his prayers to disciple more people than he will ever know. Every Sunday he goes to the front of church and prays over anyone who has a need and rejoices with others when a prayer is answered! And his prayers won’t stop there, he WILL remember to bring you before the presence of the Father all week and until there are answers. While serving at the church I could always anticipate a call from Rick, and many other staff members would attest to his weekly phone call of encouragement. He truly wanted to know how our week was going and if we had any prayer needs. Even now that I live in Colorado, once a week I can count on a call from Rick asking how Oceans is doing and offering up prayers.

Because of his prayers and time spent praying together, I look to Rick as one of my spiritual fathers who has helped me grow deeper in my love relationship with the Heavenly Father. This once rough and tough construction guy, who played a wild defensive end for UCLA, has become a prayer warrior who has impacted lives far and wide.

During this prayer challenge obey Jesus’ command by making “disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19-20) by praying with your wife, kids, co-workers, neighbors, friends, even strangers and watch what your Mighty Father will do in your heart and the hearts of those you are praying with. Prayer brings Heaven to earth and unleashes the Kingdom of God. As Jesus says, “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them,” (Matthew 18:20).

40 Day Prayer Challenge – Bringing in Sunshine

As the 40 Day Prayer Challenge continues I’d like to share a story from Arnie. Arnie is on board with this challenge and recently called to invite me to meet a newly hired employee, Felix, who is from Cuba. Arnie continued “crazy things have been happening here at work and we are having prayer meetings in my office.” So last week I went down to visit Arnie at his concrete business. As I walked unto the yard an enthusiastic young man approached me and with a strong accent said “Halleluiah” and gave me a hug. This had to be Felix! In broken English he went on to tell me that he and his family had been praying for me. Wow what a blessing to have someone greet me this way! The presence of joy that flowed from this guy was contagious. As we continued walking together into the office we met another employee who said, “Felix brings sunshine to work!”

That night Arnie, Felix and I had dinner together. Over a meal I heard more of Felix’s amazing faith journey while in Cuba. He shared about some extremely difficult times he encountered because of his faith in Jesus. What miraculously got him through these hardships were intense times of prayer and praise. Felix said he tried to follow the example of Paul and Silas by remembering what they did while in the dark prison. “Praying and singing hymns,” (Acts 16:25) are what carried him through many difficulties. What a blessed evening Arnie and I had as we listened to stories of how God’s mighty hand directed Felix’s life and how he eventually ended up in Colorado. Felix’s burning desire to bring the light of Jesus’ love to those walking in darkness was his hearts desire in Cuba and here in the states.

We ended our night in the restaurant praying together in Spanish and English, needless to say I left with a full heart. As I drove home I thought about the phrase his co-worker used to describe Felix “he brings sunshine to work!” It was so evident to me that his life founded on prayer and praise is what keeps him in the presence of the Son and by product is spiritual sunshine wherever he goes.

Felix’s glow made me reflect on the command found in Philippians 4:4-6.

“Rejoice in the Lord always I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident

to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by

prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your requests to God. And the peace

of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your

minds in Christ Jesus.” 

Keep praying and praising and let the Son shine through you!





40 Day Prayer Challenge – I will Answer

I got a call last week from a friend who has joined the 40 Day Prayer Challenge. He said he just had share what happened as a result of his crying out to God that morning. It is one of those phone calls that you sit down for, in fact by the end the call I was doing a little praise dance to the Lord. I asked him if I could share this story with you and he said absolutely he wanted the Father to be glorified and others to be encouraged to keep praying.

My friend is in the midst of some financial challenges in part because he lives a life of radical obedience. God has not only blessed their family with a bunch of kids but they added on to their clan by following God’s call to adopt three more from Africa, plus offering care to another needy child in their community that has been living with them. On that particular morning on the way to work my friend used a few quiet moments to pray into the 40 Challenge. He was crying out to God for his financial need especially since his work vehicle had broken down.

Later that same day while waiting and wondering what the verdict would be, my friend received a call from the mechanic and he proceeded to say an amazing thing had just happened. Someone walked in and said, “Here is $500 to help cover the cost of the repairs for that work vehicle.” My friend continued on, “Tim have you every heard of such a crazy thing, where someone comes off the street and anonymously gives money to help pay for repairs.” The two of us were astonished and we both rejoiced and continued talking about our Father God who hears the prayers of His children. My friend went on to say how this answer filled him with peace and encouragement that God would again show Himself faithful in their other needs as well.

That same morning I was reading Psalm 91 and these words grabbed my heart:

“Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble and I will deliver him and honor him” vs. 14-15.

My friend who “lovesthe LORD, who boldly called upon Him with His need in the morning found Him faithful already in the afternoon. Prayer is the way we “acknowledge” that we love and trust in the LORD and when He answers we give Him all honor and glory.

As my friend was bursting forth with praise to His Father God for hearing His prayer, I found my heart strongly encouraged to keep crying out to the Father with the needs in my prayer circle. As we have reached 20 days into the prayer challenge “keep asking, seeking, and knocking,” and wait in hope for how your Father will show Himself glorious in your life.