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In Matthew's gospel we find some of Jesus' instructions about fasting, He says:
16 “And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 17 But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face,18 that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
Notice that Jesus say's "When" you fast. He does not say, "if" you fast.
As a believer, our call to fasting means that we acknowledge that we need God more than our possessions, more than food, more than anything, we need Him.
Today as you fast, we encourage you to begin writing down specific prayers that you can pray throughout this journey.
As we grow together in this prayer journey, let's remember to ask ourselves these questions throughout:
- Am I praying and what are my motives?
- Am I praying with faith?
- Am I praying according to His word and will?
- Is there a sin from which I need to repent?
- Am I praying through a matter?
"The church has many organizers, but few agonizers; many who pay, but few who pray; many resters, but few wrestlers; many who are enterprising, but few who are interceding.
The secret of praying is praying in secret. A worldly Christian will stop praying and a praying Christian will stop worldliness. Tithes may build a church but tears will give it life. That is the difference between the modern church and the early church. In the matter of effective praying, never have so many left so much to so few." // Leonard Ravenhill
“Talking to men for God is a great thing, but talking to God for men is greater still. He will never talk well and with real success to men for God who has not learned well how to talk to God for men.”
― E.M. Bounds, Power Through Prayer
God has promised to heal our community, our city, our state and our world if we get serious about seeking His face in prayer. Meditate on 2 Chronicles 7:14 as you fast today:
"if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land."
As you spend time in prayer today, please pray for our mission team leaving for Africa today. Also, please pray for all those in the path of hurricane Matthew and for Sam and Jessica Jakaitis, our missionary partners in Haiti; they are safe, but many have been affected in the wake of the storm.
"Mightier than the thunders of many waters,
mightier than the waves of the sea,
the Lord on high is mighty!" (Psalm 93:4)
As you pray today, remember everyone in the path of Hurricane Matthew and remember that the Lord is mightier!
Day 8, 9, 10
We are continuing to pray for healing, restoration, and grace for all of those affected by the storm. As a church this is a great opportunity to demonstrate the genuine love of Christ as we serve, love, and pray for our neighbors.
"Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality." Romans 12:9-13 (ESV)
As we pray today, let's ask God to open doors and tear down walls as we share the incredible message of Jesus with the people around us.
As we go through our 30 day prayer journey, today you may find yourself in need of encouragement. Maybe you need to slow down and find a different place to have some quiet time with God. Don't allow your circumstances to get between you and God. Remember God is constant, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." (Hebrews 13:8)
As you continue on your prayer journey, hold fast to the hope found in God's faithful promises.
What is that impossible, immovable mountain in your life?
That thing that just won't change?
That struggle you just can't shake?
Cling to the words of Jesus in Matthew 17:20, "For truly I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you."
Now hit your knees and conquer that mountain! Through the power of Jesus, you can and will see God move in incredible ways, for His glory and your good!
Pastor and author Mark Batterson says in his best-selling book, The Circle Maker, that "100% of the prayers you do not pray will not be answered." This simple and profound truth is inspired by the words of Jesus in Matthew 7. Get alone and mediate on this promise today...
7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! - Matthew 7:7-11 (ESV)
How big is your God? In the highs and lows of life, how do you view God? Are your problems bigger than God, or is God bigger than your problems?
Rest in His presence today and worship Him for He alone is great and worthy of our praise and adoration.
"Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all." 1 Chronicles 29:11
Our prayer for today is that the Holy Spirit would awaken us, to hunger, to seek, to thirst. That we would see God move in an incredible way in our church and in our communities as the Spirit moves in and through us to to illuminate and reflect the glory of God.
// "Spirit of the Living God come fall afresh on me
Come wake me from my sleep
Blow through the caverns of my soul
Pour in me to overflow" - Jeremy Riddle
This election year has been unprecedented. As followers of Jesus, we know that no one person is the answer to our nation's problems, our only hope is found in Jesus. However, in 1st Timothy 2:1-2 (below) the apostle Paul commands us to pray for those in positions of leadership and authority. Today, spend time praying for our national leaders and for the upcoming election. There is much at stake.
First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. // 1st Timothy 2:2
Through this time of prayer, thank the Lord for His unending and unchanging love. Thank Him for the reality that His love knows no ends and that because of His great love for us, He performs great wonders in our lives. What wonders are you specifically praying that God would perform in your life? For He alone is able to work in ways that we could never even imagine.
"Give thanks to the Lord of lords,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
to him who alone does great wonders,
for his steadfast love endures forever;" // Psalm 136:3-4
How often in life do you find yourself limiting prayer to a last resort or fourth quarter hail mary? It's easy to find ourselves worrying and stressing about even the simplest things in life, while thinking that God doesn't care about our small problems. Sometimes we tend to hold back in praying because we think that God only wants to intervene when things get really bad. But, the reality is that God cares about every detail of your life. The apostle Paul reminds us in Philippians 4 that we should pray about everything: the small problems, the big disasters, and even our wildest dreams.
"Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus." // Philippians 4:7 NLT
King Solomon writes in Psalm 127:1-3,
"Unless the Lord builds a house, the work of the builders is wasted. Unless the Lord protects a city, guarding it with sentries will do no good. It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones."
As we work, as we study, as we serve this week, may we remember that God is the one that prepares the way, God is the one that works in the hearts of man, and God is the one that protects and sustains his own. Often times we find ourselves worrying or stressing about the work that we think needs to be done by us, while forgetting that without the Lord, our work is meaningless.
Your ministry does not depend on you.
God is the one that builds, God is the one that protects, God is the one that will give you rest and prepare you to carry out His work. For His glory and His renown.
The Psalmist writes in Psalm 116:1-2:
"I love the Lord because he hears my voice and my prayer for mercy. Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath!"
Our Heavenly Father not only hears our voices and our prayers, but He bends down to listen! He engages in what we have to say to Him. Our Father cares about our needs and delights in showing mercy to His children! Be encouraged in that today. What a good good Father!
As we pray today, let's remember our pastors that serve and lead our church. Pray for them today as they lead, as they serve, and as they love. May we never forget to thank the Lord for providing us with such incredible servant leaders.
Also....... Join us in wishing Pastor Phil a happy birthday today!!!🎉
We had such an incredible time at our Night of Worship as we worshipped Jesus together as a church family! We hope and pray that what happened through our month of prayer and fasting would overflow into our workplaces, our schools, and our communities as we live to proclaim the greatness of our King!
// Filled with wonder, awestruck wonder at the mention of Your Name. Jesus, Your Name is Power, Breath, and Living Water. Such a marvelous mystery. //