40 Days of Prayer is a time to pray with one heart, one mind and one voice as a congregation as we discern and prepare for the calling of our next pastor and the next chapter of ministry in First Baptist’s story. Over these 40 days we will have:

  • Daily Prompts, inviting us to pray for our Pastor Search Committee, our next Senior Pastor, and for ourselves and our church
  • A Prayer Labyrinth, in the upper level of the Connector Building downtown, set aside as a place to walk and pray and commit this search process and ourselves to God.

DOWNLOAD THE PRAYER GUIDE

Print copies are available downtown in the connector building.


Walking the Labyrinth

You are invited to walk the labyrinth in person from 10am-3pm Monday – Friday during the 40 Days of Prayer. There is no ‘correct’ way to walk the labyrinth; it is simply a tool to create time and space for you before God. You may find the suggestions below helpful to guide you as you walk.

Move at your own pace as you ask for God’s guidance on our pastor search process, that God would be preparing our next pastor, our church and you, personally, for the next season of ministry for First Baptist Church.

PREPARE: Remove your shoes before walking the labyrinth. Imagine setting foot on holy ground. Be still and take a deep breath. Ask God to meet you on this journey.

JOURNEY IN: As you walk along the path toward the center of the labyrinth, be mindful of each step that you take, letting go of the worries and concerns that you carry.

Ask God to empty you of all that keeps you from following Him more fully and to create space for all that He wants to do in you and through you. Offer to God some of the prayers for our search committee, our next pastor and our church contained in this guide.

CENTER: Rest in the center of the labyrinth with God. Linger in God’s presence. Listen for what God may prompt in you.

JOURNEY OUT: As you return along the same path, consider how God may be prompting you to respond to your time of prayer: an action to take, something to let go or to take hold of. Continue to pray for the calling of our next pastor as you walk the remaining steps of the labyrinth.

EXIT: Before you exit the labyrinth, stop for a moment and thank God for all the ways that he is present to you and provides for you and for our church. Thank God for the ways that he will lead us to our next pastor and into God’s future.

If you are unable to come downtown to walk the labyrinth in person, you can use the ‘finger labyrinth’ contained in the 40 Days guide. Simply trace your finger around the labyrinth as you pray, moving at the same slow and deliberate pace as you take each ‘step’ in prayer.


What is a Labyrinth?

Over the centuries, Christians have used labyrinths as a means of prayer. During the Middle Ages, when all Christians were encouraged to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, walking the labyrinth became a spiritual pilgrimage for those who could not make such a journey.

While it may look like a maze, the labyrinth is a simple path that winds inward toward the center and returns out the same way, symbolic of our inward journey of spiritual reflection and self-examination, resting in God’s presence, and journeying on mission out into the world.

The path of the labyrinth is intentionally narrow, causing us to slow down, to walk intentionally, one step at a time, as we offer our prayers, questions, and our hopes to God.


Daily Prayers July

Monday, July 19th – Prayer for “Patient Trust”

Above all, trust in the slow work of God.

We are quite naturally impatient in everything to reach the end without delay.

We should like to skip the intermediate stages.

We are impatient of being on the way to something unknown, something new.

And yet it is the law of all progress

that it is made by passing through some stages of instability—

and that it may take a very long time.

And so I think it is with you;

your ideas mature gradually—let them grow,

let them shape themselves, without undue haste.

Don’t try to force them on,

as though you could be today what time

(that is to say, grace and circumstances acting on your own good will)

will make of you tomorrow.

Only God could say what this new spirit

gradually forming within you will be.

Give Our Lord the benefit of believing

that his hand is leading you,

and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself

in suspense and incomplete.

—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ excerpted from Hearts on Fire

Tuesday, July 20 – Pray that God is already working the heart of our next pastor, stirring a desire to come to our church.

Wednesday, July 21 – Pray for our Pastor Search Committee (PSC) Chair, Randy Ivey, that God would grant him wisdom, strength, perseverance and humility. Pray for Randy’s family and all of his other responsibilities.

Thursday, July 22 – Pray for First Baptist Church, that we will continue to live out our purpose, mission, and vision.

Friday, July 23 – Pray for our PSC Vice Chair, Janna Lennon, that God would grant her wisdom, strength, perseverance and humility. Pray for Janna’s family and all of her other responsibilities.

Monday, July 26 – Pray for discernment, wisdom and strength for each of the members of the Pastor Search Committee.

Tuesday, July 27 – Pray that our next pastor is seeking to grow closer to God each day.

Wednesday, July 28 – Pray for PSC member, Tom Alexander, that God would grant him wisdom, strength, perseverance and humility. Pray for Tom’s family and all of his other responsibilities.

Thursday, July 29 – Pray that our church will continue to support and trust the work of the Pastor Search Committee.

Friday, July 30 – Pray for PSC member, Linda Collins, that God would grant her wisdom, strength, perseverance and humility. Pray for Linda’s family and all of her other responsibilities.


Daily Prayers August

Monday, August 2 – Pray that the PSC will look not to their own interests, but to the interests and needs of the church as they make their decisions.

Tuesday, August 3 – Pray for our willingness and openness to change, individually and as a congregation; to embrace new ideas and ways of being as we seek to minister in an ever-changing world.

Wednesday, August 4 – Pray for PSC member, Katie Evans, that God would grant her wisdom, strength, perseverance and humility. Pray for Katie’s family and all of her other responsibilities.

Thursday, August 5 – Pray that we will be united in our decision regarding the individual who is called to become our next senior pastor.

Friday, August 6 – Pray for PSC member, Patrick Griffin, that God would grant him wisdom, strength, perseverance and humility. Pray for Patrick’s work and relationships and all of his other responsibilities.

Monday, August 9 – Pray that the PSC will continue to act with humility, respecting and loving one another as they go about their work.

Tuesday, August 10 – Pray that God would be planting seeds of God’s vision for First Baptist Church in the heart and the mind of our next pastor.

Wednesday, August 11 – Pray for PSC member, Stephen Jeffcoat, that God would grant him wisdom, strength, perseverance and humility. Pray for Stephen’s work and relationships and all of his other responsibilities.

Thursday, August 12 – Pray that we will patiently await God’s timing as the pastor search process continues to unfold.

Friday, August 13 – Pray for PSC member, Heather Sutton, that God would grant her wisdom, strength, perseverance and humility. Pray for Heather’s family and all of her other responsibilities.

Monday, August 16 – Pray for a sense of God’s peace among the PSC, even in times that may seem chaotic or busy.

Tuesday, August 17 – Pray for discernment in our next pastor; that they would not be overwhelmed by the many concerns and considerations that come with making such a significant decision but would instead be overwhelmed by a sense of peace, purpose and joy.

Wednesday, August 18 – Pray for PSC member, Bob Thornton, that God would grant him wisdom, strength, perseverance and humility. Pray for Bob’s family and all of his other responsibilities.

Thursday, August 19 – Pray for a fresh wind of God’s Spirit to blow throughout our life as a congregation, renewing us and inviting us into God’s work all around us.

Friday, August 20 – Pray for yourself, for whatever God wants and needs to do in you, to use you as an integral part in praying for, caring for and ministering with our next pastor.

Monday, August 23 – Pray for endurance for the PSC as they patiently work through the search process, resisting the pull to rush to the finish line, instead having no timetable but God’s.

Tuesday, August 24 – Pray for God’s strength and guidance in the church our next pastor will be leaving.

Wednesday, August 25 – Pray that we would surrender any bitterness, division and anger within our church family; that God would empower us to love one another with a patient, forbearing love.

Thursday, August 26 – Pray that the future pastor and his/her family would feel peace and excitement about the opportunity to lead our church.

Friday, August 27 – Pray that we will open our hearts as a congregation and decide that we are going to love our new pastor.

Monday, August 30 – Pray that the PSC will be diligent and thorough, wise and thoughtful as they identify and meet with potential candidates.

Tuesday, August 31 – Pray that God is preparing a community of friends and neighbors for our next pastor and his/her family, that they would feel a powerful welcome and a deep sense of belonging.


Daily Prayers September

Wednesday, September 1 – Pray that we will commit to fully support our new pastor and his/her family with our presence, with our words and with our actions.

Thursday, September 2 – Pray that our next pastor will ‘finish well’ in their current place of ministry; that they will feel a sense of completion and well-being in the kingdom work and relationships in which they have been invested.

Friday, September 3 – Pray that each member of the staff will connect with the next senior pastor, allowing each to grow and thrive in their ministries.

Monday, September 6 – Pray for unity within the PSC; that they will continue to work as a team and will be unified behind the candidate that they recommend to the church.

Tuesday, September 7 – Pray that the candidate and his/her family will have clarity during their visits and a clear understanding that this is the next step in the ministry that God has called them into.

Wednesday, September 8 – Pray that we will be mindful of, and hold lightly, our spoken and unspoken expectations of our new pastor and this next season of ministry.

Thursday, September 9 – Pray that our next pastor will be able to have a time of restoration and renewal between leaving their last congregation and becoming a part of ours.

Friday, September 10 – Pray that we would be sacrificial in love, willing to set aside our own wants and preferences for the larger call of God in our midst.