4For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth. 5And Noah did according unto all that the LORD commanded him. -Genesis 7:4, 5 (KJV)
This summer I am for the first time in my ministry planning a series of sermons on the power of 40 days. I have known for years how the number 40 is significant in the Scriptures, yet I had never done a careful study on the subject. My perspective changed last winter when I undertook a challenge to arise at 4:15 AM every morning for 40 days for the purpose of seeking the Lord in prayer. I can say with all honesty the experience changed my life. My daily schedule, prayer life, outlook, and perspective were all deeply affected by the 40 day experience. I came to understand first-hand why this number in the Bible is so significant. Anything which occurs for this length of time, be it in the world or in our personal lives, is going to have a profound effect.
One reason why the 40 day experience so influenced me is I have never been a morning person. I have always loved being up late into the night. Even though I have always prayed and spent time in the Word each day, something was missing. Over the last year I delved into the Scriptures where we find Jesus rising early, while it was still dark, and spending concentrated time in prayer and communion with God. “But, Lord," I have said, “I am not a morning person; I’d be falling asleep when I should be praying.” The Lord then placed upon my heart the 40 day challenge. He revealed to me if I would be faithful to this early morning prayer time that my life would be utterly transformed for the better. God is faithful and He empowered me to complete the challenge – to Him be all the glory! These days if I sleep until 5:00 AM I am sleeping in. I never thought this would describe me - again to God be the glory!
About a year and a half ago I attended a pastor’s conference and the leader issued a challenge to the pastors that we delve deeper into our prayer time. This will only be accomplished through an early morning devotion to prayer. God planted a seed in my heart through this challenge, and it came to fruition last winter when I took on the 40 day challenge. Anytime God does something for 40 days in our lives we are going to be dramatically affected. I can testify to this. God washed the entire planet clean over a 40 day period. The world was never the same, and a righteous man name Noah was taken to a deeper level of faith through his commitment to God.
My friends, do not sit back and wait for spiritual breakthrough. Take the initiative and begin seeking God with spiritual fervor unlike anything before. Will you take the 40 day prayer challenge? Like me, you will be positively affected and taken to new depths of faith and communion with God. The Lord has promised and He is faithful.