40 Days: Drawing near to Jesus as Churchcentral South

What is 40 Days?

At this crucial moment of transition in our nation, church and in our own lives, God has spoken to us about prayer. With no condemnation, our Father has said ‘I have not driven you to your knees yet’, and has showed us that something as huge as a global pandemic requires a response in prayer that is different than usual....
So, for 40 days, from Easter Sunday, we are going to draw near to Jesus. More than an event or lots of meetings, it’s an invitation from God to a new posture - of humility, of dependence, of hunger for Him.

How will you join in?

How Do I take part?

We recognise this is going to look different for every one of us. But the call to come to Jesus is the same.
So, for some, maybe it’s taking a small step in prayer, giving 5 minutes a week as Karen suggested in her word. For others, it’s using our commute or daily walk for these 40 days to interact with God. For others, it’s stepping out like never before in fasting. For others, it’s giving that final 10 minutes before bed to Jesus in silence instead of our phone in distraction.

As Karen advised, ask: “What one change is Jesus calling me to that’s sustainable?”
Start where you’re at. Don’t over complicate it. Make a plan and go for it.

resources
to help you

Podcast
We’re going to share a series of podcasts throughout the 40 days. These will sometimes be devotional (helping us to love Jesus and want to come to Him) and sometimes very practical (help on how to spend meaningful time with Jesus) leading to a moment of prayer or an exercise to help you engage with Jesus. Hit play, grow and engage with God.
This week we have Nick Tovey teaching us on 'meeting God in nature'. They are excellent episodes!
Click the image for latest episodes...
Preaching
Through April, our Sunday preaching will be on four of the '40' narratives in the Bible, learning from the experiences of the Israelites, Jesus and the disciples to see what God might want to be doing in us at this time.
Devotional Bible Studies 
Rach Martin has put together several study resources to be used by individuals or groups.
These excellent resources work best by giving them 20-30 minutes of undistracted time.

Worship
Ideas are brewing for some online live worship sessions.

But if you'd like to worship in an extended way, led by our CC South worship team, then there's a two-hour compilation video of songs and reflection times from our online services up on YouTube, it's below:

Kids prayer resources

Weekly Family Prayer Videos 
Once a week, a short video will be released on YouTube for families with younger kids to watch, perhaps over breakfast or after dinner. Short, simple, and parents you'll need to run with whatever serves your household best, but it's a weekly way to help include our children in this invitation.
They go out on YouTube at 7am on Saturday mornings (but watch any time!)
Here's the first two:
Other Great Resources
A ready-made engaging prayer activity
Ideas for you parents & carers to run with at home.

doing this together

Throughout the 40 Days there will be various online ways of doing this ‘together’.

Sunday Prayer Meetings (7.30-8.30pm) 
Every Sunday evening, we will be using our prayer meetings to grow in prayer and come near to Jesus together.
Morning Prayer Group (Weekdays, 7.45-8am)
Monday to Friday, we'll have a time of prayer - with a mix of sung worship, praying out together and praying one at a time. Join any weekday morning.
Abide Evenings (Mondays, 8-8.45pm)
A simple Zoom call, with no agenda but to sit at the feet of Jesus. Maybe we'll sing, maybe we'll be silent, maybe we'll speak, maybe we'll listen. No big plan, but come to abide with Him alongside others.
A leader will be there to welcome, but it's over to you and God and let's see what happens.
Be Creative 
Over to you! How will you involve others? Maybe that walk with a friend includes ten minutes of prayer for each other? Maybe you and a friend commit to praying at the same time every day. Maybe your community group has a spin off prayer time waiting to be started.  

Plus, if you have ideas and want to include the whole church, get in touch with Esther Lee, Beth Taylor, Rach Martin or Rich Pitt. If in doubt, hello@churchcentral.org.uk.

24 hours of consecutive prayer

8pm-8pm
Friday 9th - Saturday 10th April

At the end of the first week, we are going to seek to have a 24-hour consecutive prayer time.

The idea is that we sign up for slots, either an hour or thirty minutes.
You give that time to drawing near to God, then the next person tags in.
The crazy ones among us take the darkness hours!

NOTE: YOU'RE NOT TOO LATE TO SIGN UP EVEN ON THE DAY!!!
You can sign up when someone else has signed up, so even though it's filled up, you can still join in! Just click your preferred time!

Top TIPS to help

Fantastic resources from 24-7 Prayer that may help your hour

Share words or requests

If you have a sense that God has been speaking to you about something, let us know using the form.
Plus, if you have prayer requests, let us know and we'll publish them at some point so people can pray.