“What if you decided to change a dozen people’s lives? To keep your focus and prayers toward them. And trusted them to change the world.” ~Donald Miller
Twelve is a significant number to God. It’s a number where God shows His purpose, perfection, completeness, and power.
When a number is significant in the Bible, it truly is wise to study the number and see how God has worked—and is working—throughout scripture and in the lives of others.
Did you know:
- The number twelve occurs 187 times in the Bible, 22 times in Revelation alone
- God designed the Hebrew year to have 12 months and the daytime to have 12 hours
- The Bible’s very first mention of Jesus’ first spoken words was when He was 12 years old
- Jesus chose 12 disciples to actively be with Him and learn from Him so they could spread the gospel
- Jacob (Israel) had 12 sons
- There were 12 tribes of Israel formed by Jacob’s sons
- Jesus’ bride (in Revelation) will wear a crown with 12 jewels
- Solomon appointed 12 authorities over Israel
- The New Jerusulem has 12 gates which are manned and protected by 12 angels with 12 tribes written on the gates
- There were 12 spies sent into the land of Canaan
- There were 12 baskets collected after Jesus fed the fish and bread to the 5,000
- And there are many, many more significant mentions about the number 12 in the Bible
As I am studying the number 12, I am learning so many cool things! After I saw the above quote from Donald Miller earlier tonight, an “aha!” moment filled my heart and the idea for a challenge was born. It also gave my current prayers a fresh new fire, tenacity, and purpose.
Most everybody knows at least 12 people they are close to…people who they dearly love, pray regularly for, and who they gladly invest in.
What could happen if you were willing to expand beyond your normal circle of people you pray for?
Keep praying for all of your family members and friends…absolutely…and consider adding 12 to the list of who you specifically pray for!
This year, I want to challenge everybody to come up with a list of 12 people, but I want for those 12 people to be very specific.
God gives us great examples in His Word to serve and/or pray for specific people:
- Those who persecute us and our enemies
- Our authority figures and leaders
- Our family and friends
- Our church family (staff and members)
- The sick
- The rebellious, sinful, fallen, or faithless
- All people
With ideas from this list, consider 12 specific people who you will completely commit to pray for and invest in. It can be anyone. If you aren’t sure who to choose, ask God to place on your heart the 12 people He would like for you to fervently pray for this year.
Big things…super cool things…happen when God’s people pray! And the more specific the prayers, the better, so make sure the 12 people you pick are people you personally know (other than world leaders).
When constructing your list, I encourage you to include at least:
- one person you’re not fond of
- one person who isn’t saved or who is backslidden who could mightily build God’s Kingdom if they accepted and/or lived for Christ
- one person who has been through intense grief
- two family members
- one church staff member or church member
- one friend or former friend
After you choose your seven from the above selections, then fill in the other five with people God places on your heart to form your 12.
Buy a journal and pray for these special people every single day. Write down your prayers and see how God chooses to use you and your prayers in these 12 specific lives.
Keep this, and your prayers, completely anonymous. Don’t let anyone know you’re praying for them…do it completely in secret. And then wait to see how God openly rewards your prayers.
Of your 12, you can also choose to do something special for each of them throughout the year. Keep that completely anonymous as well.
As you pray, remember to pray:
- every day
- with faith
- with love
- for positive life change
- for each person and their family’s protection
- with God’s ultimate will and purpose in mind
- for God’s power, goodness, love, and favor to be evident, and true in experience, in each person’s life
- especially pray that God will use each person to build His Kingdom and powerfully change the world in a unique, precious, and positive way
I pray God will abundantly bless each person who chooses to pray for and invest in their special 12 people this year!
I cannot wait for each person to see how God will choose to mightily work in and through their prayers! What an incredible spiritual adventure many of you are about to be a part of!
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, What are you doing for others?” ~Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Praying for everyone to see GREAT things in 2016 as they truly do something great for others through prayer and action!
Prayer truly changes everything!!!❤️
Gratitude and many blessings,
©2016 by Kim Niles. All rights reserved.
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