40 Days of Prayer 2024: Day 20

Today, we are on Day 20, and we continue our time on the practice of Scripture.

(You can catch up on Day 1, Day 2 , Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7, Day 8, Day 9, Day 10, Day 11, Day 12, Day 15, Day 17 Day 18, Day 19 if you missed them)

Have you read a book or watched a movie at one point in your life and then found yourself identifying with a different character when you encounter it again? When we are young, we may see ourselves in the young protagonist, but when we are older, we are more likely to see ourselves in the mentors, the parents or teachers in the story. 

Our place in God’s story

The same can be true in reading the Bible. When I was younger in Christ, I read the Bible and saw myself in the main character. When I read the life of David, for instance, I’d ask myself what I would have done if I had encountered a Goliath. How could I be courageous like David? But then, a little farther along in my walk with God, I realized I am not the hero in the story—God is. And I switched my focus from myself to what God is doing in each story, and what that tells me about who He is. I’m not the main character, and praise God, what a relief that is! I needed time solely to see who God is and pay attention to Him.

And now, just a little bit removed from that, I can see both. We often have to swing from one end to the other in life to find a balanced middle. We are not the hero of the story. Jesus is. But we do have a vital role to play in His story. God longs, even insists, on accomplishing His work with His friends. 

So, I still read passages, seeking first what they tell me about God, but now that I’ve removed myself from the center, I can better listen for His voice as I read and see my role in His story. And I can see adjustments I need to make to be more like Him or even more like those who have walked with Him. 

Our passage to spend time with today is Ephesians 3:14-21

Just as before, we will read this passage three times, slowly. A friend mentioned she writes a passage by hand each day, to slow down and savor God’s words, and that is an excellent suggestion! Writing by hand, can improve our learning and memory, involving more parts of our brains. And since you’ll already have your notebook out to write down what the Lord highlights, I highly encourage you to write today’s passage out word for word, too and see how it impacts your time and your focus with God.

Today, on your first readthrough, continue to highlight any word or phrase the Holy Spirit highlights to you. On the second readthrough, notice what this passage tells you about God. And then, on your third, notice what Paul is praying for you. What does it tell us about you and your role with Him?

Ephesians 3:14-21

14 When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, 15 the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. 16 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. 17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. 21 Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.


Father, we ask you to do immeasurably more than we ask or imagine in us and in our lives. Transform us to be more like you. Saturate our minds, hearts, and bodies—our whole beings, with your love. Open your word to each person here, highlighting what they need to hear from you today. Give us the courage to respond to your promptings, even and especially when your promptings are to experience the vastness of your love. In the name of Jesus we pray together, amen.

♥ Samantha