40 Days of Prayer

November 15, 2020

David Sorn

Before we move into our building, we must prepare with a season of serious prayer!

40 Days of Prayer

November 15, 2020

David Sorn

Before we move into our building, we must prepare with a season of serious prayer!


(Intro video plays with clips of the building being built up over time)

Morning! I hope you’re getting pumped!

We are getting closer and closer to moving into our building!

And we know that as we move over there, God is going to do tremendous things…on a whole new level for our church.

A lot of you have been asking me, “When is Grand Opening? When is Grand Opening?”

The answer is really two-fold.

It is possible that we could start holding services there by the end of December.

When the building is completely finished, and we can open it up to have services…we want to

Now, there is certainly an asterisk or two to that statement.

COVID is on the rise again, so we have no idea if there will be restrictions against mass gatherings.

Also, as COVID rises, it’s becoming more & more difficult to fill our volunteer positions each week as more & more people are quarantining

But if we’re able to open up, we will

And whenever we do, we can’t encourage you enough to invite your friends to come and check it out.

It’ll be such a cool opportunity as many people in the community are interested to get in and see it.

But really, there will be two phases to opening up this building.

The first phase of opening up will be perhaps in late December (or January), but the other phase won’t be until the summer…maybe even early Fall.

We won’t do a massive, official Grand Opening (I’m talking billboards all over town, street signs on every corner, postcards, all over social media)…

We won’t do that kind of Grand Opening until things are much more back to normal.

And as they announced this week, with a vaccine coming to the general public in April or so…that means we’ll have to wait a while still.

I was out at the church building last week, and there was a couple that lives in the neighborhood across the street that was walking through the parking lot.

I went over to talk to them, and as they were admiring the building, I invited them to come check out a service when it opened.

And they said, “Oh, we would LOVE to! But we wouldn’t dream of it until after COVID”

And there are many, many people that feel that way.

And so really, we’ll be opening it up in two phases…and both are important.

When we move in sometime in the next couple of months, I believe that God will immediately start to move pretty mightily.

And here’s why:

People are hurting right now. Big time.

Every week in the prayer requests, there are more and more stories of suicide, depression, divorce.

If we’re able to, we need to open up this building and introduce as many people to Jesus as possible.

And I get that our “Phase 1” of opening is probably going to be in the midst of COVID, but listen, people will come anyway.

Every single week (even now) we have a whole number of visiting, first-time families at our services here in the gym…and that will happen exponentially more as we open up the building.

And so I expect that God is going to move mightily in January, February, and into Spring…social distancing and masks and all.

I think that will be the first WAVE of God’s new movement through our church.

And then, come summer or early Fall, when we can really open it up, and actually fit 500 people into that Worship Center (instead of 125 w/ social distancing), and people will feel, not only safe to gather in large crowds again, but excited to do so…

Then, you’ll see the second wave of God’s movement through our church will begin.

And then, you’ll really going to see something special.

In some ways, I think it may even be in God’s mercy for this to happen to us in 2 phases…in 2 waves.

I’m not sure we could have even handled one big one.

We will start small, and make sure we’re ready for the bigger 2nd wave.

But listen, I think 2021 is going to be an absolutely special year for this church.


However, it won’t just “happen”

Especially if we’re not prepared.

And so today, we’re embarking on a very important series for our church called “Preparation”

If God is truly going to move in mighty ways in our church, and we’re going to see a lot of lost people saved and discipled to follow Jesus in 2021, we need to prepare as a church body.

One of the things you often see in the Bible is the preparation that goes into a movement of God.

Especially the preparation of people for God’s movement.

Moses is a good example of this.

Growing up, he was the Prince of Egypt…Moses had all the leadership training in the world…so he should have been more than ready to lead God’s people out of Egypt.

But he wasn’t spiritually prepared yet.

So at 40-years-old, God sent him to the wilderness to be a no-name shepherd.

But it wasn’t a waste, it was PREPARATION

DL Moody once summed up Moses’ life this way:

“Moses spent his first forty years thinking he was somebody. He spent his second forty years learning he was a nobody. He spent his third forty years discovering what God can do with a nobody.” – D.L. Moody

Or think of Joshua….Joshua didn’t just start leading God’s people out of nowhere.

He interned with Moses for 40 years.

As a young man, Joshua would often be privy to the Lord’s conversations with Moses, and then Joshua would stay on in the tent of meeting, spending extra time with God…

Preparing, for when it would be his time to lead…in the future.


David was anointed to be King as a boy, but he wouldn’t become king for many years…

God needed to prepare Him

Even Jesus prepared for his ministry.

His first 30 years were mostly spent in obscurity

Before he kicked off his years of ministry, He started by spending 40 days in prayer

The disciples spent 3 years preparing with Jesus before they began the movement that would change the world.

Even Paul, rather than immediately beginning his missionary work, first spent years preparing in Arabia.

Preparation for a movement of God is key.

And so we’re going to look at a couple of key ways we need to prepare as a church.

And the first way is this: We need to UP our engagement with God in prayer…that’s what we’re going to talk about today


Every major move of God, in history, has started with prayer.

Even the birth of Christianity.

After his resurrection, Jesus appeared to people over a period of 40 days.

But after He ascended back into heaven, He told his disciples to go and wait in Jerusalem for the Holy Spirit.

And what do we see them doing?

(Acts 1:14) – NIV

They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.

And they do this for 10 days actually.

They’re not working on strategic timelines or organizational roll-outs.

They’re praying.

And on the 10th day, Pentecost, the Holy Spirit comes…and the movement of God begins.

We were actually just reading this story in our children’s Bible at home this week, and Acts chapter 2 tells us that as Peter preached on Pentecost, 3,000 people believed in Jesus..

And my son said, “3,000?!? Just that day?!?”


But they had been preparing…..in prayer.

We need to prepare too.

A verse that I think is really important for us in this season is Proverbs 21:31

(Proverbs 21:31) – NIV

The horse is made ready for the day of battle,
but victory rests with the Lord.

In other words, we are to do everything we can to get ready for battle…for the Lord’s work.

But the victory…the actual accomplishing of it, is done by the Lord.

And that’s part of what prayer is doing…

It’s reminding our hearts whose victory this will be

Because that’s where leaders and churches get misguided

They start taking credit themselves…they start thinking that THEY are the ones doing the work.

Moses is an example of this.

After living by faith for those last 40 years of his life, he’s surprisingly told that he can’t enter the promised land with the rest of the Israelites

See, what happened was, the people were grumbling for water, and God told Moses this:

(Numbers 20:8b) – NIV

Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water. You will bring water out of the rock for the community so they and their livestock can drink.”

But rather thank speaking to it and giving the Lord credit, Moses does this:

(Numbers 20:10-11) – NIV (LEAVE UP FOR A MINUTE)

10 He and Aaron gathered the assembly together in front of the rock and Moses said to them, “Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?” 11 Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank.

Moses thinks that HE has the power to do it now.

He says must WE bring you water…

And then, even though he wasn’t even told to strike the rock, He does it for show…

And God’s mantle of leadership is going to move on from Him

Because it’s not about Moses.

It’s about God

And prayer is a way that we remember to put our trust and our hope in God.

And God is leading us there now.

And Because at some point, we’re most likely going to open up this building while COVID is still happening, we’re going to be unable to use all of the strategies and plans we had hoped to use.

We can’t advertise all over town right now, because if anything, that creates negative press for our church.

A time will come for that later (and God will use that too), but that time is not now.

And as hard as that it is for me, I see God’s hand in this.

Because God is going to show us what He can do.

And sometimes for us to see that, He has to strip away everything else.


But we must ask Him to do it.

If God is really going to use Renovation Church to reach hundreds of people for Christ in 2021…we need to get on our knees and ask Him to do it

We need to prepare.

And so I’m going to ask you to prepare with me in a number of ways.

This week, I was looking at Jesus’ preparation in Matthew chapter 4, which says this:

(Matthew 4:1-2) – NIV

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.

So Jesus prepared for his 3 years of ministry by fasting and praying for 40 days.

BTW, do you know what 40 days from today is???

Christmas... Christmas Day.

That’s pretty neat!

So, here’s what I want us to do…as we get ready for a movement of God next year, we’re going to enter into a season of 40 days of prayer…from now until Christmas.

Let me give you a number of ways you can pray with us over the next 40 days:

40 Days of Prayer

#1: Come to Our Sunday Prayer Meetings

We pray every Sunday before each service.

Right now, we’ve moved our prayer meeting to the yellow pod to make room for more people (social distanced of course)

The Yellow Pod is in the Children’s Wing.

Go through Children’s check-in, and take a left, and you’ll walk right into it

You can come if you love prayer, if you’re unsure about prayer, or aren’t even used to praying!

Come meet with us and pray that God will move in our church next year.

We meet every Sunday, 20 minutes before each service, and are done in 10 or 15 minutes.

40 Days of Prayer

#1: Come to Our Sunday Prayer Meetings

#2: Pray every day at lunch

Would you over the next month or so, make this a special emphasis of your own prayer life?

We’re asking everybody, over the next 40 days…if you just stop for a moment, and pray for you lunch…would you pray for this?

It’s a good thing for your kids to do with you too!

Ask them to ask God to really use our new church building.

Would you ask God to do amazing things through our church next year?

85% of Blaine isn’t in church on a typical Sunday.

But they are taking notice right now.

For the last 11 years, whenever I meet someone, and explain I’m a pastor, they say, “Where at?”

And I say, “Renovation Church.”

And EVERY TIME they say, “Never heard of it”

I mean, outside of Eagle Brook’s campus in Blaine, we’re the largest church in Blaine.

“Never heard of it”

But now, when I say, “Renovation Church…”

They say, “Oh, is that the one going up on Lexington? Are you guys new in town?”


We’ve been working towards this for SIX years now, not because the building is an answer, not because we’re tired of setting up and tearing down…not because we don’t think God can move here…

But because we know God can really use this as an amazing tool!

An incredible one!

So pray for it!

40 Days of Prayer

#1: Come to Our Sunday Prayer Meetings

#2: Pray every day at lunch

#3: Pray at your house group

For the next 5 weeks or so, our House Groups are going to have a special time of prayer for what God can do through our church, in 2021

40 Days of Prayer

#1: Come to Our Sunday Prayer Meetings

#2: Pray every day at lunch

#3: Pray at your house group

#4: Pray with us at noon on Fridays

Every Friday, during these 40 days, we’re going to be live on Facebook at noon…praying.

Would you just hop on (if you’re able) for a few minutes with us, and pray?

40 Days of Prayer

#1: Come to Our Sunday Prayer Meetings

#2: Pray every day at lunch

#3: Pray at your house group

#4: Pray with us at noon on Fridays

#5: Fast with us

The Bible tells us that fasting (to abstain from food while dedicating a day to prayer) is one of the strongest and most important ways to pray.

And we want to hold a 40-day fast.

We’re not asking any one person to fast for 40 days.

But we’d like to have a continual fast going for 40 days, where each of us takes A day, and then another person takes the next day.

In fact, if you open up our app, under the connect tab, you’ll seek a link for 40 days of fasting.

Tap on that, and you can sign up for one of the 40 days…

There can be more than one person per day too

We encourage you, on the day you’re fasting, at some point to head over to the building too…just walk the sidewalk…or the far end of the parking lot so you’re out of the way…and pray over the building.

If you’ve never fasted before, pick up one of our “Tips for fasting” sheets in the hallway

And we’re praying that God will use these 40 days to prepare us…and that He’ll hear our prayers…and that He will do a mighty work through our church next year.

Let me pray!

Copyright: David Sorn
Renovation Church in Blaine, MN

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