Forty Days to a New Beginning — Seeking Guidance in a Posture of Repentance

Ten Days with Adoration

DAY 1: Tuesday, October 15

Revelation on Guidance: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your

own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths

straight.” (Proverbs 3:5,6)

Reflection: When it comes to guidance, we should 1) distrust our own understanding

and depend on God with an attitude of childlike helplessness, 2) turn from the ways

we’re not acknowledging Him with heartfelt repentance, and 3) seek to follow His will in

areas where He has made it clear. If we do these things, He will direct us in matters

where His will is not clear, and straighten our way when we see no way forward.

Your reflection on this verse:

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

1. Prayer of Adoration: I praise you, Father, that you tell us how to find your guidance.

Thank you that we can trust you to make our paths straight as we depend on you. Thank

you that you are wise enough to know how to do this, how to undo the knots that we tie.

Thank you that you will show us what we should do as we fulfill these conditions for your

guidance.

Your adoration:

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

2. Prayer of Repentance: Forgive me, Father, for the ways that I do not trust you with all

my heart. Forgive me for clinging to my own understanding, for being wise in my own

understanding, for my high opinion of my own opinion. Forgive me for defending

incorrect opinions, for using reason against the truth without even knowing it.

Forgive me for all the ways that I do not acknowledge you—not only by my dependence

in how I think but by my obedience in how I live. As I slow down and listen, show me how

I am doing this.

Your repentance (for yourself, your family, or our congregation):

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

 

3. Prayer for Guidance: Father, help me, my family, and our church family to be so

helplessly dependent on you that we seek you with all our heart desperately. As we seek

your guidance, may we live up to the light you’ve given us. May we obey you in the

areas you’ve made the way clear, in our thoughts, words and deeds, so we’ll be open to

receive the new light we need.

I will seek to do my part, Father. Now do yours. Show us the way we should go in the

months to come. Straighten our paths to a new beginning. This Sunday, use Session’s

confession to this end.

Your prayer for guidance (for yourself, your family, or our congregation):

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

 

DAY 2: Wednesday, October 16

Revelation on Guidance: “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build

it; unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman keeps awake in vain. It is vain for you

to rise up early, to retire late, to eat the bread of painful labors; for He gives to His

beloved even in His sleep.” (Psalm 127:1)

Reflection: Unless the Lord is working hand-in-glove with us, our toil will be useless.

Unless the Lord is watching over us, we might as well not lock our doors. It’s foolish to

exhaust yourself getting things done, even losing sleep over it, if He is not in it. But if He

is your Beloved, your first priority—if your heart is tied to Him intimately, coming home

to Him daily—He will get things done for you while you sleep. So above all else, stay

close to Him, as you will be while you pray.

Your reflection on this verse:

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

1. Prayer of Adoration: Father, thank you that you are with me, especially as I stay close

to you. You are so present that you secretly work alongside me; so loving that you

supplement my frail efforts to watch over me; so powerful that I can find rest in the

knowledge that you’re working for me; so available that you’re at work even while I sleep.

Your adoration:

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

2. Prayer of Repentance: Father, forgive me for taking matters into my own intellectual

hands and emotional reactions, as though it was up to me to build the house.

Forgive me for the ways that you are not my personal Beloved, my best love above all

others, who I look to with heartful loyalty, even in my sleep. Forgive me for my loyalty

to pastors, friends or family, fighting for them and feeling for them and thinking about

them more than I do my Savior.

Your repentance (for yourself, your family, or our congregation):

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

3. Prayer for Guidance: Lord, we so desperately need you to build our houses. Be with

us at each step of the way—personally and congregationally, individually and with our

families. Work through us and watch over us as we work. There is much opposition,

especially from the spiritual powers that are lurking around us.

Help us to find rest beyond leisure as we work hand-in-glove with you. Help us to rest in

arms that are bearing us up and winging us home, like an eagle through the trackless

sky. We need guidance through this trackless life. “We are strangers in the earth, hide

not your commandments from us (Psalm 119:19). Even as we sleep, “counsel us in the

night.” Do this through the Transition Team and the Search Committee when they

launch their work, and counsel us as we listen to Session’s confession. May we be open

to whatever you might say in the face of our opinions.

Your prayer for guidance (for yourself, your family, or our congregation):

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

 

DAY 3: Thursday, October 17

Revelation on Guidance: “The noble man devises noble plans, and by noble plans he

stands.” (Isaiah 32:8)

Reflection: Your person is the most important part of your plans, who you are in Him.

The right plans come from hearts that are right before Him, in abject dependency. Noble

6

plans that will stand come from people who in humility reflect His nobility in what they

do and say.

Your reflection on this verse:

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

1. Prayer of Adoration: Father, thank you that what’s most important to you is who we

are. You care about how we do it as much as what we do, about noble manners and

motives. You look through my performance to my person. You want to see me blossom

into a man or woman of God. You long to see us mature together into the “full stature

of Christ.” What a noble call!

We want to stand straight and true like Him, our noble King. “Gird Your sword on your

thigh, O Mighty One, in Your splendor and Majesty! In your majesty ride on victoriously!”

Ride through us victoriously, in your nobility, through our humility, in all our plans, in all

our stands, in our every opinion.

Your adoration:

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

2. Prayer of Repentance: Father, forgive us for not being noble in our stands, whether at

home or work or church. Forgive us for our ignoble ways: for not taking the high road in

our differences; for speaking the truth without love; for jumping to conclusions without

sufficient information; for judging others in the face of our judgmentalism; for the logs

in our own eyes.

Your repentance (for yourself, your family, or our congregation):

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

3. Prayer for Guidance: Lord, help us to be the right human beings, not just human

doings. Help me to do the right things in the right way, and to say the right things in the

right way, whether or not I agree with Session’s confession. In humility, in your

sufficiency, with noble ways and plans, may we ride on victoriously.

Your prayer for guidance (for yourself, your family, or our congregation):

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

 

DAY 4: Friday, October 18

Revelation on Guidance: “In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have

redeemed. In your strength you will guide them to your holy dwelling.” (Exodus 15:13)

Reflection: God remains with the people He redeems because His love is unfailing. He

will never leave us. He will lead us with unfailing love and untiring strength. Through it

all, He’s leading not only to his holy presence in heaven, but to the secret place of His

holy presence on earth, where all else flows out of Him.

Your reflection on this verse:

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

1. Prayer of Adoration: Thank you, Lord, for the secret place of your holy dwelling, at the

still center of the turning world. Thank you for “the secret place of your tent where you

hide me” (Psalm 27:5). Through it all, you’re leading me to you, both now and in the

hereafter.

Thank you that I can follow your lead. Thank you that as we come to you, we can rest in

the certainty of your presence, guidance and providence. Thank you that you are my

source and resource as I make my way through life. Thank you for your warm welcome

whenever I come, even as I do right now in prayer.

Your adoration:

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

2. Prayer of Repentance: Father, forgive me for straying from home.

Your repentance (for yourself, your family, or our congregation):

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

3. Prayer for Guidance: “Precious Lord, lead us home.” Wherever we go, whatever we

do, however we do it, don’t let us to stray from your side. Remind us frequently to stop

and pray along the way. Help us stay in the right place as much as find the right course.

Lead us to where you want us to be, not only in our outer lives but equally in our inner

reactions, not just congregationally but personally.

 

Guide our church family closer to you through our 40 day journey to your holy dwelling.

Breathe your holy presence into our Solemn Assembly at the end of the journey. Keep us

on our knees for these 40 days, prostrate before your throne, seeking your guidance in a

posture of repentance, seeking your presence to guide us. May we bring it with us. May

your fulness come through our emptiness as we gather. May Session’s confession lead to

this end when we come together to confess our sins. May we turn the corner into a

whole new chapter.2

Your prayer for guidance (for yourself, your family, or our congregation):

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

 

DAY 5: Saturday, October 19

Revelation on Guidance: “Because of your great compassion you did not abandon them

in the desert. By day the pillar of cloud did not cease to guide them on their path, nor the

pillar of fire by night to shine on the way they were to take.” (Nehemiah 9:19)

Reflection: Thanks to the Father’s great compassion, none who know Christ as their

Savior will be ever abandoned. Nehemiah was looking back in this verse. He saw he did

not have to find his way through the wilderness on his own.

Like him, we too can forge forward by faith in our own Pillar. Through the day and

through the night, He never ceases to guide us. However we’re feeling, whatever we’re

seeing, anywhere and anytime, we must believe that He has not left us alone. He will

come through, and in the end we’ll see, just as Nehemiah did.

Your reflection on this verse:

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

1. Prayer of Adoration: I praise you that you are taking us to the promised land. Thank

you that we don’t have to wait to heaven to see the faithfulness of your guiding hand.

Thank you that as our redeemer you have come through again and again.

2 Our Solemn Assembly will be held at 9:15 on Sunday, November 27, in a single service. It will be a time

for confession and exaltation.

 

Your adoration:

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

2. Prayer of Repentance: Father, looking back like Nehemiah did, forgive me for forgetting

how you have led us personally and congregationally, through the day and through the

night. Forgive me for being a prophet of doom rather than a student of history. Forgive

me for forgetting... (think of how he has come through for you and for our congregation):

Your repentance (for yourself, your family, or our congregation):

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

3. Prayer for Guidance: Lord, do it again with our families and loved ones, and with our

church family, just as you delivered Israel. Guide the future as you have the past. May

Session’s confession be another step in the direction of your delivering us again.

As you did with your children back then, “Precious Lord, take our hand, lead us on, help us

stand.” So often, like them, “I am weak, I am tired, I am worn. Through the storm, through

the night, lead me on to the light. Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home.” Lead us

home to you, and all will be well.

Your prayer for guidance (for yourself, your family, or our congregation):

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

 

DAY 6: Sunday, October 20

Revelation on Guidance: “Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in

your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.”

(Psalm 25:4,5)

Reflection: Above all, David wanted God to guide him into His ways and His paths. The

paths of God are the ways of God. The ways of God are a way of life that includes our

thoughts, words, and deeds. We find His way through the truth of His Word. This was

David's greatest passion when seeking God's direction. As frosting on the cake, he

rejoiced in "God my Savior”—and believed that He would deliver him again.

Your reflection on this verse:

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

1. Prayer of Adoration: I praise you, God, that you have already revealed the way for

each of us to follow, and that you have shown us your way through your Word. I prize

these paths of righteousness because I prize you. I praise you that as frosting on the

cake, as God our Savior you save, and you will show us the way to the dawning of a new

day. Thank you that you will come through; and that you will do it sooner rather than

later as we come to you, as together we hope in you, as we wait expectantly in the

certainty of your presence, guidance and providence.

Your adoration:

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

2. Prayer of Repentance: Forgive me, Lord, for straying from your path even as I seek

your guidance. Forgive me for my wayward ways: for what I do and say in the wrong

way; for not placing my hope in you all day long, for roller coaster anxieties that are the

height of unbelief; for not believing that you will be "God my Savior" through it all. I turn

now, and chose to make straight the way for you to come, as I hope in you today and

follow your ways. Show me what this means today...

Your repentance (for yourself, your family, or our congregation):

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

4. Prayer for Guidance: Lord, don’t let us stray into ungodly ways as we seek your

guidance. On this foundation, help us to please you as we evaluate what we hear and

see through these 40 days, and especially as we evaluate Session’s confession. Yes, as

David prayed, be God our Savior, but in the meantime, may our thoughts, words and

deeds be pleasing to you as you teach us your ways.

Your prayer for guidance (for yourself, your family, or our congregation):

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

 

 

DAY 7: Monday, October 21

Revelation on Guidance: “Send out your light and your truth, let them guide me; let

them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell.” (Psalm 43:3)

Reflection: God sends messengers of light and truth to guide us to Him, to our deepest

good. So here it is again, as we saw in Exodus 15:13 on Friday. It’s all through Scripture:

through it all, His priority is to guide us on paths that lead us closer to Him, to the place

where He dwells secretly

Your reflection on this verse:

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

1. Prayer of Adoration: I praise you, Lord, that your light and truth leads us to the One

who is the Light and the Truth. Thank you that your love is such that you will send forth

whatever it takes to draw me to you. Thank you that you show me the way, that I may

come to you and stay close to you. Thank you that through everything, you’re leading me

to the place where you dwell, to where I get you.

Your adoration:

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

2. Prayer of Repentance: Forgive me for wanting so many things but you. Forgive me for

wanting guidance for so many things, but not to You—to the secret place where you dwell.

Forgive me going there not for you but for what I want from you.

Your repentance (for yourself, your family, or our congregation):

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

3. Prayer for Guidance: Father, as we look to the future, send forth your light and truth

to guide the Transition Team, the Search Committee, the congregation and Session; and

guide the congregation as they evaluate Session’s confession yesterday.

Yet even as you guide us, don’t let us lose sight of you. Give us eyes to see and a heart to

embrace the deeper agenda behind what happened last year: to drive us to you. Don’t

let us forget to stay close to you, centered in you, calling on you, even as I am now. May

12

we "rest in you, nest in you, to be fully be blessed in you.” We go on autopilot so easily;

so keep us humbly dependent on you, on our knees in the place where you dwell.

Your prayer for guidance (for yourself, your family, or our congregation):

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

 

DAY 8: Tuesday, October 22

Revelation on Guidance: “This is what the Lord says, Your Redeemer, the Holy One of

Israel. I am the Lord Your God who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in

the way you should go.” (Isaiah 48:17)

Reflection: We have a loving Lord who has redeemed us for the highest good. To this

end He shows us the way that is best and directs us there.

Your reflection on this verse:

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

1. Prayer of Adoration: O Lord my God, you are worthy to be the teacher and director

of my life because you know best and you are my Redeemer. You paid for me with the

ransom your precious life for the most precious of purposes. They are the most glorious

of ends, ones that I can barely imagine. You love me enough to insist on what is best,

not easiest. You don’t let up when I give up. O righteous Father, thank you that you’re

not a permissive parent. You don’t just permit or indulge, but divulge and direct.

Your adoration:

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

2. Prayer of Repentance: Forgive me, Father, for not believing that what you want is best;

for resisting your work through what seems like the worst, even resenting it. Forgive me

for not even wanting the best, whatever it is, if it means going through this. As you direct

me in the way I should go, forgive me that your rod and staff anger me; that the security

of your discipline doesn’t comfort me; that unlike Paul I do not count pain as your way of

directing me to the ultimate gain, the glory of your Son (Phil.2:7-11). Forgive me for

questioning your goodness, for forgetting that you “discipline us for our good, that we

may share in your holiness.” (Heb.12:10)

Your repentance (for yourself, your family, or our congregation):

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

3. Prayer for Guidance: Lord, as one you have redeemed, I invite you to lead me and

teach me the way that is best for me along life’s journey. I lift up our church body as

well. We need your to direct us in way we should go. Give us not just what is expedient

or convenient but what is best.

Who better to lead us than the One who has redeemed us with His precious blood?

Open our eyes and our hearts to see where you are leading this body of believers, and

how we should plan to accomplish the best. Help us to seize it as we go for the gold,

both in our character and our calling as a congregation.

Your prayer for guidance (for you, your family, or our congregation):

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

 

 

DAY 9: Wednesday, October 23

Revelation on Guidance: “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into

all the truth.” (John 16:13)

Reflection: The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth: of wisdom, understanding, counsel,

might, knowledge and under it all, of the fear of the Lord. He instructs us in “fear of the

Lord” that is the “beginning of wisdom”—a reverential trust and devotion to the holy

God who leads us by His Holy Spirit. He counsels believers. He develops in us skills for

living. He gives us knowledge of His will “in all spiritual wisdom and understanding.”.

Your reflection on this verse:

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

1. Prayer of Adoration: Holy Father, through your Holy Spirit you are my hidden treasure.

I fear you and trust you and devote my life to you alone. I worship you as the only wise

God whose Spirit searches out your depths. What a source you are for all that we need.

What a resource He is for all that you are.

Thank you, Father, for your wisdom, the wisdom that comes through Him: for the still

small voice that guides me, for the sound judgment that protects me, for the light in my

darkness, for the discernment to see “righteousness and justice and equity and every

good course” (Prov.2:9). Thank for the Spirit who leads me into your greatest treasure,

the way, truth and the life of Christ our Savior. Light our darkness, shine through us.

Your adoration:

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

2. Prayer of Repentance: Father, forgive us for spurning our greatest resource—for

quenching your Spirit by our thoughts, words, deeds, and feelings last year; show me

how I’m doing this right now. Show all of us, so you can shine through us together.

Your repentance (for yourself, your family, or our congregation):

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

3. Prayer for Guidance: Father, let your Spirit of comfort brood over us, calming our

anger and fear. Let your Spirit of peace unite us, not in uniformity but in harmony. Let

your Spirit of Truth guide us as we hear from Brian. Let Your Spirit of counsel lead our

discussions, and the Transition Team, Search Committee, Session, and congregation. Let

your Spirit of wisdom lead us into “righteousness and justice and equity and every good

course.” May your Spirit of power strengthen us to follow your guidance.

Your prayer for guidance (for yourself, your family, or our congregation):

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

 

 

DAY 10: Thursday, October 24

Revelation on Guidance: “I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along

unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and

make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.”

(Isaiah 42:16)

 

Reflection: We have a God who is faithful. He will lead us on life’s journey and guide us

in the right way. We can trust Him to straighten the way for us and to lead us through

the roughest places. He will never leave us or forsake us. Through even through our

blindness in the darkest of times.

Your reflection on this verse:

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

1. Prayer of Adoration: Father, what faithfulness. What assurance. What a promise. I

praise you in advance for your guidance.

Your adoration:

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

2. Prayer of Repentance: Mighty God, as I look to the future, forgive me for being bound

by the past. Forgive us that our faith can be so fickle in the face of One who is so faithful.

Your repentance (for yourself, your family, or our congregation):

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

3. Prayer for Guidance: O Lord, with scores of others in this body, I claim this verse

today. I pray according to your Word, by your will, believing that it will be done unto to

us according to our faith—that you would “lead the blind by ways they have not known,”

that “ along unfamiliar paths you would guide them,” that you would “ turn the darkness

into light before them and make the rough places smooth.” So shall it be. Amen.

Your prayer for guidance (for you, your family, or our congregation):

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________