40 Prayers for Perilous Times: Why 40 Prayers?

written by Kelly Langston | 40 Prayers for Perilous Times

September 26, 2016

Why 40 Prayers?

I waited patiently for the Lord;
he turned to me and heard my cry.

Psalm 40:1 NIV

40 prayers.
That’s what You wanted. I didn’t ponder the number… I just knew it was 40.
40 prayers to write. 40 urgent requests in a perilous time.

The question is…why 40? Why not 20? Or 10?

I searched Your Word for 40 and found it there, often in perilous times.

You filled the earth with rains that cleansed the earth from evil in 40 days and 40 nights. (Genesis 7:12)

You directed Noah to release a raven and a dove 40 days after mountains peaks are seen above the waters. (Genesis 8:6)

You fed the Israelites manna in the wilderness for 40 years. (Exodus 16:35)

Moses spent 40 days and nights meeting with You on Mount Sinai… twice. (Exodus 24:18 and Exodus 34:1-28)

Spies scouted the Promised Land for 40 days. Numbers 13:25 and Numbers 14:34.

You sent Jonah to warn the Ninevites that they had 40 days to repent … or judgment would fall. (Jonah 3:4)

Goliath taunted and tormented the Israelites for 40 days before David defeated him. (1 Samuel 17:16)

Elijah fled from Jezebel and journeyed 40 days and 40 nights to meet You on Mount Horeb. (1 Kings 19:8) 

When Israel turned from Your ways, You gave them to suffer under the hand of the Philistines for 40 years until Samson delivered them. (Judges 13:1)

Jesus fasted and was tempted for 40 days and nights in the desert, and then started His saving ministry. (Matthew 4:2)

40 days passed between the resurrection of Jesus and His ascension (Acts 1:3)

You form us in the womb in 40 weeks.

In the 40th chapter of Exodus, Your Glory filled the Tabernacle.

So I give You 40 prayers.

40 prayers to cry out to You in a time of great trial.
40 prayers to cleanse our hearts.
40 prayers to seek direction when we have lost our way.
40 prayers to help us turn back to You.
40 prayers to heed Your warnings for You are a just God.

40 prayers for Your glory to fill our churches and homes mightily, so all the world will see and know that You, alone, are God.

Do not withhold your mercy from me, Lord;
may your love and faithfulness always protect me.
For troubles without number surround me;
my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see.
They are more than the hairs of my head,
and my heart fails within me.

Psalm 40:11-12 NIV

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Kelly Langston Owner
Kelly Langston sees prayer move mountains... and she writes about it. Author and prayer enthusiast, inspires through her writing, combining faith, storytelling, and transformative prayer to encourage deeper a rich spiritual connection with the Father. Having authored four non-fiction books and a series of "God Speaks" digital journals, she guides readers towards intimate conversations with God and recognizes the impact of prayer on our world.

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